Identities, discipline and routines

Andrew D. Brown, Michael A. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper analyses how people's subjectively construed identities are disciplined by, and appropriated from, their talk about organizational routines. Identity work, we argue, is not just an expression of agency but also of power. Based on a study of a UK regional law firm, our research counter-balances understandings of professional lawyers as autonomous knowledge-workers, and emphasizes instead the extent of their subjection to disciplinary processes. It shows that power is intrinsic to discursive constructions of routine processes of organizing. We examine lawyers' accounts of their time-keeping and billing routine, and how these both fabricated their identities, and how individuals said that they confronted, shifted and perverted organizationally sanctioned systems of meaning. The research contribution of this paper is to examine empirically and to theorize how discourse about routines both disciplines and is a resource for identity work.
LanguageEnglish
Pages871-895
Number of pages25
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
StatusPublished - Jul 2011

Fingerprint

Identity work
Lawyers
Resources
Organizing
Organizational routines
Law firms
Discourse
Knowledge workers
Intrinsic

Keywords

  • identity
  • disciplinary power
  • routine
  • law firm
  • professional
  • lawyer
  • discourse

Cite this

Identities, discipline and routines. / Brown, Andrew D.; Lewis, Michael A.

In: Organization Studies, Vol. 32, No. 7, 07.2011, p. 871-895.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brown, Andrew D. ; Lewis, Michael A. / Identities, discipline and routines. In: Organization Studies. 2011 ; Vol. 32, No. 7. pp. 871-895.
@article{5594949f4e1842fc9b786c8ba3f9b1a7,
title = "Identities, discipline and routines",
abstract = "This paper analyses how people's subjectively construed identities are disciplined by, and appropriated from, their talk about organizational routines. Identity work, we argue, is not just an expression of agency but also of power. Based on a study of a UK regional law firm, our research counter-balances understandings of professional lawyers as autonomous knowledge-workers, and emphasizes instead the extent of their subjection to disciplinary processes. It shows that power is intrinsic to discursive constructions of routine processes of organizing. We examine lawyers' accounts of their time-keeping and billing routine, and how these both fabricated their identities, and how individuals said that they confronted, shifted and perverted organizationally sanctioned systems of meaning. The research contribution of this paper is to examine empirically and to theorize how discourse about routines both disciplines and is a resource for identity work.",
keywords = "identity, disciplinary power, routine, law firm, professional, lawyer, discourse",
author = "Brown, {Andrew D.} and Lewis, {Michael A.}",
year = "2011",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1177/0170840611407018",
language = "English",
volume = "32",
pages = "871--895",
journal = "Organization Studies",
issn = "0170-8406",
publisher = "Sage Publications",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Identities, discipline and routines

AU - Brown, Andrew D.

AU - Lewis, Michael A.

PY - 2011/7

Y1 - 2011/7

N2 - This paper analyses how people's subjectively construed identities are disciplined by, and appropriated from, their talk about organizational routines. Identity work, we argue, is not just an expression of agency but also of power. Based on a study of a UK regional law firm, our research counter-balances understandings of professional lawyers as autonomous knowledge-workers, and emphasizes instead the extent of their subjection to disciplinary processes. It shows that power is intrinsic to discursive constructions of routine processes of organizing. We examine lawyers' accounts of their time-keeping and billing routine, and how these both fabricated their identities, and how individuals said that they confronted, shifted and perverted organizationally sanctioned systems of meaning. The research contribution of this paper is to examine empirically and to theorize how discourse about routines both disciplines and is a resource for identity work.

AB - This paper analyses how people's subjectively construed identities are disciplined by, and appropriated from, their talk about organizational routines. Identity work, we argue, is not just an expression of agency but also of power. Based on a study of a UK regional law firm, our research counter-balances understandings of professional lawyers as autonomous knowledge-workers, and emphasizes instead the extent of their subjection to disciplinary processes. It shows that power is intrinsic to discursive constructions of routine processes of organizing. We examine lawyers' accounts of their time-keeping and billing routine, and how these both fabricated their identities, and how individuals said that they confronted, shifted and perverted organizationally sanctioned systems of meaning. The research contribution of this paper is to examine empirically and to theorize how discourse about routines both disciplines and is a resource for identity work.

KW - identity

KW - disciplinary power

KW - routine

KW - law firm

KW - professional

KW - lawyer

KW - discourse

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79960227104&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0170840611407018

U2 - 10.1177/0170840611407018

DO - 10.1177/0170840611407018

M3 - Article

VL - 32

SP - 871

EP - 895

JO - Organization Studies

T2 - Organization Studies

JF - Organization Studies

SN - 0170-8406

IS - 7

ER -