The promise and peril of innovation: a critical analysis of discourse, power and identity at an Internet company Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Holt, Mark S.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication
  • This dissertation examines creativity and innovation as a pervasive management discourse that shapes the production of meaning and identity within contemporary capitalism. While the discourse is often seen as a liberating force in the postindustrial economy, I highlight the ways in which it constructs specific relations of power/knowledge. Through analysis of a wide variety of texts produced by the cultural circuit of capitalism, I describe how the discourse constructs an innovation imperative, which mandates that organizations compete on the battleground of constant creativity and innovation or perish. The discourse circulates at the level of business culture and is taken up by organizations in pursuit of business transformation. In the second part of my analysis, I describe how the discourse shapes the conduct of an Internet company struggling to innovate in a competitive telecommunications industry. I contend that the management discourse of creativity and innovation functions as an art of government for stimulating and regulating the entrepreneurial capacities of individuals and organizations to meet the demands of an increasingly competitive global economy.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Communication Studies."
  • May, Steve
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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