Organizations and Popular Culture : Information, Representation and Transformation book cover
1st Edition

Organizations and Popular Culture
Information, Representation and Transformation

ISBN 9780415692380
Published March 2, 2012 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Throughout its history, popular mass-mediated culture has turned its attention to representing and interrogating organizational life. As early as Charlie Chaplin’s cinematic classic Modern Times and as recently as the primetime television hit The Simpsons, we see cultural products that engage reflexively in coming to terms with the meaning of work, technology and workplace relations. It is only since the late 1990s, however, that those who research management and organizations have come to collectively dwell on the relationship between organizations and popular culture – a relationship where the cultural meanings of work are articulated in popular culture, and where popular culture challenges taken for granted knowledge about the structure and practice work. Key to this development has been the journal Culture and Organization – a journal that has been centre stage in creating new vistas through which the ‘cultural studies of organization’ can be explored.

This book brings together the journal’s best contributions which specifically address how popular culture represents, informs and potentially transforms organizational practice. Featuring contributors from the UK, USA, Europe and Australia, this exciting anthology provides a comprehensive review of research in organization and popular culture.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Carl Rhodes and Simon Lilley  2. Management she wrote: organization studies and detective stories Barbara Czarniawska  3. ‘We just make the pictures…?’ How work is portrayed in children’s feature length films Paula McDonald  4. Military, masculinity and mediated representations: (con)fusing the real and the reel Richard Godfrey  5. ‘I love the dough’: Rap lyrics as a minor economic literature Alf Rehn and David Sköld  6. Poetry in motion: protest songwriting as strategic resource Nuno Guimarães da Costa, Miguel Pina e Cunha, and João Vieira da Cunha  7. Making Sense of a Transnational Merger: Media Texts and the (Re)construction of Power Relations Annette Risberg, Janne Tienari and Eero Vaara  8. Coffee and the business of pleasure: The case of Harbucks vs. Mr. Tweek Carl Rhodes  9. Fiction and humor in transforming McDonald’s narrative strategies David Boje, Michaela Driver and Yue Cai  10. ‘The performative surprise’: parody, documentary and critique Kate Kenny  11. Organizational gothic Martin Parker  12. Commodification of utopia: The lotus eaters revisited Anna-Maria Murtola  13. The man in the black hat Ruud Kaulingfreks, Geoff Lightfoot and Hugo Letiche

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Carl Rhodes is Professor of Organization Studies at Swansea University, UK. His research interests focus on ethics and politics in organizations, organizations in popular culture, and theory and method in organization studies. He is currently senior editor of the journal Organization Studies and Associate Editor of the journal Organization. Previous publications include Bits of Organization (2009, with Alison Pullen), Critical Representations of Work and Organizations in Popular Culture (2008, with Robert Westwood) and Humour, Work and Organization (2007, co-edited with Robert Westwood), and many journal articles.

Simon Lilley is Professor of Information and Organization, and Head of the School of Management at the University of Leicester, UK. He is editor of the journal Culture and Organization. His research interests focus on the relationships between (human) agency, technology and performance. Previous publications include Management and Organization: A Critical Text, 2nd Edition (2009, with Stephen Linstead and Liz Fulop), and numerous journal articles.


"The essays edited by Carl Rhodes and Simon Lilley on Organization and Popular Culture collect some of the best articles published in the journal Culture and Organization. Ranging from studies of how popular culture represents business and organizational institutions to how corporations make use of popular culture, these studies demonstrate that scholars within the field of management and organization studies provide interesting perspectives on key aspects of contemporary culture and society." Professor Douglas Kellner, UCLA, USA and author of Media Culture and Media Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy