This article explores the use of ‘company culture’ as a means of management control. It reports on research conducted in a consultancy that aimed to secure loyalty from its employees through a conscious policy of organised ‘play’ at company socials. Employees were given a certain amount of freedom over their working lives in exchange for accepting company regulation of their social time. Here it is argued that this normative control differs from historical attempts to ensure that employees were of good moral character. In earlier interventions social and community obligations were emphasised, now every ‘virtue’ encouraged is designed to be exercised in the workplace, often at the expense of the individual or the community. Further, that while control through organisational culture does have some of the advantages claimed for it in the prescriptive literature, it also extends the employment contract to areas previously outside the managerial prerogative.