Fleming, P., Godfrey, R., Lilley, S.
Conceptualizing business logistics as an ‘apparatus of security’ and its implications for management and organizational inquiry
(2022) Human Relations
Global commodity capitalism necessitates the fast and efficient movement of all manner of entities across the globe. Importantly, this commercial flow needs to be secured against the undocumented and unregulated flow of illegitimate people, finance and information, counterfeits, drugs, terror and other undesirables. The organizational practices of business logistics are central for achieving this objective. Yet they have received little attention in management and organization studies to date. We suggest a fruitful avenue is via Foucault’s notion of ‘biopower’ – particularly his less discussed concept (in management studies, at least) of an apparatus of security. This is useful for understanding the emergent organizational/management practices of security in the border spaces in which business logistics operate. If ‘Society Must Be Defended’, as Foucault ironically notes in his famous lecture series that introduces biopower, then so too must contemporary organizations and their net-like activities within the global economy. © The Author(s) 2022.
apparatus of security; biopower; business logistics; Foucault; supply chains