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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2011

Per Skålén

Service marketing research has developed practices for managing and controlling the human resources. However, the role of these control practices in organizations has…

Abstract

Purpose

Service marketing research has developed practices for managing and controlling the human resources. However, the role of these control practices in organizations has neither been empirically studied in a systematic way nor been analyzed in relation to control theory. This paper seeks to address these gaps in previous research.

Design/methodology/approach

Single case study of a Swedish financial service firm referred to as the Financial Institute which has drawn on service marketing practices to manage the organization and control the employees.

Findings

The empirical findings suggest that control practices are associated with service marketing discourse controls for the customer orientation of the human resources.

Originality/value

In order to analyze the empirical findings the paper draws on the control theory of organization studies. More particularly labor process theory and Foucauldian organization theory (FOT) are invoked. The analysis suggests that mainly FOT explains how service marketing practices control the customer orientation of the human resources.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Edward Kasabov and Anna C.C.C. da Cunha

The role of call-centres during service recovery has attracted much attention in research. However, marketers know less about controlling customers during recovery…

Abstract

Purpose

The role of call-centres during service recovery has attracted much attention in research. However, marketers know less about controlling customers during recovery interactions and consequences of such control. In order to address this gap and empirically ascertain whether service interactions are marked by customer centricity or by employees exerting control over customers, the aim of the authors was to organise an empirical research in two Brazilian call-centres.

Design/methodology/approach

The research consisted of direct, open observation and 33 semi-structured interviews with insiders (call-centre managers, supervisors and operatives).

Findings

Four key findings emerged during interviews with insiders. First, control over customers may be more widely practiced than assumed in certain sections of marketing academe. Second, such control is viewed positively by call-centre insiders and is sanctioned by management. Third, control does not disempower and demoralise call-centre staff but protects operatives. Finally, control does not seem to unavoidably generate lasting customer dissatisfaction. These findings are incorporated in a framework of call-centre management which incorporates control through scripting.

Research limitations/implications

The discussion calls for the revisit of certain marketing concepts and philosophies, including customer orientation, by demonstrating that control over customers is practised and should not be viewed negatively or avoided altogether in practice and as a topic of analysis. A re-conceptualisation of call-centres as sites of control over customers is proposed.

Originality/value

Control and power are rarely analysed in services marketing. This is one of a few studies that makes sense of providers' (insiders') viewpoints and argues that control may play a constructive role and should be seen as a legitimate topic of services and call-centre analysis. As such it addresses a question of intellectual and practical importance which is rarely discussed and may be viewed as incongruous with an age when customers are assumed to have rights.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 48 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2010

Mahmoud Ezzamel and Hugh Willmott

This chapter explicates the theoretical basis and contribution of poststructuralism to the study of strategy and strategic management. More specifically, it focuses upon…

Abstract

This chapter explicates the theoretical basis and contribution of poststructuralism to the study of strategy and strategic management. More specifically, it focuses upon Foucauldian analysis which is contrasted to rationalist and interpretivist studies. Foucauldian analysis is not regarded as a corrective but as an addition to these established approaches to studying strategy. Notably, Foucault's work draws attention to how discourse constitutes, disciplines and legitimizes particular forms of executive identity (‘strategists’) and management practice (‘strategizing’). We highlight how Foucault's poststructuralist thinking points to unexplored performative effects of rationalist and interpretivist studies of strategy. Foucault is insistent upon the indivisibility of knowledge and power, where relations of power within organizations, and in academia, are understood to rely upon, but also operate to maintain and transform, particular ‘discourses of truth’ such as the discourses of ‘shareholder value’ and ‘objectivity’. Discourse, in Foucauldian analysis, is not a more or less imperfect, or ineffective, means of representing objects such as strategy. Rather, it is performative in, for example, producing the widely taken-or-granted truth that ‘organization’ is separate from ‘environment’. In turn, the production of this distinction is seen to enable and sanction particular and, arguably, predatory forms of knowledge, in which the formulation and application of strategy is represented as neutral, mirror-like and/or functional.

Details

The Globalization of Strategy Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-898-8

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Dessalegn Getie Mihret and Bligh Grant

The purpose of this paper is to articulate the conceptual foundations of the role of internal auditing in corporate governance by drawing on Michel Foucault’s concept of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to articulate the conceptual foundations of the role of internal auditing in corporate governance by drawing on Michel Foucault’s concept of governmentality.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a literature-based analysis of the role of internal auditing from a Foucauldian perspective.

Findings

It is argued that Foucault’s notion of governmentality provides conceptual tools for researching internal auditing as a disciplinary mechanism in the corporate governance setting of contemporary organizations. The paper develops an initial conceptual formulation of internal auditing as: ex post assurance about the execution of economic activities within management’s preconceived frameworks and ex ante advisory services to enhance the rationality of economic activities and accompanying controls.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is expected to initiate debate on the choice of theory and method in internal auditing research. The propositions and research agenda discussed can be used to address research questions of an interpretive nature that could enrich the current understanding of internal auditing.

Originality/value

This paper extends the Foucauldian analysis of accounting to incorporate internal auditing. It offers original propositions as a research agenda and discusses ontological and epistemic considerations associated with adopting the Foucauldian framework for internal auditing research.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2002

Ed Barratt

Examines and discusses the contribution to the analysis of HRM of those scholars who have sought to make use of the thought of Michel Foucault. Sympathetic to the…

Abstract

Examines and discusses the contribution to the analysis of HRM of those scholars who have sought to make use of the thought of Michel Foucault. Sympathetic to the achievements of Foucauldian studies but emphasising the different ways in which Foucault’s thought has been put to use, goes on to consider the critical debate that has subsequently emerged. An important objective is to offer a reading of Foucault that draws attention to certain features of his thought which appear to have been marginalised in recent debate. Against the critics and by rereading Foucault, the suggestion that “Foucauldianism” necessarily leads inter alia to a denial of the significance of legal and economic powers and relations in the employment relationship, to a postmodern indifference to forms of evidence and proof in analysis, is called into question. Accepting the plausibility of at least some of the criticisms levelled at Foucauldianism by the critics, goes on to argue that Foucauldians might equally benefit from revisiting Foucault. Argues in favour of the particular benefits of further reflection on the spirit of enquiry that animates Foucault’s project and his role as an engaged intellectual. The suggestion is that Foucauldians need to play a more active role in public debate, circulating their critical knowledge and analyses beyond the academy.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Book part
Publication date: 14 October 2010

John Brocklesby

In examining what role autopoietic theory might play in furthering the agenda of process-based organizational research, it is worth noting that the biological notion of…

Abstract

In examining what role autopoietic theory might play in furthering the agenda of process-based organizational research, it is worth noting that the biological notion of autopoiesis and derivative concepts have already achieved limited recognition in the broad organization studies field. A perennial debate has evolved around the question of whether organizations can and/or should be considered autopoietic (see Luhmann, 1986; Zeleny & Hufford, 1992; Mingers, 1992; Robb, 1989; Kay, 2001). Beyond that, the general approach seems to involve taking some defined aspect of autopoiesis and employing this to shed light on some defined aspect of organizational life. Thus, Krogh and Roos (1998) use the concept of autopoiesis to expound, discuss, and illustrate a distinctive perspective on organizational knowledge; Luhmann (1990) and Teubner (1984) use autopoiesis to create awareness of how the circularity and self-referentiality of legal, and social systems more generally, can prevent renewal and lead to a failure in adapting to problems in society. Autopoiesis has been used to enhance our understanding of how the functioning of computers relate to the evolution of human language, thought and action, (Winograd & Flores, 1987). In management, the concept of autopoiesis has been used, largely in a metaphorical sense, to understand the firm as a living evolving system that is characterized by “flux and transformation” (Morgan, 1986). In the therapeutic professions, various writers use autopoiesis to show how circular sets of self-reinforcing conversations can create severe dysfunctions with individuals (Efren, Lukens, & Lukens, 1990), in families and in other tightly knit social groups (Dell, 1982, 1985; Hoffman, 1988; Goolishian & Winderman, 1988). Elsewhere in organization studies, Kay (1997) applies autopoiesis to the facilitation of organizational change, and Beer (1981) uses the term “pathological autopoiesis” in understanding threats to organizational viability.

Details

Advanced Series in Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-833-5

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Book part
Publication date: 21 January 2019

Stefanie Ruel

Abstract

Details

Stem-Professional Women’s Exclusion in the Canadian Space Industry
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-570-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Tim Owen and Jason L. Powell

This paper sets out to examine the relationship between trust and professional power in the context of post‐Foucauldian social theory. Understood in its micro‐political…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to examine the relationship between trust and professional power in the context of post‐Foucauldian social theory. Understood in its micro‐political terms and conceived as impacting on individual identity and agency at a number of levels: intrapersonal, interpersonal, organisational and macro levels.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual and theoretical approach.

Findings

The findings illustrate that the concept of “trust” and relationship to health services can be understood through a post‐Foucauldian lens.

Research limitations/implications

This is a very theoretical paper with implications for epistemological development grounded in understanding “trust” and ethics of self.

Originality/value

This is an original paper on post‐Foucauldian analysis of trust and relationship to health policy and professional autonomy.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 26 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 20 September 2021

Suze Wilson

The ongoing global pandemic poses significant challenges for researchers, personally and professionally, as it does for all people. However, even if we cannot safely leave…

Abstract

The ongoing global pandemic poses significant challenges for researchers, personally and professionally, as it does for all people. However, even if we cannot safely leave our home to gather qualitative data by directly meeting with people, opportunities abound for engaging in discourse analysis. After all, people have not stopped talking or writing, even if much of that is now via Zoom, social media or some other technology platform rather than face to face. What people are talking and writing about at this time matters greatly because language use profoundly shapes how people interpret reality, perceive themselves and others and act. Quite literally, then, the discourse people engage in and are influenced by during the pandemic may help to save or imperil lives and livelihoods. While there are many possible approaches to discourse analysis, this chapter focuses on some key insights French philosopher and social theorist Michel Foucault offers for such endeavors. It offers an introductory account of his key concepts and methods, followed by a brief case study to demonstrate their application to discourses that reject scientific knowledge and advice about COVID-19.

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2013

Aurelie Leclercq‐Vandelannoitte

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the dynamics that underlie contradictions and paradoxes in organizational change over time. Little research has explored the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the dynamics that underlie contradictions and paradoxes in organizational change over time. Little research has explored the role of contradictions and paradoxes in the continuous cycle of organizing, which are simultaneously embedded in the process and outcomes of organizational change. An encompassing framework, based on the thinking of Michel Foucault, more fully captures both the paradoxical roots and the effects of organizational change.

Design/methodology/approach

An in‐depth qualitative case study of an IT‐based organizational change in a company offers a clear longitudinal analysis, based on 31 semi‐structured interviews and direct field observation.

Findings

The Foucauldian framework deepens understanding of organizational change and its underlying dynamics by highlighting contradictions and paradoxes as both the medium and the outcome of the organizing process over time. The organizing process evolves through power‐knowledge relations, which are forces that provide the energy to make change possible.

Research limitations/implications

The findings indicate the need for further research to develop insight into Foucauldian concepts, such as by replicating the proposed methodology in other companies or with other types of organizational change.

Practical implications

This paper is of managerial interest for various corporate players (management, human resources, information management) who must understand what underlies employees' acceptance of organizational change.

Originality/value

The proposed conceptual model can help interpret the role of contradictions and paradoxes in the organizing process. The strength of this “political model of organizational change” is that it can be combined with other perspectives, such as change management, to explore how organizations drive change and how managers can integrate contradictions and paradoxes in change management to help the organization further evolve.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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