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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

Chad B. Newswander and Lynita K. Newswander

A careful study demonstrates that President Bush has implemented the faith-based initiative as a method of governmentality, one which appears to be biased toward…

Abstract

A careful study demonstrates that President Bush has implemented the faith-based initiative as a method of governmentality, one which appears to be biased toward Christianity. This paper examines the definition of Foucaultʼs governmentality as it relates to the ever-expanding structure of contemporary American governance and justifies the categorization of faith-based initiatives as an example of pastoral power. Ultimately, these arguments characterize the current state of governmentality as “born-again,” and call specific attention to what appears to be a strong affiliation of “charitable choice” with evangelical Christianity. By relying on evangelical Christianity to govern, the pastoral-panopticon coupled with governmental resources has brought back an older method of regulation which is less obvious in its intrusion, and more dangerous for it.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Alan McKinlay, Chris Carter, Eric Pezet and Stewart Clegg

The premise of the paper is that Foucault's concept of governmentality has important but unacknowledged implications for understanding strategy. Highlighting the strengths…

Abstract

Purpose

The premise of the paper is that Foucault's concept of governmentality has important but unacknowledged implications for understanding strategy. Highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the governmentality approach, the paper seeks to suggest how governmentality can be used to conceptualise strategy. More generally, the paper seeks to contribute to the body of research on governmentality articulated by authors such as Peter Miller, Ted O'Leary and Nikolas Rose.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reprises the argument that accounting is constitutive of social relations. It proceeds to discuss Peter Miller, Ted O'Leary and Nikolas Rose's seminal contributions to the conceptual development of governmentality. In outlining their work, the paper highlights the significance accorded to the emergence of standard costing and scientific management and its subsequent role in developing both the strategies and structures of managerial capitalism. The paper examines how this, in turn, was pivotal to the emergence of strategy as an important means through which organisations began to understand and conceive of themselves. The paper rehearses the standard criticisms made of governmentality within the accounting literature, before arguing that the concept emerges intact from the critique levelled against it. Proceeding to summarise Foucault's radical conception of power, the paper notes the elusiveness of Foucault's relationship with strategy. Elaborating on the nature of governmentality, the paper employs the concept to re‐examine the managerial revolution. The objective is to explore its implications for understanding strategy.

Findings

The paper builds on the innovative work published in accounting on governmentality to construct an account of the emergence of the managerial revolution. This yields important insights on strategy. In particular, the paper challenges Chandler, arguing that the birth of strategy is best seen as a post‐hoc rationalisation produced by the emergence of systematic management and standard costing. The paper explores how governmentality might be developed to study strategy. The overarching message of the paper is that there is a need to rethink strategy as a language and social practice. Strategy, therefore, must be understood as much as a cultural and political project than as an economic one.

Originality/value

The paper highlights how strategy can be regarded as a cultural and political phenomenon. This opens up the possibility of accounts of strategy that are firmly grounded within studies of organisations, politics and society. Dispensing with neo‐economic notions of strategy, the paper advocates writing Foucault into strategic management.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 23 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2017

Thierry Viale, Yves Gendron and Roy Suddaby

The authors study how communication agencies became important sites for the rise of measurement expertise in the government of consumer conduct following the development…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors study how communication agencies became important sites for the rise of measurement expertise in the government of consumer conduct following the development of online consumption. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the processes by which digital measurement developed (within the agencies) as a new legitimate form of expertise, able to produce relevant and detailed knowledge about the government of web users.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors carried out a field examination in France, predicated on 100 interviews with actors involved in communication consultancy. Drawing on the concepts of governmentality and inter-jurisdictional experimentation, the authors examine how digital measurement expertise acquired legitimacy within agencies. The authors also analyze how contemporary technologies of measurement and surveillance, as operated by in-house digital experts, provide advertising specialists and advertisers with increasingly precise data on consumer conduct and thought.

Findings

The constitution and legitimization of digital measurement expertise was characterized by experimentation, culminating in the production of persuasive claims of tangibility concerning communication impact, and in relative agreement on the relevance of digital expertise in operating increasingly powerful technologies of measurement and surveillance.

Originality/value

While the role of experts in promoting and implementing neoliberal governmentality is emphasized in the literature, the study indicates that considerable work is needed to develop and legitimize expertise consequent with neoliberalism. Also, the analysis highlights that the spread of digital measurement expertise and knowledge production in the government of web users constitutes a noteworthy step in the neoliberalization of society. Behind the front of “free” conduct lies an increasingly powerful network of technologies and expertise aimed at rendering consumer conduct knowable and predictable.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 25 July 2019

Roger Berquier and Delphine Gibassier

Cities are key actors in the fight against climate change. They have developed integrated strategies harnessing the power of information and communication technologies…

Abstract

Purpose

Cities are key actors in the fight against climate change. They have developed integrated strategies harnessing the power of information and communication technologies (ICT) as part of the move towards smart(er) cities. In spite of our knowledge of the role of technological infrastructure in tackling climate change, the role of governance mechanisms to actively pursue environmental sustainability is often understated. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyse governmentality mechanisms developed by a small town in Europe to render energy savings and new energy sources visible and to create new identities with which the citizen and other cities could then identify with, thereby participating in the fight against climate change.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered through non-participant observation, interviews and access to internal data from the city’s energy control project.

Findings

The outcome of these governmentality mechanisms was to create two new identities: the “good citizen”, responsible to lower his impact on climate change, and the “model city”, a laboratory that would serve as a guide for future policies to tackle climate change at the city level. While the “model city” was successful and identification happened with other small cities taking example from it, the “good citizen” failed and inhabitants did not identify with this role model that was defined for them as a way to participate in the fight against climate change.

Practical implications

This case study is a concrete example, based on a longitudinal study, of a city’s strategy and actions on climate change. Other small cities will be able to use this case study to gauge their possibilities for action on climate change. Notably, it is an example of how a network of mechanisms can achieve results in CO2 emissions reduction. It also demonstrates the difficulty to enrol citizens into an environmental sustainability scheme.

Social implications

This paper has implications for how climate change can be tackled in rural areas by small cities. While the role of organizations and large cities (e.g. C40 city network) has been acknowledged, there is a possibility for smaller local actors to act upon grand challenges with local strategies and their own governmentality mechanisms.

Originality/value

The case study contributes to the literature on cities, bringing new insights into how they can become actors of climate change beyond acting on internal controls, and the literature on governmentality by demonstrating how mechanisms can act upon a population without being calculative.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2016

Sou Kuan Vong

The purpose of this paper is to develop a critical analysis of the policy of moral and civic education in the non-tertiary education system in Macao and to examine the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a critical analysis of the policy of moral and civic education in the non-tertiary education system in Macao and to examine the kinds of citizens it prepares.

Design/methodology/approach

It is a qualitative research design informed by the Foucauldian concepts of “governmentality” and “technology of the self” to analyze the moral and civic education policy in Macao.

Findings

The governmentality or art of government of the moral and civic education policy in Macao is made possible by three strategies, namely “governmentalisation of the state,” construction of “moral and civic education as a field of actions” and creation of “social harmony as a new form of civic virtue.” Based on the disclosed governmentalities, three approaches adopted by the government are identified, “normalising the school system,” “educating the students” and “disciplining the scapegoats.” Through these approaches, two technologies of the self are identified, namely disciplinary power and bio-politics, which are used to prepare citizens. In Macao, it seems that there is a tension between the discourses of active democratic citizenship and patriotic education.

Research limitations/implications

The type of policy and theoretical analysis the author has adopted in investigating moral and civic education policy illuminates the local and national policy and, in so doing, creates opportunities for building comparative research on similar issues and their implications for education.

Social implications

This paper can contribute to the local discussion of the possibility of rewriting the meanings of citizenship.

Originality/value

This paper is comprehensive and can therefore provide a ground for further and future research.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2021

Abdelmoneim Bahyeldin Mohamed Metwally, Ahmed Diab and Mostafa Kayed Mohamed

This study aims to examine the impact of Covid-19 on transforming accountability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and office operation and control. This paper…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the impact of Covid-19 on transforming accountability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and office operation and control. This paper explains how unleashing the rationality of health and safety along with internal CSR made the transformation to telework successfully operable in a periphery of a western multinational corporation.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws upon the theories of governmentality and social accountability. It adopts an interpretative qualitative research approach and uses the case study method. Data were collected from one of the biggest private sector telecommunication companies in Egypt.

Findings

This study finds that Covid-19 and its related health and safety discourse represented a good rationale for the western home office to accelerate the initiation of its office transformation plan to reach full working from home policy in a less developed country peripheral subsidiary. Under the guise of CSR, the company spent a large budget to make this transformation quickly operable, while its Egyptian subsidiary is financially distressed. Moreover, the company achieved its objectives from this new rationality as employees currently prefer the telework mode which reduces the company costs in the long run.

Practical implications

The study provides practitioners with evidence and practicable knowledge regarding the impact of Covid-19 on office reconfiguration and the ways used to achieve this in the Egyptian telecommunication sector.

Originality/value

The current study extends the governmentality literature by illustrating that transformation to telework in emerging markets is an operational manifestation of cost reduction and efficiency rationality under the guise of CSR. Moreover, it extends the office transformation literature by bringing early evidence regarding office transition plans during COVID-19 in an emerging market.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Book part
Publication date: 14 September 2010

S. Karin Amos

Against the background of a changing relation between the state and “its” education system, the present contribution focuses on two concepts that can be used as tools in…

Abstract

Against the background of a changing relation between the state and “its” education system, the present contribution focuses on two concepts that can be used as tools in order to explain the current transformations. “Governance” is more concerned with technical issues: with instruments and modes, procedures and actors, and with their constellations and forms of cooperation. It focuses research on questions such as: who provides educational services or what is the connection between public and private education. It has been employed to investigate the relation between the various levels of analysis and has proven particularly useful in creating an adequate theoretical understanding of the role of international organizations in shaping educational policies. Sociology and political science are the two disciplines most prominently associated with elaborating the concept under various perspectives. Governmentality, although sharing many characteristics with governance, is a Foucauldian term concerned with the generation of different subjectivities and collectivities through techniques and modes of ruling and guiding in an encompassing sense. A governmentality perspective thus focuses investigations on the typical Foucauldian knowledge/power nexus. While “governance” may be said to be more descriptive, more concerned with the “how” of current transformations, “governmentality” may be drawn on to argue that the changes are related to a reworking of the very modern Weberian notion of rationality, thus stressing the morphodynamics but not the reinvention of education. At stake is the increase of effectivity in order to augment and increase the “usefulness” and thus the value of the population.

Details

International Educational Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-304-1

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Book part
Publication date: 20 December 2017

Lanny Thompson

This chapter will address the deployments of colonial governmentality during the first decade of US dominion in Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Governmentality is…

Abstract

This chapter will address the deployments of colonial governmentality during the first decade of US dominion in Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Governmentality is understood as dispositive, that is, an ensemble of the apparatuses of governmental rationality, sovereignty, and discipline. This chapter will examine the shifting configurations of some of the specific apparatuses of necro- and biopolitics, coercive security forces, disciplinary institutions, and other tutelary practices within the overall dispositive of governmentality, including the political structures of governance. This chapter will address the issue of the place and scale of these deployments: institutions, public spaces, bureaucratic structures, and military hierarchies. Throughout, a comparative perspective will shed light upon how colonial governmentality was deployed historically in ways that were adapted to different strategies, local conditions, and patterns of collaboration and resistance, especially among school teachers.

Details

Rethinking the Colonial State
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-655-6

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2010

David Pick and Htwe Htwe Thein

The aim of this paper is to examine development failure in Myanmar and explore alternative ways forward.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine development failure in Myanmar and explore alternative ways forward.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative data drawn from sources including newspaper and media accounts from inside and outside Myanmar, reports from NGOs and field observations. The data are analysed using a framework developed by combining the theoretical perspectives of the resource curse and governmentality.

Findings

Evidence of developmental failure in Myanmar is found. The nation is in an economic, social and political mess due to the actions of an incompetent and corrupt robber regime that has misused and misappropriated much of the wealth being produced from the nation's large mineral and energy reserves. Action by the international community has so far proved ineffective in improving the situation.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this paper is the difficulty in obtaining accurate and reliable official economic and social indicators. However, it does illustrate the value of combining the resource curse thesis and governmentality for understanding development failure.

Practical implications

This research has practical implications in that by illustrating the unsustainable nature of the “grabber governmentality” and providing an alternative “producer governmentality” it is clear that even the most authoritarian regimes are susceptible to change.

Originality/value

The resource curse thesis and governmentality have so far not been used together in the analysis of development. In this paper these concepts provide a way to critically examine the association between resource richness, poor governance and development failure.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 30 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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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

Keywords

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