"No particular place to go": A poststructuralist feminist reading of middle managers' subjectivity

LINSTEAD, Alison Mary (2003). "No particular place to go": A poststructuralist feminist reading of middle managers' subjectivity. Doctoral, Sheffiled Hallam University.

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AbstractThis thesis examines the changes in managers’ construction of their identities during the last two decades of social and organizational change. It is based around a detailed interpretative study of middle managers in three companies, Carlux, Larts and Nylons. The three in-depth case studies were drawn from a wider sample and some additional data were also drawn from this wider sample. The thesis critically examines Gowler and Legge’s 1983/1996 model of managers’ construction of the meaning of management, and argues that the model is is need of extension - on the one hand, to add emphasis to dimensions of gender and power, and on the other, to take into account the changes in organising process which, it is often argued, are moving from modem to postmodern forms. A model, the Management in Three Movements Model, is generated from critical analysis of the relevant literature to suggest a move at three levels - at a structural level from the differentiation of hierarchy to the dedifferentiation of networking; at a representational level from the rationality of accountability to the enchantment of seduction; and at a behavioural level from the commodification of achievement to the consumption of commitment. Additionally a model of modes of production of managerial subjectivity is proposed, identifying five modes incorporation, of disciplined subjectivity, subjective identity, resistance and autonomy. The case study data are then used to interrogate the models and three key factors are observed to be influencing and interrupting the shift from modem to postmodern - managerial narcissism; gender, particularly masculinity; and forms of resistance. Through analysis of the data, four archetypal modes of narcissism are identified; Clegg et al’s power/resistance matrix is modified; and the model of modes of resistance is illustrated at work by mapping aspects of the data onto it. Overall, whilst the shift in conditions of organizational functioning has undoubtedly occurred since Gowler and Legge’s investigation, it is argued that this shift has not fully transformed managerial identities from modem to postmodern forms. Using poststructuralist feminist analysis, it is further argued that identity is never fixed into a form of being, but is always to some extent fluid and becoming, and that methodologies now need to be developed which both recognise and are sensitive to these qualities in data, and allow them to em

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Mcauley, Michael
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2017 13:15
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:12
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16587

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