Publication Details

This article was originally published as Garrety, K, Organisational control and the self: critiques and normative expectations, Journal of Business Ethics, 82 (1), 93-106,Online First, 12 September 2007.


This article explores the normative assumptions about the self that are implicitly and explicitly embedded in critiques of organisational control. Two problematic aspects of control are examined – the capacity of some organisations to produce unquestioning commitment, and the elicitation of ‘false’ selves. Drawing on the work of Rom Harré, and some examples of organisational-self processes gone awry, I investigate the dynamics involved and how they violate the normative expectations that we hold regarding the self, particularly its moral autonomy and authenticity. The paper concludes by arguing that, despite post-structuralist challenges, some notion of a ‘core’ or ‘real’ self still holds salience for employees negotiating their identities within regimes of control. The assumptions and expectations surrounding this aspect of self are also a pivotal element in the western intellectual tradition that promotes and enables critique.



Link to publisher version (DOI)