Capitalism, subjectivity and ethics: Debating labour process analysis

Martin Parker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper I want to try and establish whether any common ground, in theory or practice, might be found between some kind of adherence to labour process Marxism and a broadly poststructuralist strategy which seeks to destabilize any kind of universalizing theory for organizational studies. In the first half of the paper, I will attempt to draw together the key differences and similarities between some of the recent contributions to this debate by a group of British writers - Smith, Thompson, Ackroyd, Knights and Willmott. The second half of the paper attempts to consider three key questions that these pieces raise. First, I will consider the definitional boundaries of labour process analysis. Second, I will examine the relationship between organization studies and dualism. Finally, I will address the connections between ontology, epistemology and ethics and conclude with some suggestions about the primacy of the latter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-45
Number of pages21
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


  • Ethics
  • Labour process
  • Organizations
  • Poststructuralism


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