Paul du Gay

Paul du Gay
Copenhagen Business School · Department of Organization

About

109
Publications
20,205
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6,539
Citations
Citations since 2017
22 Research Items
2134 Citations
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (109)
Chapter
Full-text available
Bureaucracy is commonly associated with a lack of the responsiveness, flexibility and innovative capability deemed necessary for an organization to change rapidly when circumstances dictate. However, with the COVID-19 crisis, evidence is emerging that large professional bureaucracies, such as hospitals, have been able to change their organization,...
Article
Full-text available
Involvement is an important element of good research and a route to impact. In line with early organizational analysis, we advocate involvement with research stakeholders and investing in the necessary communication and rhetorical skills.
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This paper seeks to indicate how and why public bureaucracy has been and remains a cornerstone of the modern state and of representative democratic governmental regimes. It does so by highlighting both the constitutive role bureaucratic practices and ethics play in securing civil peace and security, and individual and collective rights and freedoms...
Article
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This article addresses itself to accounting for how and why the situation has arisen whereby much, though by no means all, of what self-identifies as organizational analysis – whether in sociology or organization studies – isn’t actually organizational, and to exploring what follows from this. The article argues that the specificity of ‘organizatio...
Article
Full-text available
This monograph showcases some recent developments in the sociology of organizations, mapping out the most productive relationships between current social scientific work on organizations and core theoretical and empirical concerns in the discipline of sociology.
Chapter
This chapter argues that discretion should be seen not only as an inevitable but also a potentially highly beneficial feature of bureaucratic organization. Taking a Weberian view of bureaucracy, we make two case-based arguments. First, we suggest that discretion is an invaluable characteristic of administrative office-holding to such an extent that...
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In spite of their distinctive normative and political differences, critical organizational scholars use a vocabulary which in several respects resembles that adopted by right-wing populists. This vocabulary, we argue, consists of components that can be deployed in the pursuit of radically conflicting goals. At its heart lies a profoundly antithetic...
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In recent years, questions of ‘character’ have become increasingly prominent in a range of policy contexts, from education to social welfare and from business to healthcare. What unites these various contemporary paens is an assumption that building ‘character’ is a crucial component of ethics and that it holds the key to establishing and maintaini...
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The “Neo-Weberian State” (NWS) has been a much-discussed concept in public administration studies since Pollitt and Bouckaert introduced it in their Public Management Reform book. This chapter takes a closer look at the concept and compares NWS with its much longer pedigree of Neo-Weberian State Theory in sociology. The chapter examines ‘administra...
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Over recent decades, ‘formal’ organisations have come in for severe criticism. Not only is formal organisation represented as ill suited to the realities of the contemporary organisational world, but as a key source from which organisational dysfunctions themselves emerge. For that reason informal and spontaneous modes of organising have emerged, o...
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To the extent that ‘classical organization theory’ is seen to possess any enduring interest it is mainly as a historic artefact. The idea that the principles, axioms, adages and devices elaborated by its proponents any longer possess traction in the present is rarely countenanced. In contrast to this customary view, the present article seeks to ind...
Article
This introductory chapter outlines the rationale for the book, indicating its relationship to its companion volume, The Oxford Handbook of Sociology and Organization Studies: Classical Foundations, and charting its own particular intellectual raison d’être, organization, structure, and content. Whereas the earlier volume aimed to renew awareness of...
Conference Paper
Many of the concepts and concerns animating practitioners of what I term ‘the classic stance’ in Organizational Theory are now seen as having little explanatory ‘traction’ in the present. This paper explores the work of one significant, but now largely forgotten, exponent of 'the classic stance', the businessman, minister of state, and organization...
Book
After many years in which it appeared to be losing the pre-eminent position it once occupied in the lexicon of the social and human sciences, the term 'capitalism' has once again become a matter of critical concern both theoretically and substantively in a range of disciplinary fields. The global financial and environmental crises, and the shifting...
Article
This chapter places The New Spirit of Capitalism in the context of the development of capitalism over the last twenty years, up to and including the 200-7-8 financial crisis and the ongoing economic crisis which has developed out of this and is now focused on the relationship between state expenditures, political legitimacy and financial markets. B...
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This chapter focuses on certain aspects of the conceptual architecture of the New Spirit of Capitalism, namely the use made by Boltanski and Chiapello of the work of Max Weber and Albert Hirschman. Concentrating first upon the distinctive 'Weberian' sociological synthesis they elaborate, the chapter suggests that Boltanski and Chiapello inadvertent...
Article
The chapter explores some of the reforms of the public administration as a bureaucratic institution of government that have accompanied the rise of the New Public Management and Network Governance, and examines their consequences for the relationship between 'person' and 'office' in the practice of governmental administration. Although, Boltanski a...
Article
A spectre has haunted many forms of ‘social’ explanation over the course of the last century – the spectre of anti-statism. For not a few sociologists and social theorists, the state has long been regarded as the medium of enslavement, the very antithesis of what they take to be ‘civil society’. Here the state is viewed as a cold monster whose cond...
Article
The financialised character of contemporary rationalities of public governance has been the subject of increased attention within a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields. With this paper we propose a particular analytical framework, focused on the notion of ‘governance devices’, for understanding the processes that underpin financialis...
Conference Paper
The concept of ’task’ used to be of central importance to the theoretical understanding and practical management of organizations. There is no ‘one best way of organizing’ it was argued, instead any form of organization should be considered in relation to its primary ‘purpose’ or ’task’. However, ‘task’ has become a rare concept in organization the...
Article
The notion of ‘change’ has become pervasive in contemporary organizational discourse. On the one hand, change is represented as an organizational imperative that increasingly appears to trump all other concerns. On the other hand, change is addressed as an abstract, generic entity that can be theorized, categorized, evaluated and acted upon without...
Article
The financialised character of contemporary rationalities of public governance has been the subject of increased attention within a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields. This paper proposes a particular analytical framework, focused on the notion of ‘governance devices’, for understanding the processes that underpin financialised gove...
Chapter
In this chapter, we focus on the stabilizing functions of public bureaux and examine some of the consequences attendant upon attempts to make them less hierarchical and more ‘flexible’. In so doing, we seek to evidence the ways in which what are represented as anachronistic practices in the machinery of government may actually provide political lif...
Article
A changing State or regime change ? On a few points of confusion in theory and sociology of the State. The focus here is how to define the State in such a way as to account for contemporary changes in it. Firmly anchored in the Weberian tradition, the authors develop a critique of both neo-Marxist and neo-Weberian studies that measure change in the...
Article
The focus here is how to define the State in such a way as to account for contemporary changes in it. Firmly anchored in the Weberian tradition, the authors develop a critique of both neo-Marxist and neo-Weberian studies that measure change in the contemporary state by comparing it to the State as it was defined during the thirty-year post-World Wa...
Article
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Article
The article explores the office of counsel, indicating, in particular the historical centrality of such an office to the conduct of governing, as well as highlighting the relational uncertainties of that office, forever disputed in its workings. It then proceeds to describe the persona of the British career senior civil servant or ‘Mandarin’, as a...
Chapter
Whilst undoubtedly one of the most controversial but also most established issues in research and debate within the contemporary social and human sciences, as well as in cultural studies, work on 'identity' has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. The aim of this book is to provide a detailed analysis of those changes, by confronting the imp...
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This article is organized along the following lines. The first section seeks to show how a particular image of Weber as a grand theorist of the instrumental rationalization of modern life, an image that has haunted organizations studies as much as it has sociology, has been challenged by a range of work emanating from the humanities and social scie...
Book
Whilst undoubtedly one of the most controversial but also most established issues in research and debate within the contemporary social and human sciences, as well as in cultural studies, work on ‘identity’ has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. The aim of this book is to provide a detailed analysis of those changes, by confronting the imp...
Article
This article focuses upon a crucial aspect of Max Weber's work, one that has been largely neglected by scholars of organization, in cultural economy as much as in economic sociology more generally. That is Lebensführung, the conduct of life. The article argues that Weber's approach to questions of Lebensführung locates him as a late but prodigious...
Book
Full-text available
About the book: The sociology of conduct is a well-established research field comprising Foucauldian studies on government, power and the individual; sociological approaches to social ordering exemplified in the work of theorists including Max Weber, Norbert Elias and Pierre Bordieu; and the symbolic interactionist work of theorists like G. H. Mead...
Article
The paper focuses on the changing ethical template that programmes of 'responsive' or 'entrepreneurial' managerial reform require of civil servants. Contemporary demands for responsive public management contain two emotional injunctions to public bureaucrats. The first, derived from populist doctrines of political right, requires bureaucrats to be...
Chapter
Heading off to do the researchThe role of interviewsCrawling from the wreckageEmergent marketsConclusion: reflecting on the remaking of marketsAcknowledgements
Article
About the book: The sociology of conduct is a well-established research field comprising Foucauldian studies on government, power and the individual; sociological approaches to social ordering exemplified in the work of theorists including Max Weber, Norbert Elias and Pierre Bordieu; and the symbolic interactionist work of theorists like G. H. Mead...
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Full-text available
Present-day capitalism is increasingly financial in character. At nearly every turn, finance and practices of financialization have begun to work their way into most areas of everyday life. The papers gathered together in this special section under the umbrella term 'cultural economy of finance' seek to explore the preparation of key areas of moder...
Article
Much organizational restructuring, at least in the UK and USA, seeks to replace organizational regulation by that of the market. These developments centre around an emphasis on relations with customers - the ‘sovereign consumer’- as a paradigm for effective forms of organizational relations; they are apparent in, and underpin, a wide variety of org...
Article
For much of the last thirty years the main leitmotif animating Civil Service reform in the UK has been that efficiency and effectiveness in public services can be achieved by adapting management methods and practices derived from commercial enterprise. In the process of making the dreams and schemes of that plural singularity we have come to call `...
Article
L'article explore la facon dont les technologies du « libre-service » se sont developpees dans la distribution anglaise de l'apres deuxieme guerre mondiale. En depit du role crucial qu'on attribue souvent au libre-service dans la revolution des pratiques de « shopping », un examen plus attentif des donnees empiriques permet d'eclairer autrement la...
Article
About the book: Argues for the importance of bureaucracy in organizations. Critiques the characterization of bureaucracy often employed in Management, Organization, Political, and Social Theory. Includes contributions from leading scholars in a range of disciplines.
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This paper seeks to explore the development of "self-service" shopping technologies in British retailing from the period directly after the second world war (roughly, from the late 1940s to the mid 1960s). Despite the crucial role in revolutionising the conduct of shopping and practices of consumption routinely allotted to self-service by industry...
Article
This article explores different conceptions of ‘enterprise’ and seeks to indicate the extent to which they are non-reducible. Its main focus is on one particular conception of enterprise that has underpinned a powerful critique of public sector organizations and which has been translated into a variety of specific organizational strategies for rest...
Article
The paper focuses upon a particular discourse of organizational ‘change’ as it has appeared in a specific context—the contemporary field of public administration—and seeks to explore its role as a rhetorical device in reshaping the identity of public service. It does so first by seeking to indicate the epochalist bent of much theorizing about conte...
Article
This article will consider some notions of governance and explore some of the issues of political ordering, particularly those relating to sovereignty and authority, that they tend to challenge, sideline, or seek to transcend. It does so primarily through an examination of the ways in which these notions have been employed to explain and/or endorse...
Article
Phrases such as `corporate culture', `market culture' and the `knowledge economy', have now become familiar clarion calls in the world of work. They are calls that have echoed through organizations and markets. Clearly something is happening to the ways markets and organizations are being represented and intervened in and this signals a need to rea...
Article
About the book: This book presents for the first time an interdisciplinary view of property development and property developers. Fourteen contributor are brought together here from leading researchers and respected practitioners, including property analysts, economists, geographers, planners and sociologists. This rounded picture of property resear...
Article
In his highly regarded and influential Modernity and the Holocaust Zygmunt Bauman launched one of the most passionate and sustained critiques of 'bureaucratic rationality' seen within social theory for some time. In so doing he drew heavily upon the work of Max Weber for support. In this brief paper I am interested in exploring the extent to which...
Article
This paper attempts to account for the peculiarly ‘otherworldly’ character of much contemporary management critique. It does so rather circuitously by focusing upon elements of the work of a moral philosopher, Alasdair MacIntyre. MacIntyre's comments about the ‘character’ of the ‘manager’ have commanded considerable support within critical organiza...
Article
Introduction PART ONE The Subjects of Production The Production of Subjects Governing Organizational Life The Cult[ure] of the Customer PART TWO Retailing and the De-Differentiation of Economy and Culture Re-Imagining Organizational Identities Consuming Organization Setting Limits to Enterprise Appendix: Research Details
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Full-text available
The character and conduct of the manager has formed a central focus of attempts to govern economic life throughout the present century. and current programmes of organizational change involve radical attempts to reconstitute the nature and conduct of management. This is attempted through the identification and implementation of management competenc...
Article
The idea that public sector bureaucracies need reforming has achieved a somewhat axiomatic status. To what extent and in which direction remains a matter of some debate. In recent years, however, one particular approach has established a certain pre-eminence and it is this approach which underpins many of the public sector reforms currently taking...
Article
A key feature of recent debates within the sociology of organizations has been the tremendous wealth of criticism levelled at the concept and practice of 'bureaucracy'. Indeed, the critique or 'bureaucratic culture' has emerged as something of a 'nodal point' connecting a number of different strands of organizational analysis - from the overtly pop...
Article
This paper problematizes a particular story of organizational transformation currently circulating within organization studies. In this story a chain of equivalences emerges in which the vicissitudes of contemporary 'environmental change' make certain forms of organizational conduct redundant while at the same time bringing novel forms into being....
Article
This text focuses on recent debates about the contribution which complex organizations have made to the transition from "traditional" to "modern" society, locating these debates in the historical context provided by recurring themes concerning the relationship between the individual and society. Building on this thematic and historical basis, the a...

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