Neoliberalism, Management and Religion: Re-examining the Spirits of Capitalism, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Neoliberalism, Management and Religion

Re-examining the Spirits of Capitalism, 1st Edition

By Edward Wray-Bliss

Routledge

124 pages

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Hardback: 9781138048379
pub: 2018-12-14
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Description

The use of non-secular, religious, concepts in contemporary managerial discourse to legitimise leadership, organisation and work has been undertheorised. Concepts such as organisational soul, Spiritual Leadership, a wider deification (and demonisation) of leaders, and the mantra of individual freedom each evoke long religio-historical roots. The deployment of such terms in the present to (re)enrol people into the service of capitalism speaks both to high levels of religious belief worldwide and, more specifically, to a history of religion intersecting with public life in the US—a context pivotal in the development and dissemination of managerialism and wider neoliberal discourse.

Organised around the concepts of Gods, Devils, Soul and the Individual this book will show how these concepts are being employed in current managerial, leadership and organisation discourses, critically examine the religio-historical and philosophical roots of such, and demonstrate how the religio-historical and religio-philosophical can be brought into the lexicon of critical organisational scholarship to provide a language to engage with the non-secular legitimation of capitalism and its institutions.

In so doing, this book is a timely addition to organisation and management theory. It comes at a time that is witnessing a wider ‘theological turn’ in continental philosophy, mounting calls within organisation studies to ‘take religion seriously’, and an ongoing legitimation crisis of neoliberalism, one that is raising pivotal questions concerning how neoliberalism endures despite the deprivations and harms it occasions. This book is intended to be engaging and erudite, drawing upon a trans-disciplinary combination of popular and academic management texts, contemporary and classical philosophy, literature and religio-historical sources foundational in the construction of the Western subject.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgements

Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: Gods

Chapter Three: Devils

Chapter Four: Soul

Chapter Five: The Individual

Chapter Six: Conclusion

References

Index

About the Author

Edward Wray-Bliss is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management, at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University, Australia. His research examines the ethics and politics of organisational, managerial and academic life.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Business Ethics

Business ethics is a site of contestation, both in theory and practice. For some it serves as a salve for the worst effects of capitalism, giving businesses the means self-regulate away from entrenched tendencies of malfeasance and exploitation. For others business ethics is a more personal matter, concerning the way that individuals can effectively wade through the moral quagmires that characterise so many dimensions of business life. Business ethics has also been conceived of as a fig leaf designed to allow business-as-usual to continue while covering over the less savoury practices so as to create an appearance of righteousness.

Across these and other approaches, what remains critical is to ensure that the ethics of business is the subject of incisive questioning, critical research, and diverse theoretical development. It is through such scholarly inquiry that the increasingly powerful purview of corporations and business activity can be interrogated, understood and, ultimately, reformulated. This series contributes to that goal by publishing the latest research and thinking across the broad terrain that characterised business ethics.

The series welcomes contributions in areas including: corporate social responsibility; critical approaches to business ethics; ethics and corporate governance; ethics and diversity; feminist ethics; globalization and business ethics; philosophical traditions of business ethics; postcolonialism and the ethics of business; production and supply chain ethics; resistance, political activism and ethics; sustainability, environmentalism and climate change; the ethics of corporate misconduct; the politics of business ethics; and worker’s rights.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS000000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General
BUS008000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUS041000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Management
BUS071000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Leadership
BUS085000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior