Organisation studies: not nearly queer enough

Rumens, Nick (2013) Organisation studies: not nearly queer enough. In: Queer presences and absences. Taylor, Yvette and Addison, Michelle, eds. Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 241-259. ISBN 9780230302549. [Book Section]


This chapter reviews queer theory at ‘work’ within organisation studies, its reception and its contemporary relevance for studying organisation and organisational life. To begin, I discuss the presence of queer theory within university business schools, revealing its uneasy position and its slow uptake among organisation studies scholars, even among those who inhabit its critical margins. Next, I argue that queer theory is vital to problematizing the heteronormativity of organisational life. This issue scythes straight to the heart of discussions about the many purposes of queer theory, particularly within a discipline that is dominated by a managerially biased approach to the study of organisation. Without a doubt, the most illuminating work so far has provided queer readings of some of the concepts at the core of organisation studies such as ‘management’, revealing how they reproduce heteronormative discourse and gender binaries. What is more, queering ‘management’ and ‘organisation’ encourages us to stray from the more trampled paths of queering such things as identity, and into relatively unexplored terrain of queering forms of organising and relating in the workplace. Here I draw upon my research on gay men’s workplace friendships to illustrate the potential of queer theory in that endeavour, before concluding with some remarks on why organisation studies ought to be queerer.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
Item ID: 12117
Depositing User: Nick Aston
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2013 06:48
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:28

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