Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault, this book reconceptualizes the field of human resource management (HRM) and explores an alternative politics and ethics of work.
The central thesis is that personnel/HRM techniques play a crucial role in constituting the self, in defining the nature of work, and in organizing and controlling the workforce. Human resource management, it is argued, comprises a nexus of disciplinary practices - a technology of power - aimed at making employees' behaviour and performance predictable and calculable, in a word, `manageable'.
The author analyzes a wide range of HRM procedures, including job evaluation and ranking, selection, appraisal and self-assessment, relating these to Foucauldian concepts of taxinomia, mathesis, examination and confession. The book concludes by linking Foucauldian and feminist ideas to sketch a potentially emancipatory and ethical agenda for HRM.
Author: Barbara Townley
Number of Pages: 224
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
Publication Date: 01 Sep 1994