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Authenticity and the Cultural Politics of WorkNew Forms of Informal Control$
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Peter Fleming

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199547159

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547159.001.0001

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Social Labour and the Haemorrhaging Organization

Social Labour and the Haemorrhaging Organization

(p.36) 2 Social Labour and the Haemorrhaging Organization
Authenticity and the Cultural Politics of Work

Peter Fleming (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Having introduced a strong political dimension in the last chapter, this chapter aims to explain the corporate interest in authenticity and place it in a political economy of the firm. What makes the ‘just be yourself’ managerial approach different to earlier corporate ideologies is the strong significance of non-work. If we feel more ourselves outside of work, then more of non-work is required to imbue the labour process and organizational climate. The boundaries of the organization haemorrhages as traditionally extra-employment themes feature within the space and time of work. The chapter then draws on the Italian autonomist movement and particularly the ideas of Hardt and Negri to explain this aspect of the discourse of authenticity. It is argued that the non-work being targeted here is what these authors call the commons — those non-commodified practices of co-operation and creativity that persists despite and because of the corporate form. The organization requires this commons to reproduce itself. This is why managerial practice is so interested in authenticity.

Keywords:   authenticity, autonomist thought, the commons, managerial ideology, power

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