”Hvad kan det gavne et menneske om han vandt den ganske verden og tog skade på sin sjæl”

Signe Larsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This study takes places at the crossroads of different domains such as philosophy, empowerment in the workplaces, biology and stress. Based on the concept of the post disciplinary workregime, this study seeks out to find an understanding of how power and control is exercised in modern workplaces, and furthermore, how these power relations compose new complexities in how the worker interacts with the workplace and stress. Through a preliminary analysis of power relations, this study seeks out different ways for the worker to be governed by the workplace. Based on these discoveries the study will shed light on the overall stress-epidemic that seems to be unraveling in modern society. By drawing upon the works of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, it will prove possible to see the focus on workers’ authenticity and “work life balance” in workplaces, as another way of controlling the workers. Furthermore, it becomes possible to take a critical view at how the worker is both given the freedom to govern and unfold themselves at work, as another means of control. Such a perspective is achieved by analyzing how capitalism penetrates how the human being understands themselves through HRM-practices, and generates a marketable identity that seems to be ‘natural’. By drawing on the work of English psychologist Paul Gilbert and his evolution theory, the study unfolds theories of why this ‘natural’ way of perceiving yourself in the post disciplinary regime affects what actually works natural in the human being, and can generate stress. Lastly this part of the study incorporates the Danish philosopher Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, to understand why it is difficult for the human being to resist the control of the post disciplinary regime. As a ‘line of flight’, the study makes a final analysis of stresscoaching to gain better knowledge on how stress is perceived and constructed within stresscoaching, and evidently to impose an answerer to why it is so difficult to solve and ‘cure’ stress.

EducationsMSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages72