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

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:30-12:20
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:
Maja APELT, Univeristy of Potsdam, Germany and Paul DU GAY, CBS Copenhagen, Denmark
Oral Presentations
Being a Cop: Perceptions of Police Officers in Sao Paulo
Viviane CUBAS, Center for the Study of Violence NEV/USP, Brazil; Renato ALVES, Center for the Study of Violence NEV/USP, Brazil; André OLIVEIRA, Center for the Study of Violence NEV/USP, Brazil
Constituting Shared Workspaces and the Moral Order: Analysis of Workers’ Practice in a Japanese Animation Studio
Shintaro MATSUNAGA, The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training, Japan
Just in Time
Holger HØJLUND, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark