Organisations as producers of consumers
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The main objective of this article is to show how organisations can be understood as producers of consumers and that the sphere of consumption should, therefore, become an integral part of the field of Organisation Studies. In order to achieve this objective, we have adopted a Marxist dialectical approach to the centrality of consumption in the value realisation process of capital, within a historical reconstitution of the production of the consumer, and we offer two empirical illustrations of contemporary transformations involving the spheres of consumption and work in the context of for-profit and non-profit organisations. We analyse how the restructuring of production that started in the 1980s altered organisational practices and forms: consumer management began to inform production; the boundaries between work and consumption became blurred, and the logic of value started permeating even non-profit organisations. In this new scenario, the sphere of consumption itself is modified and comes to be understood in terms of new categories, such as prosumption. We conclude by discussing how insights from our analysis will contribute to the field of Organisation Studies so as to build a bridge between work and consumption, and to take into consideration the complex web within which work management, consumer management and organisational forms overlap in the value realisation process.