This article is concerned with the representation of one particular form of work within popular culture during a particular period, in order to understand just how much representations of work have altered over the past half century. I discuss the James Bond phenomenon and the ways in which it has been understood by cultural theorists. I then look at what the novels suggest about understandings of work and organizations in Britain in the 1950s before comparing that period to later Bonds. The latter operation necessarily involves thinking through the ways in which an understanding of historical context is crucial to thinking through the production and consumption of any text, whether about work and organizations, or any other topic. The article concludes with some thoughts on the impossibility of the Bond novels being written now, when the organization and its executives are assumed to be agents in generalized conspiracies.
- culture and climate
- management history
- organization theory
- organizational citizenship behavior