The influence of TV and film on the identity of the modern boss is undeniable. Bosses are portrayed on-screen in countless different ways within our favourite TV shows and films that reflect the way we see them both positively and negatively in our daily lives. Whilst writers, directors and actors often draw upon their own personal experiences to represent how managers act in organizational life, these portrayals also feedback in to how these managers themselves construct their identities in the workplace. Bosses might do this in a range of ways by consciously or unconsciously embracing behaviours of certain fictional bosses. In a new book chapter written with my colleague and friend Professor Mark Learmonth we continue our exploration of fictional portrayals of bosses or managers in popular culture and consider how these shape our understanding of the modern manager. This chapter explores fictional portrayals of managers in popular culture and considers the different ways that they shape our understanding of the identities of managers. Focusing on films and novels, the chapter begins by exploring the fundamental nature of the claim that well-known fiction has a capacity to shape and influence the world, albeit indirectly, and in unobtrusive, relatively unnoticed ways. The chapter builds upon established traditions of literary-orientated work in organization studies to show how fiction can transmit ideals, identity models, and patterns for sensemaking about organizations. However, the chapter also represents a fresh direction for research, focusing on the tensions and continuities across a wide range of contrasting fictional portrayals of manager-like figures. In doing so, the authors encourage a wider consideration of the cultural content and context of managerial identity work and the ways that it can be imagined and understood. So, within our work we argue that there is an eternal loop between the fact and fiction of management practice. There is always an element of fact in the fiction within its portrayal in TV and film or comics or elsewhere but conversely there is always an element of fiction in the fact of management identity work. These two elements feed one another in an ongoing cultivation of social and cultural understanding of what it is to be a manager. In writing the chapter, Mark and I have discussed countless different bosses in fiction. However, it was only possible to include a handful of these. After several nights of brainstorming, I ended up with one hundred of my favourite fictional bosses from TV and film. I then tried to consider the similarities between these characterisations that might explain how we have culturally understood the different sides of managerial identity. I asked: What is the driving force for each of these bosses? What do many of these individual bosses have in common? I then divided the managers up in to categories of managerial identity. These categories are by no means final for any future research but have instead been placed here tentatively to provoke debate about the types of category that exist but also perhaps more contentiously about who belongs where! There are ten of these categories in total:. See how many of the films and bosses you recognise: one point for the film and another point for the name of the character of the boss in the film. One of the most common and well-known management identities portrayed on screen is that of the psychopath. These individuals manage narcissistically, amorally, and solely in pursuit of their own aims and goals. They are more than willing to leave you dead in a ditch, just as long as they hit their targets, maximise profits and get their own way. In turn, the corporation is the perfect breeding ground for psychopathic behaviours and individuals most aptly able to show little regard for the feelings or well-being of others somewhat inevitably rise to the top. Here are ten examples of psychopathic bosses from TV and film — click on the collage see how many you know! Gordon Gekko Wall Street , The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. In the modern era of films no character has personified the psychopathic businessman as closely as Gordon Gekko. In the film Gekko played by Michael Douglas mentors a young, up-and-coming stockbroker Bud played by Charlie Sheen teaching him the ins-and-outs of insider trading to manipulate and buy up stock to turn large profits — often at great expense for the companies and the jobs of the people who work within them. Douglas himself has professed great surprise that so many people see Gordon Gekko not as the villain but as a hero. It seems a great irony that this psychopathic manager has had such a large cultural influence, but for all the wrong reasons. Rather than act as a cautionary tale it along with many other factors! Stromboli Pinocchio ,

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