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Who's Afraid of Enterprise?: Producing and Repressing the Enterprise Self in a UK Bank

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/05/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Organization
Issue number3
Volume15
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)371-387
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper explores two discourses that are bound up with `producing' two types of subject in a UK Bank. An enterprise discourse, which stresses responsible, customer focused, team players that use their initiative and a Fordist discourse, which conceives of employees as mechanical beings who repetitively process work. Through attending to the work experiences of back office clerks, the paper considers how the latter discourse `represses' the former. Although distinct, the two discourses share a common bureaucratic rationale and a logic of individualization that represses more collective ways of being or alternative subjectivities that might challenge or question the status quo. Nonetheless, the paper indicates limits to the power that management is able to exercise through enterprise, given the contradictory and flawed approach that was adopted.