The triumph of emptiness : consumption, higher education, and work organization
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 Supervisors have been replaced by 'managers', managers are referred to as executives.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 isabout '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, andvisibility.
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.