Working at a cynical distance: Implications for power, subjectivity and resistance
UNSPECIFIED. (2003) Working at a cynical distance: Implications for power, subjectivity and resistance. ORGANIZATION, 10 (1). pp. 157-179. ISSN 1350-5084Full text not available from this repository.
Subjectivity and power are important concepts for understanding corporate culture engineering in critical organization studies. Although recent research indicates that many workers do identify with the organization as a result of these management strategies, they have also shown that some workers resist through dis-identification, in particular cynicism. Managerialist literature views cynicism as a psychological defect that needs to be 'corrected" while a radical humanist approach constructs cynicism as a defence mechanism, a way of blocking the colonization of a pre-given self. We highlight a third and increasingly dominant perspective that suggests cynicism is a process through which employees dis-identify with cultural prescriptions, yet often still perform them. Cynical employees have the impression that they are autonomous, but they still practice the corporate rituals nonetheless. We label this the 'ideology' interpretation because in dis-identifying with power, it is inadvertently reproduced at the same time. We argue that this approach to cynicism raises significant implications for key concepts in organization studies: those of power, subjectivity and resistance. The implications we pursue are that cultural power may work through dis-identification (rather than just identification), subjectivity may be radically 'external' (rather than something 'within) and thus what counts as disruptive resistance must be re-evaluated.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management|
|Journal or Publication Title:||ORGANIZATION|
|Publisher:||SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD|
|Number of Pages:||23|
|Page Range:||pp. 157-179|
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