Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Media Studies


Alison Hearn


This integrated article dissertation examines some of the new managerial practices that have emerged to handle cognitive capitalism’s ongoing need for creative, flexible labour power. The three articles included in this dissertation offer a glimpse into the widespread processes employed by management to regulate and discipline a workforce that must also be granted a degree of relative flexibility, creativity, and autonomy in order to be effective under post-Fordist conditions of production. The first chapter looks at the emergence of corporate improvisational training at the turn of the twenty-first century as an attempt to cultivate flexible and innovative workers, a move that ultimately succumbs to what Andre Spicer (2013) calls “organizational bullshit”—the deployment of cynical and self-serving discourse that functions to build confidence and legitimacy within workplaces where a clear sense of occupational purpose is lacking. Chapter two explores the recent trend of workplace mindfulness as a specific element of the now-prevalent 'wellness' discourses, which inevitably work to align workers' personal values with those of their employer. The final chapter involves an analysis of the working conditions of voice-over and motion capture actors in the video game industry and the processes of rationalization and neo-taylorization to which they are subjected.