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The generation game: governing through bio-politics

Reed, Cara ORCID: and Thomas, Robyn ORCID: 2021. The generation game: governing through bio-politics. Management Learning 52 (1) , pp. 47-64. 10.1177/1350507620938926

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An increasingly popular management tool is to stratify a workforce along generational lines, to distinguish its qualities and differentiate orientations to work. From this, a range of organisational practices, ranging from leadership styles to reward systems are tailored to fit specific generational characteristics. We term this practice ‘management-by-generation’ and examine how it has the potential to govern as a bio-political technology. The article develops nascent work within organisation studies on governmentality and bio-politics to demonstrate the powerful potential of management-by-generation to govern in contemporary organisations. In line with other Foucauldian studies on ageing, it also contributes to the research on generations in demonstrating how a bio-political construction of generation allows management-by-generation to govern effectively, while more sociologically informed conceptualisations of generation could be a source of contestation to this emerging technology.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 1350-5076
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 10 June 2020
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 23:10

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