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Beyond macro- and micro-emancipation: Rethinking emancipation in organization studies

Huault, I., Perret, V. & Spicer, A. (2014). Beyond macro- and micro-emancipation: Rethinking emancipation in organization studies. Organization, 21(1), pp. 22-49. doi: 10.1177/1350508412461292


Organizational life is replete with claims for emancipation. Existing approaches understand these claims either through theories of macro-emancipation (which focus on larger social structural challenges) or micro-emancipation (which focus on everyday challenges). However, these theories fundamentally misrecognize many emancipatory challenges in organizations. Drawing on the work of Jacques Rancière, we argue that this philosophy is fertile for shifting or unframing traditional approaches of emancipation in organization studies. Emancipation is triggered by the assertion of equality in the face of institutionalized patterns of inequality, it works through a process of articulating dissensus, and it creates a redistribution of what is considered to be sensible. By focusing on these three aspects, we argue that a whole range of emancipatory struggles which had previously been disregarded by studies of macro-emancipation and micro-emancipation come back into view. This significantly extends how we conceptualize emancipation in organizations and allows us to address some of the shortcomings of existing theories.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2014
Publisher Keywords: Jacques Rancière, Emancipation, Critical Management Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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