In this article, the author explores the nature of contemporary organizational controls, the extent to which they can be said to colonize employee subjectivity, and the types of resistance which they generate. Labor process, psychoanalytic, critical theory, and Foucauldian perspectives are juxtaposed and a number of similarities and divergences are noted. It is argued that many of these perspectives prematurely lament the end of employee recalcitrance and exaggerate the magnitude and totality of organizational controls, generating over-managed and overcontrolled images of individuals, organizations, and societies. It is proposed that a rapprochement of psychoanalytic and labor theory approaches can lead to an appreciation of unmanaged and unmanageable terrains in organizations, in which human agency may be rediscovered, neither as a class-conscious proletariat nor as a transcendental subject, but as a struggling, feeling, thinking, suffering subject, one capable of obeying and disobeying, controlling and being controlled, losing control and escaping control, defining and redefining control for itself and for others.
- Labor process
- Unmanaged organization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences(all)
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation