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Powers of Romance: The Liminal Challenges of Managing Organizational Intimacy

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stewart Clegg


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Problematic organizational relationships have recently been at the core of highly visible media coverage. Most analyses of sexual relations in organizations have been, however, simplistic and unidimensional, and have placed insufficient systematic emphasis on the role of governmentality in the social construction of organizational romance. In this article, we proceed in two theoretical steps. First, we elaborate a typology of organizational romance that covers different manifestations of this nuanced process. We think of these as organizational strategies of governmentality. Second, we elaborate and identify liminal cases that fall into the interstices of the four predominant ways of managing sexual relationships in organizations. We think of these as vases of liquid love and life that evade the border controls of regulation by governmentality. Finally, we relate these issues to debates about the nature of the civilizational process and suggest hypotheses for future research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clegg SR, Cunha MPe, Rego A, Story J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Management Inquiry

Year: 2015

Volume: 24

Issue: 2

Pages: 131-148

Print publication date: 01/04/2015

Online publication date: 28/09/2014

ISSN (print): 1056-4926

ISSN (electronic): 1552-6542

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1177/1056492614552567


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