Gå til hovedinnhold

Torkild Thanem


Professor of Work Life Research

A171 ( Jon Lilletuns vei 3, Grimstad )

Torkild Thanem currently work as a part-time Professor of Work Life Research at the University of Agder. The rest of the time I am a full-time Professor of Management & Organization at Stockholm University. I gained my PhD from the University of Warwick in 2002.


As a student of management and organization, I combine participant observation, interviews and other qualitative methods to explore how the human body becomes a subject and object of power, knowledge and ethical engagement in organizational life. Whether I have been studying other trans people, homeless people or office workers, I have sought to connect societal problems and personal troubles by exploring how people in the midst and margins of the economy embody, experience and enact prevailing norms and structures. To generate new theoretical insights around these issues I tend to confront my findings with established and unorthodox concepts in sociology, philosophy and organization theory. With funding from the Swedish Research Council, I recently completed an ethnographic study of a Swedish sportswear company where management assumes that fit employees perform better. Thanks to a new grant from the Swedish Research Council I am about to start a new field study investigating how organizations try to create a sense of community and belonging when much of our jobs and work meetings are done online with digital technology rather than offline in the same physical office spaces. My most recent book is Embodied Research Methods (with David Knights).

Research areas: Corporate performance cultures; workplace health promotion; leadership; transgender; embodied methods; organizational ethics.


I have long experience of teaching and supervising undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and post-experience students in management, organization and change. I currently supervise thesis students at the masters and bachelor levels.


2020-on: Professor of Work Life Research, School of Business and Law, University of Agder, Norway.

2020-on: Visiting Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University, Sweden.

2011-2020: Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University, Sweden.

2008-2011: Associate Professor in Management and Organization Studies, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University.

2007: Assistant Professor in Management and Organization Studies, School of Management and Economics, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden.

2002-2006: Research Fellow in Management and Organization Studies, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University. Funded by the Swedish Research Council.

2002: Assistant Professor in Marketing and Management, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University.

I have also been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, the University of Oregon, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and New Mexico State University in the US, as well as Monash University (Australia), Victoria University (New Zealand), Newcastle University (UK), and the University of Trento (Italy).

Faglige interesser

Corporate performance cultures

Workplace health promotion



Embodied methods

Organizational ethics

Utvalgte publikasjoner

Research monographs

Thanem, T. & Knights, D. (2019) Embodied Research Methods. London: Sage. 

Thanem, T. (2011) The Monstrous Organization. Cheltenham: Edward

Edited Journal Issues

Rhodes, C., Munro, I., Thanem, T. & Pullen, A. (2020) “Dissensus! Radical Democracy and Business Ethics”, special issue, Journal of Business Ethics.

Pullen, A., Thanem, T., Tyler, M. & Wallenberg, L. (2016) “Sexual Politics, Organizational Practices: Interrogating Queer Theory, Work and Organization”, special issue, Gender, Work & Organization 23(1).

Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals

Thanem, T. & Elraz, H. (2022) From stress to resistance: Challenging the capitalist underpinnings of mental unhealth in work and organizations. International Journal of Management Reviews, 24(4), 577-598.

Thanem, T. & Wallenberg, L. (2021) “The humanities are not our patient”, Management Learning, DOI: 1350507620986931.

Munro, I. & Thanem, T. (2018) “The Ethics of Affective Leadership: Organizing Good Encounters without Leaders”, Business Ethics Quarterly, 28(1): 51–69.

Munro, I. & Thanem, T. (2018) “Deleuze and the Deterritorialization of Strategy”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 53: 59–78.

Pullen, A., Rhodes, C. & Thanem, T. (2017) “Affective Politics in Gendered Organizations: Affirmative Notes on Becoming-Woman”, Organization 24(1): 105–23.

Thanem, T. & Wallenberg, L. (2016) “Just Doing Gender? Transvestism and the Power of Underdoing Gender in Everyday Life and Work”, Organization 23(2): 250–71.

Thanem, T. & Wallenberg, L. (2015) “What Can Bodies Do? Reading Spinoza for An Affective Ethics of Organizational Life”, Organization 21(2), 235–50.

Thanem, T. (2013) “More Passion Than the Job Requires? Monstrously Transgressive Leadership in the Promotion of Health at Work”, Leadership 9(3): 396–415.

Allmenn formidling

Knights, D. & Thanem, T. (2019) “Fake News: Emotions and Experiences, Not More Data, Could Be the Antidote”, The Conversation, October 9. https://theconversation.com/fake-news-emotions-and-experiences-not-more-data- could-be-the-antidote-123496

Cederström, C. & Thanem, T. (2018) “The Swedish CEO Who Runs His Company Like a CrossFit Gym”, Harvard Business Review, March 12. https://hbr.org/2018/03/the-swedish-ceo-who-runs-his-company-like-a-crossfit-gym

Vitenskapelige publikasjoner

Sist endret: 10.10.2023 13:10