Writing materiality into management and organization studies through and with Luce Irigaray

Marianna Fotaki, Beverly Dawn Metcalfe, Nancy Harding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (SciVal)


There is increasing recognition in management and organization studies of the importance of materiality as an aspect of discourse, while the neglect of materiality in post-structuralist management and organization theory is currently the subject of much discussion. This article argues that this turn to materiality may further embed gender discrimination. We draw on Luce Irigaray’s work to highlight the dangers inherent in masculine discourses of materiality. We discuss Irigaray’s identification of how language and discourse elevate the masculine over the feminine so as to offer insights into ways of changing organizational language and discourses so that more beneficial, ethically-founded identities, relationships and practices can emerge. We thus stress a political intent that aims to liberate women and men from phallogocentrism. We finally take forward Irigaray’s ideas to develop a feminist écriture of/for organization studies that points towards ways of writing from the body. The article thus not only discusses how inequalities may be embedded within the material turn, but it also provides a strategy that enriches the possibilities of overcoming them from within.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1239-1263
Number of pages25
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number10
Early online date7 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • embodiment
  • feminism
  • feminist écriture
  • gender fluidity
  • Irigaray
  • materiality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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