Clean your desk! Dressage and activity-based working in a French banking organization

Research output: Contribution to JournalMeeting AbstractAcademic


As part of popular new kinds of activity-based working, many companies seek to implement so-called clean-desk policies, in which users have to empty their desk after completing a task, so that other workers can feel free to use this desk. Following Henri Lefebvre's discussion of 'Dressage' in the context of Rhytm-analysis (Lefebvre 2004 [1992]), we argue that clean desk policies are part of a wider organizational strategy in flexibilizing working practices, focusing on the performative management of bodily and material aspects of work demonstrating control over these aspects. In drawing on a case study of a French Bank, which introduced a flexible working environment in 2016-2018, and following Lefebvre's ideas, we argue that and how dressage can be understood as a separate but key component in the domination and embodiment of flexiblized work practices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2020.20889
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

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Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings


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