The micro-politics of identity formation in the workplace
the case of a knowledge intensive firm
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.
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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