Life as a work of art: The becoming of professional management consultants Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Flanigan, Kiely
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication
  • Professionalism is an organizing technology that constantly shapes and influences everyday choices about how we see ourselves as humans. This study bridges philosophical theories from Foucault, Spinoza, and Nietzsche on power, knowledge, and the self with the material, day-to-day activities of professional consultants. More specifically, Foucault's four dimensions of relational ethics (self-forming activity, modes of subjectivation, ethical substance, and telos) are applied as a reading grid for exploring the identity work of 33 former and current management consultants from elite firms worldwide. By introducing a both-and approach, this analysis challenges contemporary occupational identity politics and argues for rethinking the occupational collective as method, rather than attribute. The becoming processes for both individual consultants, as well as for the occupational collective, are thus reframed within an ontological canvas that leaves sacred the complex and contradictory art of crafting professional identities. The implications of this research suggest sacred dialogue, gifting, forgiveness, and integration are practices with the potential for sustaining loving institutions within capitalist enterprise.
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  • In Copyright
  • May, Steve
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2013

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