This online paper session aims to bring together, inform and engage work and organizational psychology (WOP) scholars who share an interest in the emerging topic of neoliberal ideology in contemporary workplace practices and academic research. As indicated by the session title, and following the seminal contribution by Bal and Dóci (2018), the assembled set of presentations addresses and integrates two distinct yet complementary perspectives, namely: a) research on neoliberal ideology addressing the pervasive interest-driven force influencing societal institutions and organizational structures, thereby shaping the belief systems and identities of individuals in contemporary workplaces; and b) research as neoliberal ideology, problematizing, exposing, and deconstructing the role of interest-guided economicstic logics in shaping theories, constructs, methods, and processes of WOP as an academic field. The session includes five contributions by researchers from altogether five universities from four countries (Austria, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom). All of them transcend the conventional normative or functionalist paradigms of mainstream research. Employing different theoretical and epistemological approaches, ranging from radical humanism and radical structuralism to postmodern deconstructionist and post-structuralist, the five presentations incorporate the first perspective of psychological research on ideologies. However, simultaneously, they also reflect on the second perspective, that is, focusing on the biasing influences of neoliberal ideology on the research process in WOP. Specifically, the first talk will draw on the tradition of radical humanism in seeking to expand theorizing on manifestations of neoliberal ideology in societies, organizations, and individuals (presentation#1 by Hornung et al.). The second presentation adopts more of a structuralist theoretical approach and will propose a new quantitative operationalization assessing internalized neoliberal beliefs of instrumentality, competition, and individualism of employees, based on quantitative methodology (presentation#2 by Höge et al.). The third presentation draws on qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with hospital workers to discuss the neoliberal institutional, legal, economic, and ideological underpinnings of the employment-health dilemma in the context of the COVID crisis and beyond (presentation#3 by Kößler). While the third presentation may broadly be called structuralist, the fourth contribution marks the transition to more post-structural and deconstructionist critical perspectives on neoliberal ideology. Specifically, this fourth presentation uses observations and qualitative data obtained in interviews with school teachers to interpretatively analyze dysfunctional societal developments associated with the governmentality of neoliberal ideology, combined with acceleration and ubiquitous technology use, presenting a critical intervention to induce teacher resistance and positive change (presentation#4 by Degen). Finally, the fifth and final presentation is aimed at debunking and deconstructing neoliberal ideology in the one-sided, interest-guided and performative conception of influential research constructs in WOP, such as work engagement and job crafting (presentation#5 by Tommasi et al.). Using fiction analysis as an alternative critical methodology, this contribution also reflects more of a post-modern and deconstructionist approach with a stronger emphasis on the impact of neoliberal ideology on the research process itself. The self-reflexive integration of the two broader perspectives of research on ideology and research as ideology constitutes a cross-cutting theme of the compiled presentations. Reflecting on this issue reveals an epistemological dilemma or even paradox, stemming from the pervasiveness and hegemonic tendencies of neoliberal ideology. Precisely, how can a research process, which is ideologically flawed, be reoriented to conduct a meaningful research program on the very influences assumed to be responsible for its biases and blind spots? By suggesting to capitalize on alternative research methodologies and processes, the compiled presentations provide valuable hints in this direction across different scientific paradigms. Moreover, the critique of ideology has a long tradition in the social science, offering additional pathways to theoretically approach this epistemological conundrum. The session will conclude with an open debate on these and related issues. Specifically, participants and presenters will engage in debates on the substantive and practical complications facing researchers that subvert the status quo in WOP by problematizing ideology to varying degrees, in different forums, diverging research paradigms and areas of scholarship, and at different stages of their academic careers.

Research on Neoliberal Ideology – Research as Neoliberal Ideology: Assembling a Reflexive Perspective

Francesco Tommasi
2022

Abstract

This online paper session aims to bring together, inform and engage work and organizational psychology (WOP) scholars who share an interest in the emerging topic of neoliberal ideology in contemporary workplace practices and academic research. As indicated by the session title, and following the seminal contribution by Bal and Dóci (2018), the assembled set of presentations addresses and integrates two distinct yet complementary perspectives, namely: a) research on neoliberal ideology addressing the pervasive interest-driven force influencing societal institutions and organizational structures, thereby shaping the belief systems and identities of individuals in contemporary workplaces; and b) research as neoliberal ideology, problematizing, exposing, and deconstructing the role of interest-guided economicstic logics in shaping theories, constructs, methods, and processes of WOP as an academic field. The session includes five contributions by researchers from altogether five universities from four countries (Austria, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom). All of them transcend the conventional normative or functionalist paradigms of mainstream research. Employing different theoretical and epistemological approaches, ranging from radical humanism and radical structuralism to postmodern deconstructionist and post-structuralist, the five presentations incorporate the first perspective of psychological research on ideologies. However, simultaneously, they also reflect on the second perspective, that is, focusing on the biasing influences of neoliberal ideology on the research process in WOP. Specifically, the first talk will draw on the tradition of radical humanism in seeking to expand theorizing on manifestations of neoliberal ideology in societies, organizations, and individuals (presentation#1 by Hornung et al.). The second presentation adopts more of a structuralist theoretical approach and will propose a new quantitative operationalization assessing internalized neoliberal beliefs of instrumentality, competition, and individualism of employees, based on quantitative methodology (presentation#2 by Höge et al.). The third presentation draws on qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with hospital workers to discuss the neoliberal institutional, legal, economic, and ideological underpinnings of the employment-health dilemma in the context of the COVID crisis and beyond (presentation#3 by Kößler). While the third presentation may broadly be called structuralist, the fourth contribution marks the transition to more post-structural and deconstructionist critical perspectives on neoliberal ideology. Specifically, this fourth presentation uses observations and qualitative data obtained in interviews with school teachers to interpretatively analyze dysfunctional societal developments associated with the governmentality of neoliberal ideology, combined with acceleration and ubiquitous technology use, presenting a critical intervention to induce teacher resistance and positive change (presentation#4 by Degen). Finally, the fifth and final presentation is aimed at debunking and deconstructing neoliberal ideology in the one-sided, interest-guided and performative conception of influential research constructs in WOP, such as work engagement and job crafting (presentation#5 by Tommasi et al.). Using fiction analysis as an alternative critical methodology, this contribution also reflects more of a post-modern and deconstructionist approach with a stronger emphasis on the impact of neoliberal ideology on the research process itself. The self-reflexive integration of the two broader perspectives of research on ideology and research as ideology constitutes a cross-cutting theme of the compiled presentations. Reflecting on this issue reveals an epistemological dilemma or even paradox, stemming from the pervasiveness and hegemonic tendencies of neoliberal ideology. Precisely, how can a research process, which is ideologically flawed, be reoriented to conduct a meaningful research program on the very influences assumed to be responsible for its biases and blind spots? By suggesting to capitalize on alternative research methodologies and processes, the compiled presentations provide valuable hints in this direction across different scientific paradigms. Moreover, the critique of ideology has a long tradition in the social science, offering additional pathways to theoretically approach this epistemological conundrum. The session will conclude with an open debate on these and related issues. Specifically, participants and presenters will engage in debates on the substantive and practical complications facing researchers that subvert the status quo in WOP by problematizing ideology to varying degrees, in different forums, diverging research paradigms and areas of scholarship, and at different stages of their academic careers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1074491
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