Michel Foucault has moved from being marginal to organization studies to perhaps the most important authority in critical management studies. Yet his methods, historiography and the theoretical value of his work remain obscure, contested or, even worse, simply taken for granted. Governmentality, Foucault’s term for how institutions are imagined, offers a way of understanding how specific forms of knowledge and power emerge, develop and decline. Governmentality brings Foucault very close to Max Weber’s concern with rationalization and the ways that individuals come to govern themselves. Governmentality looks at administrative powers and knowledges that shape our everyday lives. For Foucault, as for Weber, administrative power is not of secondary importance but essential to the ‘successes ’ and ‘failures ’ of disciplinary institutions and societies

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