IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/rai/mamere/1861-9908_mrev_2009_4_gross.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on ‘Enterprise’: Control and Autonomy in a Direct Selling Organisation

Author

Listed:
  • Claudia Gross
  • Nicole Jung

Abstract

Entrepreneurialism within organisations has been praised for serving employees and employers alike, but it has also been criticised as exercising power over employees in an unobtrusive, yet effective way. Within the literature from both advocates and critics, two dichotomies prevail. First, ‘enterprise’ is considered as a monolithic concept that is either ‘liberating’ or governing employees; second, it tends to be viewed as strongly opposed to ‘bureaucracy’. Recent studies have started to challenge these hitherto often one-sided characterisations by showing that individuals react and respond differently to entrepreneurialism and that bureaucratic elements can co-exist within entrepreneurial companies. However, by drawing on empirical evidence from an entrepreneurial company, we demonstrate that enterprise within an organisation itself is a complex and paradoxical instrument of power and governance in organisations. We suppose that enterprise cannot stand on its own but is instead based upon organisational practices that are at the same time liberating and controlling, entrepreneurial and bureaucratic. Such a view not only allows one to pay attention to the fractions that are caused when the ideal of the individual self-made man is transferred to organisations, but also to question the enterprise discourse itself.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Gross & Nicole Jung, 2009. "Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on ‘Enterprise’: Control and Autonomy in a Direct Selling Organisation," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 20(4), pages 348-372.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:1861-9908_mrev_2009_4_gross
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.hampp-verlag.de/hampp_e-journals_mrev.htm#409
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:ilo:ilowps:344117 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Elke Holst & Dean R. Lillard & Thomas A. DiPrete, 2001. "Proceedings of the 2000 Fourth International Conference of German Socio-Economic Panel Study Users (GSOEP 2000): Editorial Introduction," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(1), pages 5-6.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    enterprise; power; normative control; bureaucracy; direct selling;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:1861-9908_mrev_2009_4_gross. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rainer Hampp). General contact details of provider: http://www.hampp-verlag.de/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.