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How to become oneself: Discourses of subjectivity in postbureaucratic organizations
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
Cambridge University.
1997 (English)In: Organization, ISSN 1350-5084, E-ISSN 1461-7323, Vol. 4, no 2, 211-228 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the face of widespread organizational change which some claim heralds the demise of bureaucracy, and in the context of the cultural and intellectual uncertainties of postmodernism, how do people in organizations respond? In this paper, we explore the role of `How To' books for managers in the elaboration of these responses. How To books may be read as part of a long-standing tradition of self-help which represents a form of the secularized Protestant ethic. However, in contemporary conditions it is also congruent with emerging forms of reflexivity and projects of the self. The How To books we discuss promise to yield control of the world around them to managers who learn to know and control their `inner-worlds'. They also offer techniques of self-presentation and self-appraisal which, we argue, are particularly congruent with the likely control problems within post-bureaucratic organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1997. Vol. 4, no 2, 211-228 p.
Keyword [en]
subjectivity, management discourse, control, governmentality, postbureaucracy
National Category
Social Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-65404DOI: 10.1177/135050849742004OAI: diva2:463158
Available from: 2011-12-08 Created: 2011-12-08 Last updated: 2011-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Garsten, Christina
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Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE)Department of Social Anthropology
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