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Alienation and Accountability as Depicted Through Movies

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Accountability; Criminal justice systems; Hierarchy; Instrumentalization; Law enforcement; Pluralization conflict; Public opinion; Public service; Workforce alienation


  • Alienation: the state or experience of being isolated from a group or an activity to which one should belong or in which one should be involved; separation from work or self.

  • Accountability: the fact or condition of being responsible; measurement of a public servant’s commitment.


Public servants may suffer from alienation in the workplace, often compounded by their sense of accountability toward superiors, the public, and the organizational mission. Two iconic films illustrate these concepts from organizational theory. Each film employs well-established tropes of their respective eras to provoke a conversation about personal freedom and hierarchy, and alienation versus accountability within corporate organizations and public institutions. Modern Times (1936) uses slapstick comedy, while H...

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Correspondence to Serena Hoermann .

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Hoermann, S. (2021). Alienation and Accountability as Depicted Through Movies. In: Farazmand, A. (eds) Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-31816-5

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