Dr Leah Tomkins is Senior Lecturer in Organization and Leadership Studies at the Open University, UK. Dr Katrina Pritchard is Professor in the School of Management at the University of Swansea, UK. Leah and Katrina first met in the 1980s, when they began their careers in the world of management consulting. They worked on developing strategies of organizational health for their clients, using an implicit model of the healthy employee focused on optimal performance, consistency with organizational values and non-resistance to change. Since leaving the corporate world for academia, they have developed a more sceptical view of health at work, and endeavour to distinguish between the rhetoric of institutional health messages and the lived experience of the human beings that such rhetoric often ignores.
'Quite simply, I love this book. Thank you, Tomkins and Pritchard, for this probing insight into how organizational and well-being discourses intersect, often to the detriment of the human beings they purport to serve. Highlighting the shadow side of exhortations to become a new you or fashion a life of boundless energy, the book questions whose purposes are really served by such aspirational health talk. By critically examining the metaphors which so easily colonize our way of thinking about the human body and what it should be capable of, the book will cause me to pause whenever I find myself thinking I'm not hacking it because I feel justifiably weary!' - Dr Donna Ladkin, Professor of Leadership and Ethics, Antioch University, USA. 'In this book Tomkins and Pritchard use the lens of metaphor to consider how constructions of both organisation and health relate to each other, and the implications of this for organisations and those who work in them. They reconsider the core metaphors of organisation-as-machine and organisation-as-organism, building on Morgan's seminal work in Images of Organization, before exploring a series of other discourses such as Family , Reinvention and Cyberspace . Through thoughtful, critical analysis of the research literature and examples from their own practice, the authors show how the metaphors that shape discourses of organisation and health can either help or hinder attempts to enhance health in the workplace. A lively, engaging text that I would recommend to researchers and practitioners alike.' - Nigel King, Professor in Applied Psychology, University of Huddersfield, UK.