Organizational Ethics and Foucault's 'Art of Living': Lessons from Social Movement Organizations

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Author(s)Munro I
Publication type Article
JournalOrganization Studies
Year2014
Volume35
Issue8
Pages1127-1148
ISSN (print)0170-8406
ISSN (electronic)1741-3044
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This article develops Foucault’s later work on ethics and his concept of ethical askesis in the transformation of the self as a new approach to understanding organizational ethics. Scholars within the field of management and organization studies have already proposed the development of a Foucauldian approach to ethics, but the precise nature of such an ‘art of living’ has yet to be clarified. To address this gap in the literature this article builds on Foucault’s theoretical and practical interest in the work of historical and contemporary social movement organizations. The article investigates the role that social movement organizations play as crucibles for the creation of new forms of organizational subjectivity and novel ethical practices. In this way the article develops a synthesis between the Foucauldian scholarship and social movement organization theory. The contribution of the article shows how social movement organizations act as sites for the creation of novel organizational subjectivities and ethical practices, and reconceptualizes organizational ethics in Foucauldian terms as a form of ethical askesis to transform the self.
PublisherSage Publications Ltd
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0170840614530915
DOI10.1177/0170840614530915
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