Management and Marketing - Research Publications

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    Critical discourse analysis and identity: why bother?
    Ainsworth, S ; Hardy, C (Informa UK Limited, 2004-10)
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    The construction of the older worker: privilege, paradox and policy
    Ainsworth, S ; Hardy, C (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2007-08-01)
    Our study of a public inquiry shows how particular constructions of the older worker — as male and lacking in self-esteem — were privileged as a result of discursive manoeuvres that established comparative disadvantage among different identities. Paradoxically, traditional gender stereotypes were subverted to construct female willingness to accept low status, low paid jobs as a reason why they did not need help in the form of policy initiatives; while men's intransigence meant they deserved greater support. A second paradox concerned the construction of the older worker as lacking self-esteem: it led to self-esteem based solutions that were the responsibility of the individual to remedy but, precisely because older male workers lacked self-esteem, they were unable to help themselves and needed the help of employment and welfare agencies. Thus we can see the link between particular identity constructions, discourse and the reproduction of particular institutional structures.
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    Subjects of Inquiry: Statistics, Stories, and the Production of Knowledge
    Ainsworth, SA ; Hardy, C (SAGE Publications, 2012)
    Statistics and stories are often equated with different types of knowledge in contemporary western societies: statistics are associated more with the authority of objective, disinterested experts while stories are able to encapsulate subjective, personal experience. In this paper, we explore how both genres were used to produce knowledge in the context of a public inquiry on the problems facing older workers in securing and maintaining employment. Drawing on the concept of power/knowledge relations we examine how statistics and stories were used in different inquiry texts and trace their use across texts over time. Our findings show that to establish their authority as a valid form of knowledge representing the subject of inquiry, statistics and stories both had to be embedded in the appropriate discursive conventions. In the case of statistics, knowledge had to be expressed through discursive conventions that conveyed distance from the subject of inquiry, i.e. independent, objective research. In contrast, stories produced knowledge through discursive conventions that established proximity to the older worker – by being or knowing an older worker. The study shows the effects of these discursive conventions on how knowledge is institutionalized through processes of textual re-inscription, as well as the way in which they constructed a marginalized older worker subject.
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    What's Age Got to Do With It? On the Critical Analysis of Age and Organizations
    Thomas, R ; Hardy, C ; Cutcher, L ; Ainsworth, S (SAGE Publications, 2014)
    Age, as an embodied identity and as an organizing principle, has received scant attention in organization studies. There is a lack of critical appreciation of how age plays out in organizational settings, the material and discursive dynamics of age practices, how age discourses impact on the body, and how age and ageing intersect with other identity categories. This is curious since age works as a master signifier in contemporary society and is something that affects us all. In this introductory essay, we show how the papers in this special issue redress this lacuna by enhancing and challenging what we know about age and organizations. We also set out an agenda for stimulating research conversations to bring an age-sensitive lens to organizational analysis. We structure our analysis around two focal points: age as an embodied identity, and the symbolic meanings of age within organizing practices. In doing so, we aim to provide a catalyst not only for research on age in organizations but also about the aged nature of organizing.
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    Online consultation: E-Democracy and E-Resistance in the Case of the Development Gateway
    Ainsworth, S ; Harley, B (SAGE Publications, 2005-01-01)
    To explore the implications of the Internet for the relationship between organizational communication and power, this article compares two online forums established in response to the introduction of a new e-organization: the Development Gateway. The article analyzes postings to the forums to explore the capacity of the Internet to foster democracy, and to investigate how power and resistance are exercised through this medium. Findings show that, rather than equate resistance with participation, as some models of democracy do, the dynamics of power and resistance are more complex, and resistance and power can take participative and nonparticipative forms.!
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    Mind over body: Physical and psychotherapeutic discourses and the regulation of the older worker
    Ainsworth, S ; Hardy, C (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2009-08-01)
    We examine how physical and psychotherapeutic discourses regulate the identity work of older workers. We show that they have separate effects: physical discourse inferred that the loss of work for older workers would be permanent whereas psychotherapeutic discourse suggested that the solution to unemployment lay in the mind of older workers themselves. They also have combined effects through the notion of grief: older workers are expected to progress through the normative stages of grief to arrive at acceptance of job loss and continued exclusion from the labour market. Despite moments of resistance in the identity work of older workers, these individuals were subjected to these regulatory effects through three key processes: participation by individual older workers in these discourses through their own identity work; collaboration from a range of diverse actors in contributing to this identity work; and translation of the meaning as initial narratives are retold by other actors.
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    The enterprising self: An unsuitable job for an older worker
    Ainsworth, S ; Hardy, C (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2008-05-01)
    The discourse of enterprise has permeated contemporary society with significant implications for government, organizations and individuals alike. In particular, enterprise prescribes an ideal identity, that of the `enterprising self'. This study examines the ability of the older worker to become part of this enterprise culture through the analysis of an Australian government inquiry. Our findings show that certain categories of identity—such as older workers—are unable to don the mantle of enterprise, although they are nonetheless subjected to it, helping to explain why the discourse of enterprise is so persistent and durable.