Incarnation Inc. Managing Corporate Values

  • Emil A. Røyrvik


This article describes the substantial efforts put into creating and managing a comprehensive ‘value-based’ corporate culture and identity-building program, and reflects on how both the making and the reception of the programme can be understood in light of the three main ways of talking about value/s (economic, moral, meaning). Through the program’s use of technologies of production and enchantment, including the magic of advertising, the argument unfolds the program’s processes of valuation through both making visible and creating social relations. The article explores valuation as social practices involved in representation and signification. It argues that the preoccupation with making value visible in an industrial production company is symptomatic of the contemporary ‘economy of signs’, and that resistance towards these efforts shows that valuation in this context is considered more as accurate representation than as signification.