The Body and Organisation Studies
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The aim of this book is to examine the interrelationship between the (human) body, embodiment and the development of organisation studies as a disciplinary field. Obviously, the body is present in organisations and in organisation studies — after all, how could workers, even managers, do anything without bodies! It is argued here, however, that on the explicit level the body is not theorised and rarely seen as being relevant to the development of knowledge about organisations. Yet, while the body is not theorised in its own right, the discipline is riddled with implicit assumptions about the nature of the body, which have significantly shaped the course and approach of organisation studies. These assumptions affect even some of its fundamental preoccupations, such as the conceptualisation of ‘the organisation’ and dominant perspectives on the relationship between people and organisations. Thus it is in the sense of an ‘absent presence’ (see Shilling, 1993, on sociology) that the human body has been influential in organisation studies. In this book I intend to demonstrate how these assumptions about the body have shaped the discipline and draw out some of the consequences for the study of organisations. However, none of the elements of this aim is uncontroversial, so it is necessary to examine them before we turn to the relationship between them in more detail.
KeywordsOrganisation Theory Organisation Study Emotional Labour Definite Article Intellectual Tradition
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