How do people living in a company town come to desire to work for the firm that controls it? Based on an in-depth case study of Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Germany, we add to extant literature in two ways. First, we show how a company town is constituted through discursive processes of totalization and surveillance, and has some of the characteristics of total institutions. Second we analyse how Wolfsburg’s populace came to desire to work for the organization that dominates it. Drawing on Foucault’s concept of ‘governmentality’ we examine the multiple interlocking discourses by which Volkswagen sought to exert control over Wolfsburgers. The research contribution we make is to demonstrate how desired work identities were disciplined through three sets of overlapping and interleaved discourses centred on the family, the corporation and the town. Desired identities, we argue, are one means by which organizations exercise control over local populations.
|Journal||Academy of Management Proceedings|
|Early online date||9 Jul 2018|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2018|
|Event||2018 Acadamy Of Management Annual Meeting - Chicago, United States|
Duration: 10 Aug 2018 → 14 Aug 2018