Character and Organization

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In recent years, questions of 'character' have become increasingly prominent in a range of policy contexts, from education to social welfare, and from business to healthcare. They have also appeared in the field of organization studies, broadly defined, from Richard Sennett's critique of the 'corrosion of character' manifested in contemporary management and organizational cultures, through the invocation of the development of 'character' as an antidote to the wave of corporate scandals unfolding since the beginning of the millennium, up to and including the representation of 'character' as the 'critical success factor' in leadership development and a core dimension of an organization's 'talent acquisition strategy' . What unites the various contemporary paens is an assumption that building 'character' is a crucial component of ethics and that it holds the key to establishing and maintaining virtuous conduct; moreover, that the cultivation of 'character' is at best under-valued and at worst actively undermined and denigrated in any number of contemporary organizational practices. In this paper, we seek to interrogate key aspects of this 'turn' to character as it has been articulated in recent and on-going debates about the reform of organizational life. We argue that this 'turn' suffers precisely from an abstraction and lack of specificity - not simply in relation to questions of 'character formation', but also crucially in relation to questions of organization, and indeed of the relation of the one to the other - that severely curtails both its ethical reach and explanatory power.
In recent years, questions of 'character' have become increasingly prominent in a range of policy contexts, from education to social welfare, and from business to healthcare. They have also appeared in the field of organization studies, broadly defined, from Richard Sennett's critique of the 'corrosion of character' manifested in contemporary management and organizational cultures, through the invocation of the development of 'character' as an antidote to the wave of corporate scandals unfolding since the beginning of the millennium, up to and including the representation of 'character' as the 'critical success factor' in leadership development and a core dimension of an organization's 'talent acquisition strategy' . What unites the various contemporary paens is an assumption that building 'character' is a crucial component of ethics and that it holds the key to establishing and maintaining virtuous conduct; moreover, that the cultivation of 'character' is at best under-valued and at worst actively undermined and denigrated in any number of contemporary organizational practices. In this paper, we seek to interrogate key aspects of this 'turn' to character as it has been articulated in recent and on-going debates about the reform of organizational life. We argue that this 'turn' suffers precisely from an abstraction and lack of specificity - not simply in relation to questions of 'character formation', but also crucially in relation to questions of organization, and indeed of the relation of the one to the other - that severely curtails both its ethical reach and explanatory power.

Conference

ConferenceXIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 2018
Number19
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period15/07/201821/07/2018
Internet address

Cite this

du Gay, P., Lopdrup-Hjorth, T., Pedersen, K., & Roelsgaard Obling, A. (2018). Character and Organization. Abstract from XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 2018, Toronto , Canada.
du Gay, Paul ; Lopdrup-Hjorth, Thomas ; Pedersen, Kirstine ; Roelsgaard Obling, Anne. / Character and Organization. Abstract from XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 2018, Toronto , Canada.1 p.
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abstract = "In recent years, questions of 'character' have become increasingly prominent in a range of policy contexts, from education to social welfare, and from business to healthcare. They have also appeared in the field of organization studies, broadly defined, from Richard Sennett's critique of the 'corrosion of character' manifested in contemporary management and organizational cultures, through the invocation of the development of 'character' as an antidote to the wave of corporate scandals unfolding since the beginning of the millennium, up to and including the representation of 'character' as the 'critical success factor' in leadership development and a core dimension of an organization's 'talent acquisition strategy' . What unites the various contemporary paens is an assumption that building 'character' is a crucial component of ethics and that it holds the key to establishing and maintaining virtuous conduct; moreover, that the cultivation of 'character' is at best under-valued and at worst actively undermined and denigrated in any number of contemporary organizational practices. In this paper, we seek to interrogate key aspects of this 'turn' to character as it has been articulated in recent and on-going debates about the reform of organizational life. We argue that this 'turn' suffers precisely from an abstraction and lack of specificity - not simply in relation to questions of 'character formation', but also crucially in relation to questions of organization, and indeed of the relation of the one to the other - that severely curtails both its ethical reach and explanatory power.",
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year = "2018",
language = "English",
note = "null ; Conference date: 15-07-2018 Through 21-07-2018",
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Character and Organization. / du Gay, Paul; Lopdrup-Hjorth, Thomas; Pedersen, Kirstine; Roelsgaard Obling, Anne.

2018. Abstract from XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 2018, Toronto , Canada.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

TY - ABST

T1 - Character and Organization

AU - du Gay,Paul

AU - Lopdrup-Hjorth,Thomas

AU - Pedersen,Kirstine

AU - Roelsgaard Obling,Anne

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - In recent years, questions of 'character' have become increasingly prominent in a range of policy contexts, from education to social welfare, and from business to healthcare. They have also appeared in the field of organization studies, broadly defined, from Richard Sennett's critique of the 'corrosion of character' manifested in contemporary management and organizational cultures, through the invocation of the development of 'character' as an antidote to the wave of corporate scandals unfolding since the beginning of the millennium, up to and including the representation of 'character' as the 'critical success factor' in leadership development and a core dimension of an organization's 'talent acquisition strategy' . What unites the various contemporary paens is an assumption that building 'character' is a crucial component of ethics and that it holds the key to establishing and maintaining virtuous conduct; moreover, that the cultivation of 'character' is at best under-valued and at worst actively undermined and denigrated in any number of contemporary organizational practices. In this paper, we seek to interrogate key aspects of this 'turn' to character as it has been articulated in recent and on-going debates about the reform of organizational life. We argue that this 'turn' suffers precisely from an abstraction and lack of specificity - not simply in relation to questions of 'character formation', but also crucially in relation to questions of organization, and indeed of the relation of the one to the other - that severely curtails both its ethical reach and explanatory power.

AB - In recent years, questions of 'character' have become increasingly prominent in a range of policy contexts, from education to social welfare, and from business to healthcare. They have also appeared in the field of organization studies, broadly defined, from Richard Sennett's critique of the 'corrosion of character' manifested in contemporary management and organizational cultures, through the invocation of the development of 'character' as an antidote to the wave of corporate scandals unfolding since the beginning of the millennium, up to and including the representation of 'character' as the 'critical success factor' in leadership development and a core dimension of an organization's 'talent acquisition strategy' . What unites the various contemporary paens is an assumption that building 'character' is a crucial component of ethics and that it holds the key to establishing and maintaining virtuous conduct; moreover, that the cultivation of 'character' is at best under-valued and at worst actively undermined and denigrated in any number of contemporary organizational practices. In this paper, we seek to interrogate key aspects of this 'turn' to character as it has been articulated in recent and on-going debates about the reform of organizational life. We argue that this 'turn' suffers precisely from an abstraction and lack of specificity - not simply in relation to questions of 'character formation', but also crucially in relation to questions of organization, and indeed of the relation of the one to the other - that severely curtails both its ethical reach and explanatory power.

M3 - Conference abstract for conference

ER -

du Gay P, Lopdrup-Hjorth T, Pedersen K, Roelsgaard Obling A. Character and Organization. 2018. Abstract from XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 2018, Toronto , Canada.