This paper focuses on the topic of alcohol and wellbeing in contemporary work organisations. It explores the relationship between stakeholders’ viewpoints regarding alcohol in the workplace and how they have shaped organisational practices regarding wellbeing. The work of Michel Foucault is used to explore these issues. The notions of power, knowledge and discipline are identified as key Foucauldian themes that offer an alternative understanding of how discourses on alcohol are shaped in the United Kingdom workplace. The paper combines certain stages of Checkland’s Soft Systems Methodology and Foucault’s Poststructuralist approach in addressing the topic. Foucault’s method of analysis, particularly archaeology and genealogy, is used to explore how and why certain discourses surrounding alcohol in the workplace become dominant over time. Qualitative cases with semi-structured interviews in knowledge-intensive firms were adopted to capture contrasting, varied experiences and perceptions of these organisational actors and shed light on alcohol and wellbeing and its relationships with the power dimension.
- Soft Systems Methodology