Managing Intensity and Play at Work

Managing Intensity and Play at Work

Transient Relationships

Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen

In this thought-provoking book Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen uses a unique combination of deconstruction, systems theory and discourse theory to critically discuss topics such as the management of feelings, partnerships as second order promises, and work–life balance as an immune defense against over-socialized employees. He assesses the parallels between layoffs in intimate organizations and modern professional divorce discourses, and explores the dichotomy of double-bounded management commanding both ‘do as I say’ and ‘be autonomous’. In so doing, Professor Andersen encourages the reader to look at relationships in the workplace in new ways.

Introduction

Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen

Subjects: business and management, critical management studies, human resource management, organisation studies

Extract

This book is about conditions created by organizations for the relationship between the organization and its employees as a way to answer how the organization can continually be in the process of becoming something it is not. The book does not simply argue that the world has become more transient and turbulent. It explores what the possible implications are when the organization sees the world in this way. What does “to organize” mean when the only established premise is that everything is transient? At the center of my investigation is the relationship between organization and employee. I look at the way in which organizations develop language, concepts and demands concerning interactions with employees. I observe how organizations create expectations of their employees based on the single premise of change, of the constant movement towards becoming something else. This book is about conditions created by organizations for the relationship between the organization and its employees as a way to answer how the organization can continually be in the process of becoming something it is not. The book does not simply argue that the world has become more transient and turbulent. It explores what the possible implications are when the organization sees the world in this way. What does “to organize” mean when the only established premise is that everything is transient? At the center of my investigation is the relationship between organization and employee. I look at the way in which organizations develop language, concepts and demands concerning interactions with employees.