Organizational Theory And Understanding Of Modern Management Practices

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"The building circular […] The prisoners in their cells, occupying the circumference—The officers in the center. By blinds and other contrivances, the Inspectors concealed […] from the observation of the prisoners: hence the sentiment of a sort of omnipresence […] One station in the inspection part affording the most perfect view of every cell." (Bentham, 1798:195). This is how Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher, described the Panopticon, an institutional building designed to make the people surveilled unable to know when they were observed. Years later, as forms of power changed and transformed throughout time, the Panopticon becomes the perfect analogy for Michel Foucault to explain the advent of a new form of dominance: Disciplinary power. This form of power, strictly related to Foucault’s theory of bio-power, will later become key in the development of organizational theory and understanding of modern management practices. Throughout the decades Foucault’s studies have been applied to society, from late 19th century Taylorism and scientific management approach to modern days. Now, in the 21st century, his work is ever so actual with the implementation of modern surveillance and modern forms of Panopticon.

Jeremy Bentham‘s idea of an edifice to surveil inmates without the them knowing became known as the Panopticon. The concept was a circular shaped building, with an internal tower from where managers or jailors could monitor the workers or prisoners without them
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