The Production and Consumption of Meaning at Work
Edited by Matthew J. Brannan, Elizabeth Parsons and Vincenza Priola
Matthew J. Brannan, Elizabeth Parsons and Vincenza Priola The growth of emotional, aesthetic and identity work within organizational contexts has led to epochal changes in the way that people are managed at work and, as a consequence, the way that work is experienced by employees. This volume explores the experience of employee branding, a very concrete and specific employment practice, that has become increasingly popular in recent times. This focused approach provides an aperture through which we can gain insight and provide analysis into a much wider and more complex picture of dynamic social relations mediated through the changing contours of the employment relationship. With, for example, many employees being increasingly encouraged to bring ‘more of themselves’ into the workplace (Fleming, 2009), the question of what constitutes appropriate selves, and how this is formulated, remains open to question and a vital topic for critical debate and engagement. Working in the tradition of industrial sociology, this volume presents a range of theoretically informed empirical accounts that document the pleasures and pains of living the brand as a mode of both production and being in the world. The chapters also chart the ways in which employees may potentially become constituted as ‘portraits’ of organizational brands, and the prospects for securing competitive advantage that this may confer on organizations goes some way to explain the extraordinary lengths that some have gone to in order to embed these processes within institutional architectures. As the following quote proselytizes: If genuine commitment is to be achieved...