The Triumph of Emptiness: Consumption, Higher Education, and by Mats Alvesson

By Mats Alvesson

During this publication, Mats Alvesson goals to demystify a few renowned and upbeat claims a couple of diversity of phenomena, together with the data society, intake, branding, greater schooling, organizational swap, professionalization, and management. He contends tradition of grandiosity is resulting in quite a few inflated claims. We not discuss plans yet 'strategies'. Supervisors were changed by way of 'managers', managers are known as executives. administration is set 'leadership'. Giving suggestion is 'coaching'. businesses turn into 'knowledge-intensive firms'. The booklet perspectives the modern financial system as an economic climate of persuasion, the place companies and different associations more and more assign expertise, strength, and assets to rhetoric, picture, branding, attractiveness, and visibility.

Using quite a lot of empirical examples to light up the nation-states of intake, greater schooling, association, and management, this provocative and fascinating booklet demanding situations confirmed assumptions and contributes to a severe realizing of society as an entire.

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Extra resources for The Triumph of Emptiness: Consumption, Higher Education, and Work Organization

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For example, in 1787, Prince Potemkin mounted painted scenery along a road to spare the Russian Empress, Catherine the Great, the sight of an ugly and impoverished country. Potemkin was hardly the first person to gild the lily by making reality more attractive than it actually is. The illusion tricks to which I refer are not as blatant as Potemkin’s and other similar creations. The attention to illusion tricks is often more a question of responses to broad pressures for news and improvements created by an attractive and legitimate world.

We need to consider the ethical nature of consumption; this book will do so in the context of grandiosity and social differentiation and their psychological effects. 1 A reader of an early version of this text remarked, about the toilet paper example, that some of his guests had complained about his paper being too raw and too cheap. Of course, toilet paper is definitively part of a social and cultural context—in some groups, the practice of using toilet paper is unknown—and the socially conscious person may use the paper’s softness, brand, and scent as a way of expressing identity and displaying a certain social level, at least when expecting guests.

There is a lot of talk of authenticity, even in the most farfetched settings, such as branding, ‘reality’ TV, and leadership. ‘Authentic leadership’ is, for example, a vast field. 21 The Triumph of Emptiness three aspects reinforce each other, often in vicious circles. With an economy characterized by positional goods and resulting zero-sum games, there is increased focus on and competition over grandiosity, and a proliferation of illusion tricks. An ambition such as ‘We must improve the status of .

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