Mette Sandoff and
Gill Widell ()
Additional contact information Mette Sandoff: Department of Business Administration, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University, Postal: Box 640, SE 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden
Gill Widell: Department of Business Administration, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University, Postal: Box 640, SE 40530 Göteborg, Sweden
In focus here are processes of discipline in work groups in human service organisations. We will describe and analyse disciplining processes among teachers in schools and warders in prisons, two different service organisations,which both aim at influencing there ”clients”, and none of them especially prone at crossing boundaries. Here are, however, lots of ethical dilemmas. We argue that both teachers and warders are exposed to ”double disciplining”. Firstly, there are organisational disciplining forces, like governmental rules, professional norms, and trade/cultural traditions. The driving forces behind organisational disciplining are, on the one hand, rhetorical statements about idealized objectives and rules and, on the other hand, physical arrangements, both of which seek to maintain the legitimacy of organisational practices. Secondly, we are disciplined by ourselves. The driving forces of the self-disciplining processes in our material are a pragmatical wish for an untroubled working day and a wish to cope with the situations at work, where demands from colleagues and clients/customers play an important role.
In our analysis, we will apply the concepts of Foucault, when he describes the political anatomy of disciplinary practices. The contribution of this report is the analysis of disciplining processes within modern service organisations aimed at disciplining their clients/customers, and the highlighting of the dilemmas experienced in these processes. To develop consciousness about disciplining processes can promote reflection about dilemmas, which is of extreme importance in organisations where human encounters are the products of the business.