Rethinking Wellbeing: Evaluating the Neoliberalisation of Wellbeing in the Workplace Using Artworks as a Critical Lens
In partnership with the University of Reading's School of Art, Dr Simon Willems is leading a research project, titled Rethinking Wellbeing: Evaluating the Neoliberalisation of Wellbeing in the Workplace Using Artworks as a Critical Lens.
The project examines how contemporary artists critique wellbeing programmes within organisations by challenging how different aspects of neoliberalism underpin them. Building on the hermit/corporate team-building participant duality that fueled his doctoral thesis, and which grounds his artistic practice, Simon’s research will investigate how organisational austerity measures and a social construct of wellbeing, created by modern Human Resources management, conflicts with the importance of real wellbeing. Central to this analysis will be a virtue ethics approach to organisations which recognises individuals as integral to them, in contrast to those emphasising 'self-actualisation' in the trend towards positive psychology and 'self-optimisation'.
This project involves an interdepartmental mentoring team, consisting of Professor Kleio Akrivou and Dr Adeyinka Adewale from Henley Business School's Centre for Business Ethics and Sustainability and Professor Rachel Garfield from the University of Reading's School of Art.