Can We Organize Courage? Implications from Foucault's Parrhesia
Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organizational Studies, Forthcoming
28 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 6, 2012
Ethics in organizations, raising concerns, and whistleblowing have been previously theorized through Foucault’s work on the power/knowledge bond. However, approaching these issues through the work from Foucault’s third period on parrhesia, or fearless speech remains an underdeveloped route.
This paper contributes to this emerging research stream. Based on Foucault’s work on parrhesia, and the importance of courage for fearless speech to occur, we theorize the possibility of critique within organizations as a moment of disorganizing, which requires a chain of parrhesia where not only the speaker but also the hearer requires courage.
The paper examines the possibility and risks of organizing courage through three illustrations of ethical guidelines, whistleblowing, and open dialogue.
Keywords: parrhesia, whistleblowing, business ethics, courage
JEL Classification: J50, J59, M12, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation