Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Enterprise Contested
View graph of relations

Enterprise Contested: Betwixt and Between the Discourses of Career and Enterprise in a UK Bank

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Human Relations
Issue number10
Volume62
Number of pages29
Pages (from-to)1551-1579
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article analyses the 'enterprise discourse' (Miller and Rose,1990; Rose,1989) that endeavours to reinvent employees as responsible, autonomous, self-regulating, customer-focused, team players. In this study of a major UK Bank, the staff both endorsed and turned the enterprise discourse back on management and so the boundaries between dissent and consent are blurred. The case study highlights that enterprise does not arrive fully formed and can be a weapon of employees rather than simply a tool of those who seek to exercise power. It is argued that whilst enterprise is a contemporary discourse, it reproduces aspects of a much older 'career' (McKinlay,2002; Tempest et al,2004) discourse in UK financial services. The continuity and discontinuity between the two discourses fuelled resistance, whilst oiling and obscuring, the reproduction of enduring inequalities, that straddle both discourses.