Journal article

The enterprising self: An unsuitable job for an older worker

Susan Ainsworth, Cynthia Hardy

Organization: the interdisciplinary journal of organization, theory and society | SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2008


The discourse of enterprise has permeated contemporary society with significant implications for government, organizations and individuals alike. In particular, enterprise prescribes an ideal identity, that of the 'enterprising self'. This study examines the ability of the older worker to become part of this enterprise culture through the analysis of an Australian government inquiry. Our findings show that certain categories of identity-such as older workers-are unable to don the mantle of enterprise, although they are nonetheless subjected to it, helping to explain why the discourse of enterprise is so persistent and durable. Copyright © 2008 SAGE Publications.