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

Peter Fleming

in Authenticity and the Cultural Politics of Work

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780199547159
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720024 | DOI:
Cobain as Management Consultant? ‘Designer Resistance’ and the Corporate Subversive

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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

Chapter.  8263 words. 

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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