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Organizational-World Creating: Being-in-Becoming. A Quantum Relational Process Philosophy

The Emerald Handbook of Quantum Storytelling Consulting

ISBN: 978-1-78635-672-7, eISBN: 978-1-78635-671-0

Publication date: 10 December 2018

Abstract

This chapter proposes a quantum relational process philosophy as an approach for studying organization-in-becoming as a world-creating process. Furthermore, the quantum relational process philosophy is tied to quantum storytelling. Whereas the quantum relational process philosophy outlines a philosophy of a processual ontology, epistemology, and ethic, quantum storytelling provides the storytelling medium through which such an ontology, epistemology, and ethic emerges through articulation and actualization. As such, the two approaches are introduced as inseparable from each other.

The focus of this chapter is to unfold the ties between the quantum relational process philosophy and quantum storytelling through the perspective of the quantum relational process philosophy itself.

The proposed quantum relational process philosophy is defined as Being-in-Becoming. Thereby, this approach is suggested as an alternative to the “Being” perspective and the “Becoming” perspective or at least as a further development of the becoming perspective. These latter two perspectives present two different ways of viewing organizational change: development and transformation.

The being perspective relies on substance ontology acknowledging the existence of entities: that “which is.” In substance ontology, however, entities such as individuals and organizations are viewed as existing in themselves in fixed space-time frames. This view entails a rather static and stable ontology, perceiving the organization as a ready-made world of stable, unchanging entities. This perspective is often referred to as the approach of building the organizational world through intervention and control of change.

As a contrast, the becoming perspective relies on a process ontology while the organization is perceived as a sea of constant flux and change through which the organization emerges on the way. In this process-oriented perspective, attention is directed toward “that which is becoming.” In this perspective, the organization is perceived as a world-making phenomenon emerging through ceaseless processes of transformation. This approach is often referred to as the dwelling approach, that is, to dwell in the world-making phenomenon letting it happen. This perspective tends to ignore that which exists, that is the ready-made forms, and only focus on that which is becoming.

In this chapter, the proposed being-in-becoming perspective views the tension between being and becoming as a dialectical interplay that is decisive to organizational transformation. However, in the being-in-becoming perspective, “entities” are viewed from a quantum perspective whereby being-in-becoming differs from the substance ontology in its view of the nature of “entities.” In this perspective, the organization is viewed as a dialectical interplay between, at the one hand, the organizational form(ing) of life and, at the other hand, the aliveness of unfolding and transforming living life-worlds of being-in-the-world in fluid space and open time. This dialectical interplay is conceived as central in organizational world-creating processes.

The aim of the chapter is to develop a conceptual framework of a quantum relational process philosophy that embraces the dialectics of transforming organizations. The contribution is to be capable of understanding the performative consequences of dialectic to organizational transformation viewed from the being-in-becoming perspective of the quantum relational process philosophy.

Through the contribution of Heidegger, Hegel, Aristotle, and Boje, and further enriched by Barad, Bakhtin, and Shotter, a conceptual framework is developed for understanding, analyzing, and problematizing dialectical organizational world-creating.

This framework is called “Fourfold World-Creating.” The fourfold world-creating framework keeps the dialectic of organizational transformation at its center while it at the same time take into consideration the dialectical interplay of ontology, epistemology, and ethic. In this sense, the framework is proposed as quantum relational process philosophy. The incorporation of ethic in the quantum relational process philosophy represents an additional contribution of the chapter.

The fourfold world-creating framework is furthermore suggested to be conceived as a quantum relational process philosophy of the antenarrative dimension in David Boje’s quantum storytelling triad framework encompassing: (1) the narrative, (2) the living stories, and (3) the antenarrative. In his recent research, David Boje has a developed a dialectical perspective on his storytelling framework. Following in line with this thinking, this chapter suggests viewing (1) the narrative as the ready-made form, (2) the living stories as the living life-worlds, and (3) the antenarrative as fourfold world-creating.

In this sense, the proposed dialectical fourfold world-creating framework and its embeddedness in the quantum relational process philosophy contributes to our understanding of the research contributes of antenarrative storytelling in organizational studies.

As findings, the chapter proposes what could be considered as ontological, epistemological, and ethical key constituents in dialectical organizational world-creating. The contribution of these findings encompasses an analytical framework for (1) understanding the dialectical, transformative movements of the organization as well as (2) analyzing and problematizing the cease of dialectical tensions that seems to lock the organization in a particular state of being, only capable of repeating and reproducing its ready-made world in fixed space-time frames.

Keywords

Citation

Svane, M. (2018), "Organizational-World Creating: Being-in-Becoming. A Quantum Relational Process Philosophy", Boje, D.M. and Sanchez, M. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Quantum Storytelling Consulting, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 245-279. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78635-671-020181017

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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