1st Edition

Critical Representations of Work and Organization in Popular Culture

By Carl Rhodes, Robert Westwood Copyright 2008
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    244 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book challenges traditional organizational theory, looking to representations of work and organizations within popular culture and the ways in which these institutions have also been conceptualized and critiqued there. Through a series of essays, Rhodes and Westwood examine popular culture as a compelling and critical arena in which the complex and contradictory relations that people have with the organizations in which they work are played out. By articulating the knowledge in popular culture with that in theory, they provide new avenues for understanding work organizations as the dominant institutions in contemporary society.

    Rhodes and Westwood provide a critical review of how organizations are represented in various examples of contemporary popular culture. The book demonstrates how popular culture can be read as an embodiment of knowledge about organizations – often more compelling than those common to theory – and explores the critical potential of such knowledge and the way in which popular culture can reflect on the spirit of resistance, carnivalisation and rebellion.

    Part 1: Introduction  1. Introduction: Representation/Culture/Organization  2. Management as Popular Culture  Part 2: Cinema  3. Images of Bureaucracy in the Cinema  4. Leads to a Closing: Salesmen, Identity and Masculinity  5. Cyborg Fantasies and Imagined Futures of Organizations  Part 3: Television  6. Representations of Work and Management in British Sitcoms  7. The Carnivalization of Organizations in Television Comedy  8. Reception of McDonald’s in Sociology and Television Animation  Part 4: Music  9. Selling Out: Authenticity and Resistance in Rock Music  10. Bruce Springsteen, Management Gurus and the Trouble of the Promised Land  12. Songs of Work, Solidarity and Resistance from Joe Hill to Billy Bragg  13. Coda: What can Organization Studies do with Popular Culture?


    Carl Rhodes is Professor of Organization Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. Robert Westwood is Reader at the University of Queensland Business School. Their book Humour, Work and Organization (2007) is also published by Routledge.