Innovation-by-numbers: an autoethnography of innovation as violence

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Culture and Organization, 2019, 25 (3), pp. 178 - 188
Issue Date:
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© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article offers an account of a university exercise in ‘innovation’ to illustrate how innovation discourses and processes can be a vehicle for violence in organisations. Presented as two narratives of the same event told from different perspectives, our stories of a curriculum redesign workshop explore the ways innovation became a form of symbolic capital that prompted struggles of control and compliance among individual staff. Schemes of managerial dominance were then in turn individuated, while the assault of innovation became institutionalised and ultimately shielded from critical interrogation. In presenting these accounts, we seek to challenge the rising dominance of innovation as something vital to economic growth and social needs, highlighting instead how its romanticisation is highly problematic.
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