Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Motion Pictures (Communication)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Dr. Christina Lane - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Dr. William Rothman - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Dr. Robert Casillo - Committee Member


NBC?s situation comedy The Office reflects on the nature of workplace management in the 21st century. The show critiques a corporation that values conformity over individuality, while implying that promoting ?creative? employees to upper management is not credible alternative. The Office does this by focusing on Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell), a character whose unique creative working style makes him a great salesman but a poor manager. Michael?s character stands in contrast to Ryan Howard (played by B.J. Novak), who differs from Michael both in his approach to business and his success at it. The Office implies that creativity is a valuable asset for non-managerial workers, but creative management can be problematic. As workplaces continue to evolve, it is imperative to explore how creativity and bureaucracy co-exist. It may be unrealistic to expect creativity to saturate all aspects of professional life, but striking a balance between creativity and organization might be paramount in assuring job satisfaction and productivity for future generations of employees.


Rise Of The Creative Class; The Organization Man; Television Studies; Sitcom; NBC; Steve Carell; Richard Florida; William Whyte