Can we organize courage? Implications of Foucault's parrhesia
Vandekerckhove, W. & Langenberg, S. (2012). Can we organize courage? Implications of Foucault's parrhesia. Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, 17 (2), 35-41. Retrieved from http://ejbo.jyu.fi/pdf/ejbo_vol17_no2.pdf
© Business and Organization Ethics Network (BON)
Ethics in organizations, raising concerns, and whistleblowing have been previously theorized through Foucault's work on the power/knowledge bond. However, approaching these issues through the work from Foucault's third period on parrhesia, or fearless speech remains an underdeveloped route. This paper contributes to this emerging research stream. Based on Foucault's work on parrhesia, and the importance of courage for fearless speech to occur, we theorize the possibility of critique within organizations as a moment of disorganizing, which requires a chain of parrhesia where not only the speaker but also the hearer requires courage. The paper examines the possibility and risks of organizing courage through three illustrations of ethical guidelines, whistleblowing, and open dialogue.
PublisherBusiness and Organization Ethics Network (BON)