Recognizing the human: A psychoanalytic engagement with HRM and its discontents


‘It is joy to be hidden but disaster not to be found’

Donald Winnicott, Communicating and not communicating

To many critics and readers of this journal, the ‘human’ in HRM is hardly human. The images of Marx’s alienated proletarian, Weber’s disenchanted bureaucrat, or Foucault’s biopolitical subject are now so etched in the mind to render a practical engagement with HRM impossible. Best to abandon the enterprise altogether.

submission deadline  
1 Apr 2016
call for papers pdf  

Issue Editors: Frans Bévort, Per Darmer, Mette Mogensen and Sara Louise Muhr

Today considerations about the management of so-called ‘human resources’ is taken up almost routinely both in governmental programs, in organizations as well as in the private lives of citizens (Jackson et al., 2014; Lengnick-Hall et al., 2009). This, in tandem with the increasing power of HRM practices in contemporary corporations, signals how HRM has succeeded to construct itself as a ‘serious’ and ‘established’ field of research.

The field of HRM has for a long time been criticized by a lively tradition of work, which has engaged with the development of management in late capitalism and through this criticised HRM for its one-sided and restricted way of engaging with the human as a manageable ‘resource’. One stream of research often drawing upon Marxist theory and/or labour process theory (e.g. Braverman, 1973; Burawoy, 1979; Legge, 2005; Storey, 1995) and one... more

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