(1994) Human Studies 17 (1).

The micro-politics of identity formation in the workplace

the case of a knowledge intensive firm

Stanley A. Deetz

pp. 23-44

This essay has been by necessity a gloss of a complex look at the relations of power, control, and personal identity construction in a workplace. Features of the nature of the work process combine with social strategies to construct a reproductive self-referential system. Corporate organizations are central institutions in contemporary life; they make developmental decisions for individuals and for society as a whole. While they are in this sense political to the core, we have not done enough to understand how this politics works or to explore its relation to people in a democratic society. Using a phenomenologically-based communication analysis enables a sensitive analysis of the multiple forms of power and domination as they exist in corporate sites. Although I have given only an outline of one case study here, this example suggests that phenomenologically-based projects can show harmful and unwarranted control, and can be a first step to fostering corporate practices that lead to decisions which are less wasteful of resources and more fully accomplish the goals of democratic society.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/BF01322765

Full citation:

Deetz, S. A. (1994). The micro-politics of identity formation in the workplace: the case of a knowledge intensive firm. Human Studies 17 (1), pp. 23-44.

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