Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Kenny, K,Fotaki, M,Vandekerckhove, W
Organization Studies
Whistleblower Subjectivities: Organization and Passionate Attachment
Optional Fields
affective attachments Butler Foucault parrhesia psychosocial subjectivity whistleblower TRUTH REFLEXIVITY IMAGINARY ETHICS SELF
What is the nature of whistleblower subjectivity? In this article, we depart from current scholarly depictions of this figure as a fearless truth-teller who is fully independent of the organization. We argue for a new framing that sees the self-construction of the whistleblower as infused with passionate attachments to organizational and professional norms, even after one experiences severe reprisals. We base our claims on recently gathered empirical data and draw on Judith Butler to theorize how, contrary to existing understandings, passionate attachments to one's organization and profession shape whistleblower subjectivity, rather than conscious risk-taking, or autonomous self-reinvention. Our second contribution is to highlight the importance of practical and material supports for this vital figure in society; until now the whistleblower has been idealized as an extraordinary hero rather than a real human in need of assistance. Overall, we propose a new theorization of the whistleblower involving passionate investments in the organization or profession that has cast one out.
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