Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy

PhD defence: Renée Ridgway

In order to obtain the PhD degree, Renée Ridgway has submitted her thesis entitled: Re:search - the Personalised Subject vs. the Anonymous User

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - 11:00 to 13:00

Renee Ridgway

Situated at the interstices of organisation studies, media theory and artistic research, this monograph explores the ‘personalisation’ of Google Search and reimagines search with the anonymity browser Tor (The Onion Router). The thesis investigates how Google Search organises (us)ers, first by elucidating how former European address offices and human endeavours attempted to organise the world’s information, then advances an understanding that Re:search fuses two concepts: the Scientific Citation Index (SCI) for research, which in turn served as an inspiration for the PageRank of Google Search. Combining the methods of a ‘critical ethnography of the self’ and ‘data visualisation as transcription’ the thesis puts forth critical cartographies of a ‘personalised subject’ and an ‘anonymous user’. Applying the IP (internet protocol) address as organisational hinge, the thesis proposes that in an era of ‘ubiquitous googling’ and corporate ‘surveillance capitalism’, Google shapes and organises users into collectives through ‘cyberorganization’. In contrast, ‘agencies of anonymity’ reflect tactics that inhibit pure visibility by facilitating various degrees of obfuscation.


Primary Supervisor:
Professor Timon Beyes
Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy
Copenhagen Business School

Secondary Supervisors:
Professor Christian Borch
Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy
Copenhagen Business School

Nishant Shah
Chair Professor of Aesthetics and Cultures of Technology
ArtEZ University of the Arts/Radboud University, Faculty of Arts

Assessment Committee:
Associate Professor Attila Marton (Chair)
Department of Digitalization
Copenhagen Business School

Professor Paula Bialski
Institute of Sociology
University of St.Gallen

Professor Lucas Introna
Department of Organisation, Work and Technology
Lancaster University

The thesis will be available from

*Please note in connection with the online defence that the microphone and camera of all spectators must be turned off!

Organised by CBS PhD School
Date 4 August 2021
Time 11:00-13:00


The page was last edited by: Sekretariat for Ledelse og Kommunikation // 07/15/2021