Research Projects

“Personality, Incorporated” 

My dissertation, “Personality, Incorporated: A History of Psychological Capital,” narrates a history of how psychological techniques, tests, and training seminars, have become a prominent part of corporate management practices and how, in turn, corporate management practices have been a central site for the production of psychological knowledge, the attribution of value, and the constitution of subjectivity. Bridging scholarship on management and economics with scholarship on psychology and science, my dissertation makes two major arguments.The central argument of my dissertation is that these psychological techniques are techniques of human capital management, which presented the psychological capacities of human beings—especially their capacity to motivate themselves, think intuitively, and work in teams—as forms of ‘psychological capital’ that would have economic returns for the individual and corporation alike. The second major contribution of my dissertation is to argue that late twentieth-century corporations were not just sites for the application and circulation of psychological knowledge, but served as important experimental laboratories for investigating human’s interpersonal, emotional, and cognitive capacities. My aim is to show how psychology became valuable and how our selves became corporate.

“The Irrational Actor” 

“There Is An I in Team”

“Big in Japan”

 

 

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