The Monstrous Organization

The Monstrous Organization

Torkild Thanem

Drawing on contemporary debates in organization theory, this book explores the monsters that populate organizations, what organizations do to these monsters, and how this challenges us to re-construct organization theory.

Chapter 6: Monstrous Politics and Ethics in Organizations

Torkild Thanem

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies


the monsters begin to form new, alternative networks of affection and social organization . . . we have to learn to love some of the monsters and to combat others. (Hardt and Negri in Multitude)1 no one has hitherto laid down the limits to the powers of the body, that is, no one has as yet been taught by experience what the body can accomplish (Spinoza in Ethics)2 THE POLITICS OF THE MONSTROUS MULTITUDE Framing a discussion of the problems, rights and interests of transgender people, disabled people and other marginalized identity groups in terms of identity politics is close at hand. Marginalized identity groups are often discriminated against and disadvantaged on the basis of their bodies and on the basis of belonging to a particular identity group. Without assuming that the identity politics of marginalized groups is without problems, invoking this frame makes it possible to address and challenge the wrongs committed against them through efforts of empowerment, emancipation and the affirmation of individual and group rights. In this section I will therefore primarily treat identity politics as a way of challenging, resisting and ending the oppression, discrimination and disadvantaging of people based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality or (dis)ability. While the notion of identity politics has attracted relatively little attention in organizational scholarship, it may be seen to take two main forms: (1) the micro-politics of individuals and small groups, and (2) the collective action of social movement organizations. Identity politics as micro-politics involves individuals and small...

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