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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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Cobain as Management Consultant? ‘Designer Resistance’ and the Corporate Subversive

Cobain as Management Consultant? ‘Designer Resistance’ and the Corporate Subversive

(p.77) 4 Cobain as Management Consultant? ‘Designer Resistance’ and the Corporate Subversive
Authenticity and the Cultural Politics of Work

Peter Fleming (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

One of the more surprising ‘extra-employment’ themes that corporations are now celebrating and utilizing is that of dissent. This chapter analyses a favourite topic in critical organization theory, namely worker resistance and struggle. The latest attempts to render workplaces authentic zones pre-empts serious criticism by encouraging resistance of an expressive and aesthetic kind. This designer resistance gains inspiration from the commons that is simulated and transmuted into an utilizable organization resource. The chapter explores the implications of this promoted ‘designer dissent’ and discovers the limitations around its expression. Only certain types of dissent are petitioned since more serious forms of resistance are still considered to be a serious challenge to the corporate form.

Keywords:   authenticity, the commons, designer resistance, dissent, cynicism, informal organization, power

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