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Downshifting: Boundary management for the privileged few?


Work-life balance is increasingly seen as both important and difficult to achieve as lives become more demanding and complex. This critical reading of the literature addresses one phenomenon that has emerged as a strategy for achieving work-life balance: downshifting. Downshifting is a concept in which the academic community appears to have little appetite, but which has nevertheless steadfastly remained of interest in the public domain. In popular accounts, downshifting is associated with a reduction in work and consequent benefits in time and quality of life.

Naming and shaming or ‘speaking truth to power’? On the ambivalences of the Indian ‘list of sexual harassers in academia’ (LoSHA)


In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein takedown and the following popularity of the #metoo campaign, numerous women*[1] have spoken up, sharing their experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace (Davis and Zarkov, 2018; Khomami, 2017). Increasingly, this has also taken on the form of popular listicles – lists that point out certain items or names to be circulated within the digital.

Power and management according to Agamben: Some implications of Agamben’s thoughts to management scholarship


It is the scholarly instinct in general, and the American predilection in particular, to equalize management with exercise of power. This intuitive understanding of management, Italian philosopher and political theorist Giorgio Agamben argues, reflects a distinct relationship between political theory and management.

‘Developmental talk’ as confession: The role of trade unions in workplace governance


The process of economic de-regulation currently taking place across Europe entails a transformation of employment relationships and problematizes the traditional role and position of trade union organizations (Garsten and Jacobsson, 2004; Huzzard, 2004). Today’s political rhetoric actively promotes ‘employability’ (Chertkovskaya et al., 2013), while straying from the notion of guaranteed employment (Jacobsson, 2004; Huzzard, 2004).

Diagrammatics of organization

In this open issue of ephemera, we bring together a series of papers that engage with the diagrammatics of organization in various ways. Specifically, each contribution examines the production of a particular subject within a network of power relations: the entrepreneur within enterprise culture (Hanlon), the compulsive buyer within consumer society (Presskorn-Thygesen and Bjerg), the spectator within the world of art (Rodda), the cognitive labourer within the knowledge economy (Armano) and the good citizen within advanced liberalism (Barratt).

Diagrammatics of organization

This open issue brings together a series of papers that engage with the diagrammatics of organization. This involves an examination of how particular subjects are produced within networks of power relations: the entrepreneur within enterprise culture, the compulsive buyer within consumer society, the spectator within the world of art, the cognitive labourer within the knowledge economy, and the good citizen within advanced liberalism.

Institutionalizing critique: A problem of Critical Management Studies


We approach this topic from two quite different places. We share a passion for the critique of management and organization but we pursue different strategies in practising this critique. One of us represents a CMS[1] ‘insider’, whose efforts have, in some small way, helped to strengthen the institutional foundations of CMS – by writing research articles, organising conferences activities and introducing critical management education in his classroom.

Symptoms of organization

The contributions to this issue, which were all written by PhD students, reflect upon the meaning of a symptomatology of organization and explore its possible practice. The idea of symptomatology itself originates from medicine and refers to the study of the signs of a disease. In medicine, the general task of the symptomatologist is to interpret and organize different symptoms in such a way that they designate a more or less coherent disease.

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