Foucault, Management and Organization Theory

From Panopticon to Technologies of Self

by Alan McKinlay,

This volume draws together critical assessments of Michel Foucault's contribution to our understanding of the making and remaking of the modern organization.

The volume provides a valuable summary of Foucault's contribution to organization theory, which also challenges the conventions of traditional organizational analysis. By applying Foucauldian concepts such as discipline, surveillance and power/knowledge, the authors shed new light on the genesis of the modern organization and raise fresh questions about organization theory. The bureaucratic career is, for example, analyzed as a disciplinary device, a mechanism that seeks to alter rational choice rather than constrain bodies. This raises questions about Foucault's linking of the modern organization's birth with the enlightenment. Other contributions review the impact of totalizing managerial discourses and the limits and possiblities of resistance, and question the profound pessimism of Foucault. The volume concludes by examining the implications of Foucault's later work in which he suggests that people are much freer than they feel.

  • SAGE Publications; December 1997
  • ISBN: 9780857022868
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: Foucault, Management and Organization Theory
  • Author: Alan McKinlay (ed.); Ken P Starkey (ed.)
  • Imprint: SAGE Publications Ltd

In The Press

`This book is likely to be of great interest to Foucault scholars concerned with organisations and also of interest to organization experts with some familiarity with Foucault' - Sociology

`In these days of overwhelming 'labour flexibility', this book is timely and offers new critical understandings. The majority of the 14 authors are based in Management Schools across the UK, USA, Australia and Canada. They all display in-depth scholarly understanding of Foucault's intellectual enterprise.... The strength of this collection - apart from filling an obvious gap - derives from a two-directional approach: from Foucault to managment organisation theory and vice versa.' - Modern and Contemporary France