Manifestations of Neoliberal Governmentality in Contemporary Work and Employment Relations.

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Abstract

This paper advances knowledge of the manifestations of neoliberal governmentality in contemporary work and employment relations by examining the mechanisms of biopower and managerial control that generate–and produce consent to–precarious, non-standard employment relationships. Based on an ethnographic case study, the paper shows how a globally operating direct-sales organization, deploys particular technologies of government to program and reconfigure its employment relationships in a way that allows the organization to mobilize and manage its distributors as a network of ‘enterprise-units’: as a community of self- regulating individuals who willingly reconstitute themselves and their lives as ‘enterprises’ so as to pursue self-efficacy, autonomy, and self-worth as individuals. The paper contributes to the literature on organizational power, Foucauldian studies of the workplace in particular, by elaborating theory on the manifestations of neoliberal governmentality in organizational power relations in two main ways: First, we contribute to the literature on organizational power by the building a ‘biopolitical’, ‘analytics of government’ -perspective on human resources -related managerial control that shifts attention to the biopolitical mechanisms of governmentality and manaberial control that underpin the ongoing transformations in the sphere of work. Second, we contribute to Foucauldian studies of the workplace by extending the theory on the ‘discourse of enterprise’ and the ‘enterprising self’ to the domain non-standard employment relationships and precarious work to examine and empirically illustrate the biopolitical mechanisms of governmentality and management control that underpin the ongoing transformations in the sphere of work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management (AOM)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAcademy of Management Annual Meeting: At the Interface - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 4 Aug 20178 Aug 2017
Conference number: 77

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Proceedings
Number1
Volume2017
ISSN (Electronic)2151-6561

Other

OtherAcademy of Management Annual Meeting
Abbreviated titleAOM
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta
Period04/08/201708/08/2017

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    Moisander, J., Groß, C., & Eräranta, K. (2017). Manifestations of Neoliberal Governmentality in Contemporary Work and Employment Relations. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Academy of Management Proceedings; Vol. 2017, No. 1). Academy of Management (AOM). https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2017.16715abstract