The growth of neoliberal ideologies since the 1970s has (re)structured many organizations in the U.S., including education. University administrators in a neoliberal climate are pressured to expand facilities and matriculation while minimizing labor costs. One way they accomplish this is by privatizing services, including cleaning. Private commercial cleaning companies often provide staffing, training, workloading, and performance evaluation. Administrators contracting these companies are able to save money by displacing responsibility for human resources functions. Although neoliberal practices (e.g., privatization) appear to offer benefits for organizations’ bottom-lines and senior leaders, less is known about the impact on frontline personnel. Addressing this gap, my dissertation addresses two questions: How does neoliberal discourse shape organizational practices? And how does such discourse affect the lived experience of cleaning work? To answer these questions, I conducted a content analysis of a commercial cleaning company to examine the discursive strategies used to legitimize the regulation of cleaners and cleaning work. I then conducted a case study of four cleaners, and the ways their work has changed over time (as a function of working within or outside of the commercial cleaning system). The content analysis reflects the intention of the cleaning management system, whereas the case study reflects the implementation of the system from cleaners’ perspectives. In the content analysis, language around cleaning was couched in seemingly positive neoliberal language: progress, professionalization, profit maximization, and prescription as a means of efficiency. In particular, communication from the commercial cleaning management system reflected three primary ‘discursive regimes’ to justify its organizational strategy: the need for a science of cleaning, professionalization, and environmental responsibility. Yet, these discursive regimes often were referenced in service of greater regulation over cleaners and their work. The language of neoliberalism casts many service workers (including cleaners) as unskilled, unprofessional, incompetent, and unmotivated, thus justifying greater control over workers and their labor. To examine how such discourse shapes the experience of work, I then conducted a case study of four cleaners: two of whom work under the cleaning management system content-analyzed in the first study, and two of whom were exempt from the system. Three themes emerged from participants’ narratives: how the cleaning system shapes the experience and organization of work, how cleaners protect themselves, and the discursive resources used to narrate these experiences. I found that the approach to managing and organizing cleaning work prescribed by the commercial cleaning system contributes to dignity injuries for cleaners through four mechanisms: deskilling, objectifying, surveilling, and infantilizing. Cleaners responded to these injuries via four practices to restore dignity: distancing from work, idealizing the past, reversing infantilization, and narratively constructing a moral(ized) self. I found that narratives are an important resource for sharing stories of organizational suffering, as well as discursively constructing dignity. This project demonstrates how power flows through ideologies, institutions, and individuals; and how neoliberalism shapes the experience of work. These results carry important theoretical and practical implications for dignity, occupational health, and the (re)organization of service work in a neoliberal climate. Greater standardization of work may save money for institutions—but at the expense of service workers who enable these savings. Neoliberalism enables the expansion of ivory towers by exploiting the people who construct, clean, and maintain them. I conclude with a discussion about the production of suffering and (in)dignity in organizations, and possibilities for institutional transformation.