- Subject index
Contemporary thinking about management is still frequently presented as a set of universal, eternal verities. In this fascinating book Roy Jacques presents a discursive history of industrial work relationships in the United States which powerfully demonstrates that they are not. A central concern is to show that current `common-sense' in management forms an historically and culturally specific way of thinking about work and society which is often inappropriate for `managing for the twenty-first century'. The author is equally interested in revealing the cultural basis for American management ideas, currently exported round the world as an objective science, disconnected from its cultural and historical roots.
Chapter 6: The Disciplinary World of L'employé
The Disciplinary World of L'employé
As the twentieth century began, the image of the pioneering citizen whose contact with society was a matter of free choice no longer represented the experience of most Americans. The vast majority were born within and dependent upon organizations. They expected to live their lives as wage-earners. This employment was their primary source of income and status.1 The Federalist ‘discourse of character’ centered on the citizen as the ordinary subject in society was being replaced by an industrial ‘discourse of objectivity’ whose subject was L'employé. The new industrial reality was held together by a system of relationships alien to Federalist values. A society structured by the frontier, personal community relationships and local institutions was being replaced ...