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When The Enterprise Culture Meets Identities: A Case Study

Listed author(s):
  • Annick Bourguignon

    (Accounting / Management Control Department - Essec Business School)

  • Olivier Saulpic

    (Département Contrôle et Pilotage des Organisations - ESCP-EAP)

  • Philippe Zarlowski

    (Accounting / Management Control Department - Essec Business School)

This paper is based on a case study conducted in a large French public sector firm which had recently implemented a new performance measurement and management system. we draw on the “enterprise culture” (EC) literature and research program. EC has been described as a discourse operating at different levels in organizations and society (du Gay, P. & Salaman, G. “The Cult[ure] of the customer”, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 29, No. 5, 1992, pp.615-33) and revolving around two bases. First, the figure of the reputedly sovereign customer and the associated substitution of market-like regulation to bureaucracy in organizations. Second, the injunction to enterprising self, by which organizational participants are supposed to behave as entrepreneurs of their own lives We show how the new system embodies these EC ideals. Our case studies then contributes fisrt to the research regarding the levels and expressions of individuals' freedom vis-à-vis EC. Second, it sheds further light on the identity processes at stake when individuals are confronted with EC discourses and related technologies. Third, we bring new evidence of the role of management instruments as mediators between the EC impacted organizational and individual levels.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00459629.

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Date of creation: 27 May 2009
Publication status: Published in La place de la dimension européenne dans la Comptabilité Contrôle Audit, May 2009, Strasbourg, France. pp.CD ROM, 2009
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00459629
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  1. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2001. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 1-4, January.
  2. Mats Alvesson, 2002. "Identity Regulation as Organizational Control: Producing the Appropriate Individual," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 619-644, July.
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