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And rewind! Recycling discourses of knowledge work and knowledge society

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stewart Clegg


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While knowledge work is privileged by contemporary managerial discourse as a principal tenet of the present epoch, this paper examines an earlier knowledge society the Renaissance and argues that the contemporary designation of society as a ‘knowledge society’ is neither new nor unique. In contemporary discourse, much as during the Renaissance, institutional authorities sought to control unauthorized knowledge through disciplinary actions. There is also a parallel between the historical conditions that enabled the Renaissance to emerge and those preceding the emergence of a contemporary knowledge society. The paper argues that discourses of knowledge work and knowledge society may be seen as recycled, making what is old seem new again.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Adelstein J, Clegg S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Management & Organizational History

Year: 2014

Volume: 9

Issue: 1

Pages: 3-25

Online publication date: 06/09/2013

ISSN (print): 1744-9359

ISSN (electronic): 1744-9367

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2013.821023


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