Pessoa's 'disquietness' at work: a liminal approach to instrumental organizational engagement

Nuno Guimarães-Costa, Miguel Pina e Cunha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inspired by the “Book of Disquiet” from the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, we use the apparently disengaged figure of Bernardo Soares to explore the liminal cases in which individuals are intrinsically detached from the organisations while at the same time they behave as if they were deeply involved with them. We argue that awareness of this liminal condition leads to the instrumental convergence between the individual and the organisation by means of extrinsic engagement coupled with focused disengagement. As a result, disengaged organisational members are able to benefit from the new wave of contractual arrangements based on commitment and identification between the organisation and the individual while organisations protect themselves from negative forms of engagement and disengagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-325
JournalRevue Internationale de Psychosociologie et de Gestion des Comportements Organisationnels
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Pessoa
  • organizations commitment opening


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