In studies of the workplace, the enterprising employee is theorized as autonomous, self-actualizing and calculating; self-discipline is linked to self-interest. This article explores the question of self-discipline by drawing on empirical material from a longitudinal study of the Irish credit union movement. As financial co-operatives, credit unions have a tradition of helping local communities under the aegis of mutuality and co-operative credit. The article theorizes two interrelated, yet antagonistic discourses within the credit union movement; an older community service discourse and an emerging enterprise discourse. In tracing the question of what it means to be a credit union volunteer, the article explores some of the tensions and contradictions between the two discourses, as experienced by volunteers who struggle with the question of how to balance the movement's traditional self-help ethos with the growing pressures to become more entrepreneurial.
- MGMT Work Organisation and Public Policy
- MGMT theme Inclusive Economy