Professor of Management and Society, Lancaster University
In my research, I pursue three main lines of investigation and analysis: subjectivity, work and managerialism in the context of modernity. These three areas of concern are underlaid by a common thread that directly yet ambiguously connects the growth and empowerment of Human Resources Management during the past quarter-century with wider developments in the social sciences and the humanities. On the one hand, the societal power of the HRM project has increased as the managers’ “right to manage” has been emancipated from previous constraints. On the other hand, however, this increase in power, the right not simply to absorb agency but to develop and control the social reproduction of identity, results in a situation in which HRM is in principle called upon to assume ethical responsibilities that extend far wider beyond the institutional and cultural boundaries of work. The three core topoi of subjectivity, work and managerialism are points d'appui, fulcra through which I seek to explore the ways in which core philosophical arguments about the nature of the self, the meanings and implications of work, and human organisation reappear encoded in management studies. This type of investigation necessarily correlates my relevant field research of exemplary management ideas and practices with the relevant academic theorisations and analyses in management studies. My research frames this immanent correlation located in the HRM project within the broader context of the history and present state of social sciences and the humanities (the full manifold of les sciences humaines). The aim of this inquiry is to open up essential lines of communication with this latter wider community. My research involves collaboration with practitioners and theorists in both spheres in order to grasp the complex and inadequately understood relationship between ever-growing managerial power and a social order that seeks to renew itself in democratic terms.
Jul 01, 2021 09:54 am UTC| Life
This episode of The Conversations In Depth Out Loud podcast features the story of a young Soviet miner named Alexei Stakhanov, and how the work ethic he embodied in the 1930s has been invoked by managers in the west ever...