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Fracturing the Real-Self<-->Fake-Self Dichotomy: Moving Toward “Crystallized” Organizational Discourses and Identities
Unformatted Document Text:  Real-SelfÅÆFake-Self Dichotomy 15 identity, they, too, lose opportunities to negotiate new structures, policies, knowledge, and more meaningful responses to members’ needs through this consent process (Deetz, 1995). A third process that appears to be affiliated with “real-izing” the preferred self is an activity we coin “auto-dressage.” Dressage is an equestrian term that refers to the discipline and taming of horses to perform stylized movement. As Jackson and Carter (1998) argue, dressage epitomizes control for control’s sake—an activity performed for the sake the audience and master. When applied to the world of work, they suggest that “labour in its dressage sense…is non-productive, non-utilitarian and unnatural behavior for the satisfactions of the controller and as a public display of compliance, obedience to discipline” (Jackson & Carter, 1998, p. 54). As the preferred organizational identity colonizes members’ non-organizational selves, those members increasingly practice dressage not only for an organizational audience, as suggested by Burowoy’s (1985) strategized subordination, but for an audience of one—the self. In other words, members turn the panoptic gaze on their own performances and identities, and evaluate themselves in relation to a managerialist discourse they have made their own. Indeed, Deetz (1992) claims that the work of managers and other high-status organizational members is decreasingly about actually producing goods and services or making meaningful decisions about the allocation of resources; rather, the central task of management has become the production of a management identity, one crafted through the display of appropriate symbols, lifestyles, and adornments such as the ubiquitous three-piece business suit. Managers spend more of their time promoting and manufacturing this identity than any work product or service. For instance, in Trethewey’s (1999a) examination of career women, Beth, a consultant, revealed how she made a series of difficult choices in order to be successful. Women, she said, “can't have it all.” Instead, Beth argued that women must make “hard choices.” She made the choice not to have children and claimed she never “whines about it.” She was explicit about how her goal was to maximize profit and monetary rewards. She was willing to give up her leisure time and outsource her non-work needs to paid (backstaged, invisible and primarily working

Authors: Tracy, Sarah. and Trethewey, Angela.
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Real-SelfÅÆFake-Self Dichotomy
15
identity, they, too, lose opportunities to negotiate new structures, policies, knowledge, and more
meaningful responses to members’ needs through this consent process (Deetz, 1995).
A third process that appears to be affiliated with “real-izing” the preferred self is an
activity we coin “auto-dressage.” Dressage is an equestrian term that refers to the discipline and
taming of horses to perform stylized movement. As Jackson and Carter (1998) argue, dressage
epitomizes control for control’s sake—an activity performed for the sake the audience and
master. When applied to the world of work, they suggest that “labour in its dressage sense…is
non-productive, non-utilitarian and unnatural behavior for the satisfactions of the controller and
as a public display of compliance, obedience to discipline” (Jackson & Carter, 1998, p. 54). As
the preferred organizational identity colonizes members’ non-organizational selves, those
members increasingly practice dressage not only for an organizational audience, as suggested by
Burowoy’s (1985) strategized subordination, but for an audience of one—the self. In other words,
members turn the panoptic gaze on their own performances and identities, and evaluate
themselves in relation to a managerialist discourse they have made their own.
Indeed, Deetz (1992) claims that the work of managers and other high-status
organizational members is decreasingly about actually producing goods and services or making
meaningful decisions about the allocation of resources; rather, the central task of management has
become the production of a management identity, one crafted through the display of appropriate
symbols, lifestyles, and adornments such as the ubiquitous three-piece business suit. Managers
spend more of their time promoting and manufacturing this identity than any work product or
service. For instance, in Trethewey’s (1999a) examination of career women, Beth, a consultant,
revealed how she made a series of difficult choices in order to be successful. Women, she said,
“can't have it all.” Instead, Beth argued that women must make “hard choices.” She made the
choice not to have children and claimed she never “whines about it.” She was explicit about how
her goal was to maximize profit and monetary rewards. She was willing to give up her leisure
time and outsource her non-work needs to paid (backstaged, invisible and primarily working


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