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You must attach clear, specific meanings to words, i.e. be able to identify their referents in reality…. All philosophical con games count on your using words as vague…
You must attach clear, specific meanings to words, i.e. be able to identify their referents in reality…. All philosophical con games count on your using words as vague approximations. You must not take a catch phrase – or any abstract statement – as if it were approximate. Take it literally. Don’t translate it, don’t glamorize it, don’t make the mistake of thinking, as many people do: “Oh, nobody could possibly mean this!” and then proceed to endow it with some whitewashed meaning of your own. Take it straight, for what it does say and mean. Instead of dismissing the catch phrase, accept it – for a few brief moments. Tell yourself, in effect: “If I were to accept it as true, what would follow?” This is the best way of unmasking any philosophical fraud…. To take ideas seriously means that you intend to live by, to practice, any idea you accept as true. Philosophy provides man with a comprehensive view of life. In order to evaluate it properly, ask yourself what a given theory, if accepted, would do to a human life, starting with your own (Rand, 1982, p. 16).We begin this chapter by taking Ayn Rand’s advice. We project – by means of a fictional story – what it would be like for a businessman to accept and live by the philosophy of postmodernism.
Corporate governance systems aim to supervise and guide corporate behaviour. Information and communication technologies and in particular the Internet are providing unprecedented scope for innovative behaviour, both undesirable and useful, and as means for greater scrutiny and control. There are calls to reform the governance system, to make it more sensitive to what is seen as the primary purpose of the enterprise, that is the pursuit of economic prosperity through innovation. Moreover, any reform needs to develop a sensitivity to the social context of corporations, since this is the locus of attitudes, strategy practices and innovative capacity. Through exploiting ideas from cultural theory this paper proposes that corporations exhibit a limited but discernible number of ways of life or social realities, and these realities give meaning to the system of governance in use.
We propose that group affective tone may be dysfunctional for teams faced with complex, equivocal, and dynamically changing tasks and environments. Group affective tone…
We propose that group affective tone may be dysfunctional for teams faced with complex, equivocal, and dynamically changing tasks and environments. Group affective tone (and in particular, a positive affective tone) may exacerbate pre-existing tendencies of teams to develop a single-shared reality that team members confidently believe to be valid and to be prone to group-centrism. Alternatively, heterogeneity in member mood states within teams may lead to the development of multiple-shared realities that reflect the equivocality of the teams’ tasks and circumstances and other functional outcomes (e.g., multiple perspectives and minority dissent), which ultimately may enhance team effectiveness.
A growing literature has recognized the importance of mental simulation (e.g., imagining alternatives to reality) in sparking creativity. In this chapter, we examine how…
A growing literature has recognized the importance of mental simulation (e.g., imagining alternatives to reality) in sparking creativity. In this chapter, we examine how counterfactual thinking, or imagining alternatives to past outcomes, affects group creativity. We explore these effects by articulating a model that considers the influence of counterfactual thinking on both the cognitive and social processes known to impact group creative performance. With this framework, we aim to stimulate research on group creativity from a counterfactual perspective.
This article introduces a concept of managing as part of the conversation of organising. It is not so much the idea that managers use conversation, but that conversation…
This article introduces a concept of managing as part of the conversation of organising. It is not so much the idea that managers use conversation, but that conversation is the sea in which they swim. A story is used to lift the conversational processes that both promote and restrict managers’ actions and an alternative identification of leadership as a relationship rather than a gifting or status is suggested.
This chapter explores the unknown territory of a lost project: an ethnography of a public swimming pool. The discussion is contextualised within my broader sociological theory of ‘nothing’, as a category of unmarked, negative social phenomena, including no-things, no-bodies, no-wheres, non-events and non-identities. These meaningful symbolic objects are constituted through social interaction, which can take two forms: acts of commission and acts of omission. I tell the story of how this project did not happen, through the things I did not do or that did not materialise, and how I consequently did not become a certain type of researcher. I identify three types of negative phenomena that I did not observe and document – invisible figures, silent voices and empty vessels – and, consequently, the knowledge I did not acquire. However, nothing is also productive, generating new symbolic objects as substitutes, alternatives and replacements: the somethings, somebodies and somewheres that are done or made instead. Thus finally, I reflect on how not doing this project led me to pursue others, cultivating a different research identity that would not otherwise have existed.
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the value of adopting an organizational ecological perspective to explore behavioural barriers in a UK operations & production…
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the value of adopting an organizational ecological perspective to explore behavioural barriers in a UK operations & production management (OPM) setting.
An ethnographic case study approach was adopted with a narrative ecological stance to deconstruct the perceived realities and the origins of the inter‐departmental barriers applying Scott‐Morgan's unwritten rules methodology.
Despite an improvement in the physical proximity of the production and quality control departments, the qualitative approach revealed that latent, socially constructed drivers around management, interaction and communication reinforced inter‐departmental barriers. Conflicting enablers were ultimately responsible derived from the organizational structure, which impacted the firm's production resources.
As a case study approach, the specificity of the findings to this OPM setting should be explored further.
The paper demonstrates the use of theoretical frameworks in a production and manufacturing organization to provide insights for maximising process effectiveness. Using the organizational ecological perspective to uncover the socially constructed unwritten rules of the OPM setting beneficially impacted on operational effectiveness.
The paper contributes to organization ethnography literature by providing a detailed empirical analysis of manufacturing and services behaviour using an organizational ecology perspective. The example demonstrates that “qualitative” research can have real world impact in an advanced operational context. It also contributes to an ecological or complex adaptive systems view of organizations and, inter alia, their supply chains.
One of the rallying cries of the blockchain community is that of immutability: the irreversibility of the past, the absolute truth which, once stored, remains there…
One of the rallying cries of the blockchain community is that of immutability: the irreversibility of the past, the absolute truth which, once stored, remains there forever. The technology was designed with this foundational pillar in mind to ensure that changes to history are inordinately expensive and practically impossible to execute – and increasingly so, the further in the past the event which one intends to manipulate lies. This platonic view of absolute truth is in stark contrast with a world of manipulated truth, and it is not surprising that it is being revisited as a means of combating fake news. We argue that claims to the absolute nature of the blockchain are at best exaggerated, at worst misrepresented or even ‘fake news’. We discuss implicit centralised points of trust in blockchains, whether at a technological, social or governance level, and identify how these can be a threat to the ‘immutable truth’ stored within the blockchain itself. A global pandemic has unleashed an unprecedented wave of contradictory positions on anything from vaccines and face masks to ‘the new normal’. It is only natural that the pursuit of blockchain as a placebo for society's ‘truth’ problems continues.
This piece focuses on the microprocesses of decisions. It distills the complex cognitive processes inherent in decision making into pragmatic utility by articulating several “games”. These games, as they are described in the article, routinely undermine the best‐intentioned proposals, initiatives, strategies and good ideas as they are played in ways that elude most participants. The cognitive decision processes (dubbed “games” here) are described as: Framing; Criteria setting; Misuse of analogy; Misuse of rationality; and Commitment building. The key purpose of the article is to distill complex processes into manageable dialect to improve awareness. Argues that awareness and understanding of these processes is essential to achieve influence in decision making, to avoid the pitfalls of fuzzy choice, and to promote mastery over the decision‐making process.