The Emerald Handbook of Management and Organization Inquiry

Cover of The Emerald Handbook of Management and Organization Inquiry
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Synopsis

Table of contents

(18 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xxiv
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Introduction

Pages 1-7
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Part I The History of the Standing Conference for Management and Organization Inquiry, Its Transitions and Transformations

Abstract

This chapter covers the history of the Standing Conference for Management and Organizational Inquiry (sc’MOI). It develops insights into embodiment conference practices, how critical storytelling was part of our conference work from the beginning, and how the conference community used “ensemble leadership” rather than a hierarchical solo leader, or board-led approach. Sc’MOI existed for 25 years, and disbanded, while still solvent.

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Abstract

My research is to forward knowledge and potentialities regarding individuals of autism and their place in societal’s sense of work and it’s physical space. The seven transformational Ss of academic thought have allowed or even imposed a superposition of autopoietic subjects rather than objects and their being-in-the-world. In this chapter I first present my interpretation of the seven Ss – storytelling, system, sustainability, science, spirit, spirals, and sociomateriality – then I speak where my voice is strongest in the storytelling system, and finally I elaborate on how my seven Ss antenarratives can be utilized in the autism storytelling system.

Abstract

In this chapter we develop sustainability implications of the Savall, Zardet, Bonett, and colleagues’ approach, known worldwide as socioeconomic approach to management (SEAM). SEAM can be used as a way of doing management and organizational inquiry into the ecological sustainability of practices with planetary boundaries. We conclude that a socially responsible approach to management needs to consider the hidden costs to an enterprise if it is not being sustainable to planetary resource limits.

Abstract

Flows of ideas and paradigmatic wars are easier to trace through informal memoirs than methodological drill manuals. Sc’MOI’s emergence, flourishing, and decline are linked to a floating group of social scientists with the ambition to introduce managerial research into the humanist fold. Elective affinities linked David Boje and the undersigned to the Chicago economist Deirdre McCloskey, the Cardiff critical theory analyst Hugh Willmott, and the Lund organizational sciences guru Mats Alvesson. The drift from the International Academy of Business Disciplines to the Standing Conference on Management and Organizational Inquiry was accompanied by the Journal of Organizational Change Management. Marginal? Perhaps? But evolution picks up random cultural drifts and turns them into destinies of knowledge production. The narrative, humanist turn survived and kicks forward.

Abstract

The general topic of spirituality and the ways in which spirituality in organizations was studied and reported on have received mixed reactions (ranging from positive to puzzled to skeptical to negative) from sc’Moi participants, many of whom were European critical management theorists, and management researchers in other divisions when the Management Spirituality and Religion group was started at the Academy of Management. In this chapter I examine how these management research differences in approaches to ontology and epistemology were influenced by the philosophical approaches of Hegel and Marx, and how similar differences also influenced psychological research, whose approach to research and research methodology forms the basis of much management research. I will examine how these contrasting beliefs have played out and continue to play out in such seemingly diverse but really similar subjects of inquiry as philosophy (e.g., Hegel vs Marx), psychology (e.g., introspection vs behaviorism), and management studies (e.g., management organization inquiry vs critical management). I examine what these approaches have in common, how, in my opinion, the behaviorists have so far prevailed, and why they have so far prevailed; I conclude with suggestions for how ongoing dialectics between the seven Ss (the seven themes elaborated on in this book – storytelling, system, sustainability, science, spirit, spirals, and sociomateriality) can help contribute to the field of spirituality in management, and how spirituality research can contribute and interact with the other themes to the future of management and organizational inquiry.

Abstract

The evolution of capitalism has gone through four major epochs, from the first tangible exchanges of goods and resources, to the generation of wealth by entrepreneurs held personally accountable for their actions, to cost-cutting measures for increasing efficiencies and maximizing wealth for the few, and finally to a socially irresponsible form. The fourth epoch dispatched the last remaining shards of capitalist responsibility to anyone but investors, as the basis of wealth appropriation shifted to manipulating the speculative future worth of intangible or fictitious capital. This evolution through four epochs has sadly been a process of diminishing value creation (Boje et al., 2017).

We are trapped in an era of socially irresponsible capitalism with little respect for humankind. But, it was not always this way. The earliest references to entrepreneurial behavior emerged in the east during the Han Dynasty and in the west in the eighteenth century. Somewhat like the fourth epoch of the twenty-first century, these global beginnings of early capitalism were also directed by opportunistic desires to pursue wealth generation by taking advantage of people’s needs and wants. Although capitalists have consistently been the prime directors of resources and the distributors of wealth, in the early epochs of capitalism they were different. The early epoch entrepreneurs bore personal risks of business failure, consequences that might impact them for a lifetime.

The antenarrative generative mechanisms, or spirals, help us understand the interconnectivities of “real” and “actual” domains of reality (Bhaskar, 1975; Boje, 2016). Socially irresponsible capitalism is pulling global societies into a downward spiral toward an addiction of speculative destruction and dehumanization, transforming “real” into “actual” realities. We need a force to pull us back up toward a revitalized form of socially responsible capitalism. This force is called the socio-economic approach to management (SEAM), and in the responsible entrepreneurial spirit of earlier epochs, the path to recovery can be accomplished by accountably working with one organization or entity at a time.

This chapter first investigates the historical double-spiral-helix footsteps of socially irresponsible capitalism in the making. Then through a SEAM project example, we discuss how the micro-societal perspective of an organization places it at a deeper level of reality, deeper within the double-spiral-helix meta-reality of macro-societal capitalism. Finally, we demonstrate how the socioeconomic approach can help diagnose the deeper realities with an organization, beyond the evident narratives, to reveal the third spiral of deficiencies. This third spiral disenables the organization’s ability to activate the micro forces of socially responsible capitalism.

Abstract

Tonya and Anete are new players at sc’MOI, but this theme emerges at the tail end of sc’MOI so they are best to explicate it. This chapter describes the theoretical contributions of quantum storytelling theory (QST) and practice. Building on the application of complexity theory in the hard sciences as well as social contexts and theory on multimodal constituency, this chapter considers the areas of overlap and difference between quantum storytelling and its theoretical fellows, with special attention given to sociomateriality, storytelling, feminism, fractal, and complexity theory.

Part II Explorers of the Future of Management and Organizational Inquiry

Abstract

Being entrepreneurial requires social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Stories are the way by which we turn our natural desires into behaviors in the world. Only by fully grasping existing stories can an organization add to those stories. Institutional entrepreneurship consists of stories that swarm like bees between hives of the human condition: food, folk-physics, money, classification, sexuality, art, family, affiliations, coercion, folk-psychology, and environment. Here I explore the first, food, creating both a framework and justification for the exploration of the other 10. I first lay out a theoretical framework for storytelling in the institutional entrepreneurial storytelling. This lays out the triad of storytelling: antenarrative creation, narrative distinction, and living story cohesion. Out of this triad of storytelling nine modes of observation emerge: criticality (emotions, ethics, and logic), action (acting, target, and ignored), and Being (ontology, epistemology, real). The triad of storytelling interacts with the nine modes of observation to create 27 adept tropes which act as the species of bees surrounding the hives. These 27 form the basic foundation out of which nine distinct motivations emerge: unity, self-satisfaction, distinction, social-standing, personal-accomplishment, escape, peacefulness, anticipation, and self-reflection. Finally, this chapter concludes with the 15 narrative beats needed to birth a new narrative into a particular hive. By understanding the hives in terms of their distinct motivations, adept tropes, modes of observation, and storytelling, and then applying that knowledge to develop the 15 narrative beats for the hives of food.

Abstract

The focus of this chapter is quantum dialectical storytelling and its contribution to generate anticipatory knowledge of the future through the intra-play between the ante-narrative and the anti-narrative. The theoretical framework on quantum dialectical storytelling is based upon Boje’s triad storytelling framework interfused with Hegelian dialectics and Baradian diffraction. Through the inspiration of Judith Butler’s performative theory, Riach, Rumens, and Tyler (2016) introduce the concept of the anti-narrative as a critical reflexive methodology. By drawing on Hegel’s work on the dialectical phenomenology of critical reflexive self-consciousness, a dialectical pre-reflexive and reflexive framework emerges as intra-weaving modes of being-in-the-world toward future.

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Abstract

What is systemicity and what is its relationship to third-generation cybernetics, will be explored here. I begin where my published work in social complexity theory let off: What is the benefit of studying experienced emergence versus attributed emergence? And how do we account for researcher reflexivity in the study of emergence? Is systemicity really an ontological given; that is, an inevitability of any rigorous relational position? Or, is it more an accompaniment to a layered (physical, life, social) epistemology? Or, is systemicity an invitation to acknowledge the ontological limits of perception, cognition, and truth? And finally, assuming that systemicity represents third-generation cybernetics, where and how in organizational studies do we recognize our own reflexivity and relation to what we study, to whom we address our ideas, and how we communicate?

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Abstract

We have not learned to manage human civilization to live well on and with the earth. Sustainability as currently narrated from the destructive myth of scarcity that underlies speculative market capitalism forces humanity out of socio-material spacetime, destroys Bakhtin’s answerability and the Rabelaisian chronotope, and therefore cannot bring about a material solution to our existential crisis. A re-created critical science of management and organization inquiry is needed to bring forth a socio-material era of sustainability. Critical scholarship in subversive and creative form to confront injustice became possible at sc’MOI because of the group’s primal alienation from the dominant discourse in management and organization. An active critical perspective offers guidance for the future of sustainability in pursuing the strategy of the avoided fate, a future that entails disentangling ourselves from a narrative-imposed destiny and of reasserting the power to choose another path to sustain all life on earth.

Abstract

The premise for this volume is that there is “a need to develop a Handbook that takes scholars and practitioners through the paradigm change going on in the field of management and organizational inquiry.” In their invitation to contributors, the editors suggested we should comment on this transition and inform readers of theoretical and philosophical changes that have occurred in recent times. In this chapter, we attempt to do this by revisiting the influential concept of paradigm from the philosophy of science (Kuhn, 1962, 1970) and explore its relation to recent contributions to postmodern social theory in organizational analysis. In particular, the influential paradigm model of Burrell and Morgan (1979) is revisited through meta-theoretical analysis of the major intellectual movement to emerge in organization theory in recent decades, post-structuralism and more broadly postmodernism. Proposing a retrospective paradigm for this movement we suggest that its research can be characterized as ontologically relativist, epistemologically relationist, and methodologically reflexive; this also represents research that can be termed deconstructionist in its view of human nature. Consequently we demonstrate not only that organizational knowledge stands on meta-theoretical grounds, but also how recent intellectual developments rest on a qualitatively different set of meta-theoretical assumptions than established traditions of agency and structure.

Spirit as Breath

Pages 229-251
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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to uplevel the two-by-two binary matrix of differences to a three-by-three cross-referential one, in order to inquire into the nature and movement of Spirit within us at different levels of analysis. Our design is a non-liner, post-structural inquiry. The implications of our findings include an invitation to co-explore the muddled middle area of relationship, such as Synthesis − between Thesis and Antithesis − and Breath − between Mind and Body, individually and collectively as a metaphorical set to explore Spirit as the relationship between Self and Other. The social implications reveal more possible interpretations than currently assumed, beyond the label of enemy and the erection of lines of containment, in the relational space between concepts and among people. Our essay is original, in its playful and post-modern interface of fact and fiction, mind and body, self and other, and spirit and breath.

Abstract

Climate change is a vortical situation of increasing turbulent conditions called the “sixth extinction.” In this chapter I begin with the two-dimensional Archimedean spiral (the coiling rope), move on to the three-dimensional corkscrew spiral (or threaded screw), and on to the three-dimensional double spiral of upward and descending movement with many nested vortices. The latter is more necessary to understand climate change, and our possible future in it, than the flat spirals. Ironically, Plato wrote about the double-twisted spiral with its nested vortices long ago. We are in a double-spiralic helice, a vortical phenomenon with centripetal and centrifugal, upward-ascending and downward-descending waves, and left and right turning whorls. It is worse than this. We need to challenge spiral symmetry thinking. There is no reality axis around which the spiralic helice is spinning, and there is no symmetry. There is no uniformity to the spiralic vortices of turbulence of the sixth extinction.

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Abstract

This chapter addresses the “Taylorism–Fayolism–Weberism (TFW) virus,” a metaphor developed to highlight how organizational features recommended by each of these three management theorists produce dysfunctions that create unintended hidden costs that adversely impact organizations and their employees. The virus leads to an ideology where cost cutting is seen as the best means to improve an organization’s performance. We explore the problematic features of the TFW virus: hyperspecialization, separation of work design from work execution, and depersonalized job descriptions designed for workers who are falsely assumed to be lazy. We then address how these organizational features are related to micro dysfunctions and hidden costs (e.g., poor work organization) that accumulate into macro-level dysfunctions and costs that form the features of the risk society envisioned by Ullrich Beck (1992). These dysfunctions collectively threaten human and planetary existence. Next, we describe how the socioeconomic approach to management (SEAM) can address the TFW virus in ways that manage and remediate micro, macro, and planetary risks that emerge from a globalized enterprise. We conclude by offering a hopeful agenda for research on how to use SEAM to more effectively manage the emerging micro and macro dysfunctions and impacts of the world risk society.

Index

Pages 275-287
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Cover of The Emerald Handbook of Management and Organization Inquiry
DOI
10.1108/9781787145511
Publication date
2019-06-06
Editors
ISBN
978-1-78714-552-8
eISBN
978-1-78714-551-1