Abstract/Details

Re-presenting the knowledge worker: A poststructuralist analysis of the new employed professional


1992 1992

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation advances the claim that recent lack of progress in organization theory development has been due less to conceptual inadequacy or lack of rigor, than to unexamined assumptions and 'common sense' about what constitutes 'good' theory. Emerging work experience cannot be represented in theory because current theory itself reflects the values and problems of a specific (industrial) era.

Using a form of poststructuralist textual analysis, Foucaultian genealogy, this dissertation establishes the need for understanding theory development as a form of representation, produced and sustained through socially constituted relationships which are undergoing transformational change. It is argued that, through these changes, organizational science itself could become a passing chapter in the history of work.

To illustrate this claim, the study examines representations of "knowledge work," a term whose emergence appears to indicate attempts to speak of new work relationships. The main object of analysis in this study is structured observation of the work of an atypical, but apropos, group of knowledge workers--staff nurses in a university teaching hospital.

Using genealogical methods, this structured observation is studied as a text created within the discourse of organization studies. One analysis of this text is a "history of the present," which follows the emergence and present operation of the disciplinary practices of the discourse of the employee. Another analysis studies contrasting representations of nursing work in the dominant discourse of science and the marginalized discursive voices of "caring/connecting."

The claim advanced from these analyses is that the failure of the management disciplines to develop a self-reflexive dialogue about the active role of representation in theory development limits what can be said about knowledge work to what has already been said about the industrial employee. As one example of poststructuralist textual research, genealogy is presented as a means for bringing this problem into theory development.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Management;
Labor relations;
Nursing;
Organization theory;
Studies;
Knowledge;
Professionals
Classification
0454: Management
0629: Labor relations
0569: Nursing
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Social sciences; professionals
Title
Re-presenting the knowledge worker: A poststructuralist analysis of the new employed professional
Author
Jacques, Roy W., Jr.
Number of pages
381
Publication year
1992
Degree date
1992
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 53/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Advisor
Smircich, Linda
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
9233075
ProQuest document ID
304024035
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304024035
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