Festive Headgear in Organizational Contexts

For the first time, a scholarly study has investigated the effects (in an organizational context) of not just one – but four – types of festive headgear.

Dr. Ann Rippin who is a senior lecturer at the University of Bristol, UK, in the Department of Management, authored a paper for the journal Organization in 2011.

“The article examines the wearing of festive headgear as a way of understanding contemporary organizational rituals, pointing to analogous historical practice, which reveals the way that power is deployed while seeming to be relaxed. […] The headgear I shall consider includes paper crowns, Father Christmas hats, tinsel halos and reindeer antlers.”

Although centred around what would many would consider to be a light-hearted subject area, the study hints at darker sides of the festive office party :

“The paper crown in particular offers a more poignant reading of the assigning of power roles in organizations. Its ‘forced’ wearing represents in its temporary status a cruelly parodic offering of the possibility of different hierarchy and authority structures.”

see: Ritualized Christmas headgear or ‘Pass me the tinsel, mother: it’s the office party tonight’ (Organization, vol. 18, no. 6 )

NOTE: The photo is courtesy of the Plymouth Fancy Dress Company, UK, who are in a position to supply festive antlers for £4.75

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