Pomo Periscope V: Motivation Theory Under Attack

1 November 2006 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

| Nicolai Foss |

As we know pomo is placing its tentacles virtually everywhere.  Having long ago attacked and partially conquered organization studies, pomo is now increasingly visible in the organizational behavior field. Here is an extract from the blurb for a recent book, The Passion of Organizing:

Motivation theory needs to change. This book rises to that challenge. “The Passion of Organizing” enriches motivation theory by showing how to rethink it in three moves. First, it considers the ‘dark side’ of motivation, including the roles of addiction, obsession, sex and death. Second, it revisits the suppressed roots of motivation in offering an alternative understanding of desire. Third, it embraces the full complexity of work experience beyond financial reward and instrumentality, from generosity, joy and laughter through anxiety, oppression and tedium to pain, violence and horror, to encompass the many possible meanings of passion at work.

Although some characteristic pomo phrases are clearly discernible (e.g., “rethink in three moves”), this summary does make some sense.  But what do you think of these chapter titles: “Fear of the female body in organizational contexts”, “Deleuze, desire, and motivation theory”, “The mother’s breast and football managers”, and “In praise of blowjobs”?   It reminds one of much installation “art”: The purpose is not to make an artistic (scholarly) statement, but to broadcast pubertarian statements.

There is more of the same. As the blurb says, “Seventeen authors from three continents bring powerful arguments to bear on topics as diverse as pizzas, football management and blowjobs. Their ideas are an exciting and a thought-provoking resource for anyone interested in understanding motivation in organizational contexts.”  Anyone indeed!

Who published this book? Hmmm, well, a publisher called Copenhagen Business School Press.

HT to Lasse.

Entry filed under: - Foss -, Methods/Methodology/Theory of Science, Pomo Periscope.

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Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Peter G. Klein and Micheal E. Sykuta, eds., The Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics (Edward Elgar, 2010).
Peter G. Klein, The Capitalist and the Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets (Mises Institute, 2010).
Richard N. Langlois, The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge, 2007).
Nicolai J. Foss, Strategy, Economic Organization, and the Knowledge Economy: The Coordination of Firms and Resources (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Raghu Garud, Arun Kumaraswamy, and Richard N. Langlois, eds., Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks and Organizations (Blackwell, 2003).
Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, eds., Entrepreneurship and the Firm: Austrian Perspectives on Economic Organization (Elgar, 2002).
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