Dignity in Management and Organization

I now turn to how Arendt’s work has appeared in management and organization theory. Apart from scattered remarks and references to her works, I have found three voices which have Arendt’s relevance to the field as the main focus (Nielsen, Vino, and Henning). To these I add four voices that engage with her work (Feldman, Virno, Spoelstra, and Fleming & Spicer) and illuminate important aspects of its relevance to the field. With the exception of Feldman, all relate to her political concept of action andpolis as organization. They do not relate to each other, but I construct my presentation as a loose, but ongoing conversation into which I insert my view.

Obedience in Authoritarian Organizations

Richard Nielsen (1984, 2014) introduced Arendt as relevant to management as an analyst of authoritarian elements in the totalitarian bureaucracy. He presents Eichmann as an “archetype” of organizational becoming, relevant for the study of organizational sociopathy, and argues that her action theory is useful for conceptualizing management as citizenship.

 
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