Organizations and citizenship

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

26 Citations (Scopus)


This speculative article will attempt to employ contemporary debates around the politics of citizenship to theorize the problems and opportunities of new style management. Mission statements, post-bureaucratic organizations and excellent cultures have all been sponsored by business gurus as solutions to the problems of order and efficiency in complex organizations by capturing the hearts and minds of employees. I will suggest that some of these ideas contain formulations of the rights and obligations of 'organizational citizens' which give a particular primacy to organizational affiliation. These notions may have particular resonance in states and societies in which it is suggested that the legitimacy of other communal attachments is weakening. I do not suggest that employees are uncritical about such attempts at normative manipulation, rather that the idea of working for an organization that is collectively believed in is a very seductive one. Indeed, this article suggests that some of the new management rhetoric and practice may have emancipatory possibilities. I would not deny that, in many organizations, its use is oriented to enhancing control strategies. Yet, if management are taking these ideas seriously, then this might require a radically different way of organizing that has the potential to restructure power relationships within the organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-92
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997


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