Thursday, September 24, 2009

Re-visiting employee cynicism: On decentrement of the subject via work blogging | Katarzyna Kosmala and James Richards | Warwick University

Employee cynicism is an emergent and increasingly regular feature of organisation studies. Currently, employee cynicism is portrayed in two distinct ways – an unconstructive employee characteristic that jeopardises organisation performance, or, is a topical form of employee non-cooperation under post-industrial labour processes. This paper seeks to inform such notions by presenting the case for a distinct approach to employee cynicism. By way of concepts developed from Lacanian theory and the examination of work blogging practices, we present fresh understandings of employee cynicism and its more nuanced nature. Our findings are unique as they consider how the ‘cynic’ evolves over time. As such, employee cynicism should also be considered as a process to emerge when individual employees become aware of a significant gap between organisational discourse and the ideal role for the subject taken by the job holder. We believe cynicism to be indicative of the employee compensating for irreconcilable gaps in organisational discourse and leads, for some, to a new perspective of their ideal role in relation to the work organisation. However, for others, this is not possible, and such cynicism continues to be denoted by unconstructive and non-cooperative characteristics.

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