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A little knowledge is a dangerous thing: some comments on the indeterminacy of Graham Sewell

Thompson, P. and Ackroyd, S. (2006) A little knowledge is a dangerous thing: some comments on the indeterminacy of Graham Sewell. Organization, 12 (5). pp. 705-710. ISSN 1350-5084

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Abstract

Critiques of the over-optimistic claims of theories of the knowledge economy and management are increasing (Thompson et al., 2001; Brown and Hesketh, 2004; McKinlay, 2005) and it is always good to add another to the fold. Graham Sewell's article in this issue makes a welcome interrogation of the rhetoric of empowerment and commitment associated with knowledge work and points to the persistence of control relations within the management of expert labour. The article rightly focuses on managerial attempts to codify and convert tacit knowledge as central to this process. On the other hand, as a contribution to the consideration of control in contemporary work, Sewell's analysis is not very adequate from both an empirical and a conceptual point of view.