The triumph of emptiness consumption higher education and work organization

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the triumph of emptiness consumption higher education and work organization

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

In this book, Mats Alvesson aims to demystify some popular and upbeat claims about a range of phenomena, including the knowledge society, consumption, branding, higher education, organizational change, professionalization, and leadership. He contends that a culture of grandiosity is leading to numerous inflated claims. We no longer talk about plans but strategies. Supervisors have been replaced by managers, managers are referred to as executives. Management is about leadership. Giving advice is coaching. Companies become knowledge-intensive firms. The book views the contemporary economy as an economy of persuasion, where firms and other institutions increasingly assign talent, energy, and resources to rhetoric, image, branding, reputation, and visibility.

Using a wide range of empirical examples to illuminate the realms of consumption, higher education, organization, and leadership, this provocative and engaging book challenges established assumptions and contributes to a critical understanding of society as a whole.
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Heutagogy: Preparing Learning for Life after Higher Education - UOC

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

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Mats Alvesson. In this book, Mats Alvesson aims to demystify some popular and upbeat claims about a range of phenomena, including the knowledge society, consumption, branding, higher education, organizational change, professionalization, and leadership. He contends that a culture of grandiosity is leading to numerous inflated claims. We no longer talk about plans but strategies. Supervisors have been replaced by managers.

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The stated purpose of the book is to consider the nature of modern society, which Alvesson variously describes as post-affluent, a society where quality has been traded for quantity, where there has been an erosion of trust, where narcissism dominates our actions and where functional stupidity means that all of us are unwilling to use our critical faculties in our home and working lives; in other words, a place where it is easier to believe the hype and not to think too hard about things. In a culture of grandiosity individuals pump-up their CV and inflate their job titles; while governments make great claims about the benefits to be derived from a world class education or health system and through press release and sound bite, they tell a story of upwardly mobile performance indicators or downward trends in unemployment figures. If everyone can afford the same type of expensive designer clothes they lose their value. If everyone has a degree, then there is no benefit to having a degree, if one person gets the new job several others do not. Illusion tricks complete the gloomy picture of contemporary society.

Ebook Library. Please choose whether or not you want other users to be able to see on your profile that this library is a favorite of yours. Finding libraries that hold this item Alvesson succeeds brilliantly in demonstrating that behind such grandiosity lurks an emptiness of meaning, of value, and of imagination. His powerful critical discussions of modern consumption,higher education, professionalism, and leadership insinuate that our current malaise goes far deeper than the economic crisis in which we find ourselves. This is a book that breaks loose of the management publication ghetto and demands to be read by everyone.

As a psychologist, I expected to have trouble with the sociological orientation of The Triumph of Emptiness , but it began to grow on me as I read, forcing me to reflect on many aspects of our consumer-based society, on the shift in higher education away from scholarship to metrics, and on a workplace that has become less loyal, more short-termist and lacking the kind of leadership the future requires. Moreover, teaching takes a back seat to reputation via research. Alvesson also explores organisational structures, occupations and leadership. The point made here is that workplaces are packaging themselves as being something they are not, not only to the outside world but even to their own employees; at the same time, a growing focus on professionalisation persuades people to pursue only high-status jobs, ignoring less glamorous but socially essential work. This is a well-written, powerful book that makes you think and reflect about some of the key issues of our time. Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online.

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