Office As a Vocation I: Re-Instating an Ethics of Office in Public Service and Organizational Life

Monday, 16 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC17 Sociology of Organization (host committee)

Language: English

In the aftermath of the financial and sovereign economic crises, the acceptability of our organizational and managerial models has come to be questioned with a new sense of urgency. Although neoliberalism ‘survived the financial meltdown’ (Mirowski, 2013), the quest is now on for finding alternative principles, axioms and adages that will allow for the construction of good organizations.

One approach to ‘constructing good organizations’ is to reengage with some of the practices, ideals, and principles of conduct that neoliberalism, and its associated theories and programs has sought to discredit and delegitimize.

In this session, we wish to explore the potential of an ‘ethics of office’ for re-vitalising organizational life in both public and private sectors. We suggest the time is ripe for examining and analyzing what kinds of organizational and ethical potential is held in store by the vocational vocabularies of ‘office holding’ (Minson, 1993, 1998; Condren, 2006; Uhr, 1994; Rohr, 1998; du Gay, 2000, 2007; Geuss, 2001; Hunter, 2001; Strathern, 2008).

Whereas the vocabularies of professions and professionalism have been relatively well-known within sociology, the vocabularies of office and office-holding have – in spite of being central to classical sociological and organization theorists (e.g. Weber, 1978; Barnard, 1968) – today largely been disappeared (Condren, 2006). In the light of persistent contemporary organizational pathologies, however, we wish to move discussions about office-holding and their conducts, responsibilities and obligations to the forefront of organizational theorizing

Session Organizers:
Anne ROELSGAARD OBLING, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, Paul DU GAY, CBS Copenhagen, Denmark and Thomas Lopdrup-Hjorth LOPDRUP, Copnehagen Business School, Denmark
Kathia SERRANO-VELARDE, Heidelberg University, Germany
Oral Presentations
The Good of the UK National Health Service, As Such
Catherine CASLER, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Simon BAILEY, University of Manchester, United Kingdom; Dean PIERIDES, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Performance Management and the Ethics of Office in Public Service
Katja HARTOSCH, Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Germany; Markus GOTTWALD, IAB, Germany
Character and Organization
Paul DU GAY, CBS Copenhagen, Denmark; Thomas Lopdrup-Hjorth LOPDRUP, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Kirstine PEDERSEN, Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Anne ROELSGAARD OBLING, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
When Vocation Meets Quantification: The Empowerment of Experts in the German Prison Sector
Nathalie ILOGA BALEP, Helmut-Schmidt-University / University of the Federal Armed Forces Germany, Hamburg, Germany
Distributed Papers
Model of Social and Institutional Innovation. a Reflection from the Theory of Moral Agency and the New Institutionalism in Sociology
Victoria SANAGUSTIN-FONS, University of Zaragoza, Spain; Francisco SAGAHON, University of Guanajuato, Mexico