chapter  4
10 Pages

Facilities in Popular Culture


The study of popular culture might seem an unlikely and obscure way of gaining insights into FM. On the face of it there would appear to be little to be gained from the analysis of media productions intended primarily to provide mass entertainment. Popular culture has often been regarded as debased and unworthy of serious study; however, this view has slowly changed over the years (Mukerji & Schudson, 1986; Traube, 1996) and it is increasingly seen as an important locus for social and management studies. There is a small but well-established research tradition in social and management studies of studying organizations and their management through the lens of popular culture (Rhodes & Westwood, 2008; Hassard & Holiday, 1998). This approach is a valuable addition to existing research into organizations as it raises issues that are often ignored in more conventional approaches. As Hassard and Holiday (1998, p. 1) note: “where organization studies texts present rationality, organization and monolithic power relations, popular culture plays out sex, violence, emotion, power struggle, the personal consequences of success and failure, and disorganization on its stage.” A variety of popular media and genres have been subjected to studies of this type. A pioneering work was Whyte’s (1957) work The Organization Man, which included discussion of the representation of organizations in popular novels. There have been studies of the portrayal of particular organizational roles (Lee, 2002; Smith, 1999; Stead, 1998) and genres (Hassard & Holliday, 1998; Rhodes, 2001; Corbett, 1998).