Foucault, HRM and the ethos of the critical management Scholar

Abstract

This discussion reviews begins with a review of the uses to which Foucault's thought has been put in the study of human resource management, going on to consider - and to reject - a number of major criticisms of Foucault and Foucauldian studies of human resource management. Yet there remains much in Foucault's project that we seem often to ignore. Accordingly, the discussion considers the question of the articulation between Foucault's intellectual work and the practical, political spheres. Foucault conceives his own critical intellectual practice as part of a way of life analogous to the classical conception of an ethos. Adopting a loose and critical relationship to Foucault, the argument of the paper is that Foucault's ethos demands further attention as the possibilities for more practical and engaged forms of critical intellectual work have begun to be debated in management studies.

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