Managing Authentic Experience in the Hypermodern Knowledge Economy: Sociological and Philosophical Foundations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Modern experience economy is about buying and selling experiences, to make intimate experiences and search for customer satisfaction the driving motor of capitalist economies. The concept of experience and more recently the notion of authentic experience (e.g. Pine and Gilmore: Authenticity: What Customers Really Want) has thereby become central to management theory and management philosophy. In this paper, I want to discuss some fundamental and foundational aspects of the concept of authentic experience in the framework of the experience economy as a social reality of late modernity. 1. I will start with a phenomenological perspective on the concept of experience and relate this concept to the idea of authenticity. This will be based on comparison between different concepts of authenticity. 2. After this I will analyze this concept of authenticity in the framework of the kind of society that has made experience economy possible. In this context I am strongly inspired by the French philosopher and sociologist Gilles Lipovetsky, who in the book Le Bonheur paradoxal. Essai sur la société de hyperconsommation provides us with a general sociological analysis of the concept of consumption in experience society. 3. Finally, I will pose some critical questions to such a marriage between capitalism, experience and authenticity arguing that there seems to remain an insurmountable tension between these concepts. The aim is to elaborate the problem whether it is possible to create deliberately authentic experience with the somewhat artificial instruments of business organizations that always seem to have the aim of making profits as a part of their efforts to satisfy the search for authenticity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEURAM 2017 : Making Knowledge work - University of Strathclyde Business School - Glasgow Scotland
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)2466-7498
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event17th European Academy of Management Conference: Making Knowledge Work - University of Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jun 201724 Jun 2017
Conference number: 17 (Programme)


Conference17th European Academy of Management Conference
LocationUniversity of Strathclyde Business School
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Authenticity
  • Hypermodernity
  • Experience

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