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Fear and loathing in Harrogate: or an exploration of the mutual constitution of organisation and members

By Jackie M. Ford and Nancy H. Harding


NoThere have been no studies in organization research of conferences as part of the world of work. This paper describes a reflexive ethnographic study of one management conference. It finds that upon arrival at the places and spaces of the conference processes of self-making as conference attendee are set in train. Self-making subsequently takes place within processes of domination and subordination, achieved through fear, infantilization, disparagement and seduction. Reading this through the lens of Freudian-informed interpretations of the Hegelian master/slave dialectic, the paper argues that conferences are one of the means of control over academic, managerial and professional employees. Control is achieved through dialectical interactions between conference and employee

Topics: Conferences, Hegelian dialectic, Jessica Benjamin, Mechanisms of control, Reflexive ethnography
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1350508407086582
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Bradford Scholars
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