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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Professor Louise Amoore

Amoore, L. (2004). Risk, reward and discipline at work. Economy and Society 33(2): 174-196.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper argues that the manufacture of specific kinds of uncertainty and risk has become central to programmes of work flexibilization. The construction of a riskuncertainty relation has underpinned a raft of managerial doctrines on the worker as entrepreneur. I outline the dominant representation of risk as an unavoidable symptom of globalization. I then explore the relationship between human capital risk management, as defined by management consultants, and the working practices restructured in their name. In contrast to the rhetoric of worker-entrepreneurs, the making of contingency and uncertainty at work is revealed to be riven by tensions. I conclude by considering how we might begin to expose the myths of individual entrepreneurship, revealing the ordinary and everyday practices that make the displacement and reallocation of risk possible.


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