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Article
Publication date: 23 December 2019

Alison Pullen, Carl Rhodes, Celina McEwen and Helena Liu

The purpose of this paper is to explore leadership for diversity informed by intersectionality and radical politics. Surfacing the political character of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore leadership for diversity informed by intersectionality and radical politics. Surfacing the political character of intersectionality, the authors suggest that a leadership for diversity imbued with a commitment to political action is essential for the progress towards equality.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing lessons from the grassroots, political organizing of the black and Indigenous activist groups Combahee River Collective and Idle No More, the authors explore how these groups relied on feminist alliances to address social justice issues. Learning from their focus on intersectionality, the authors consider the role of politically engaged leadership in advancing diversity and equality in organizations.

Findings

The paper finds that leadership for diversity can be developed by shifting towards a more radical and transversal politics that challenges social and political structures that enable intersectionality or interlocking oppressions. This challenge relies on critical alliances negotiated across multiple intellectual, social and political positions and enacted through flexible solidarity to foster a collective ethical responsibility and social change. These forms of alliance-based praxis are important for advancing leadership for diversity.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to studies of leadership and critical diversity studies by articulating an alliance-based praxis for leadership underpinned by intersectionality, radical democracy and transversal politics.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 59 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 2 May 2012

Carl Rhodes and Peter Bloom

Bureaucratic hierarchy, as the hallmark of the modern organization, has been remarkably resilient in the face of increasingly pervasive attacks on its fundamental value…

Abstract

Bureaucratic hierarchy, as the hallmark of the modern organization, has been remarkably resilient in the face of increasingly pervasive attacks on its fundamental value and usefulness. We investigate the reasons for this from a cultural, particularly psychoanalytic, perspective – one that sees hierarchy's perpetuation not in terms of the efficacy of its instrumental potential, but rather in the values that are culturally sedimented within it. We argue that hierarchy reflects longings for a pure heavenly order that can never be attained yet remains appealing as a cultural fantasy psychologically gripping individuals in its beatific vision. To tease out this cultural logic we examine two representations of it in popular culture – the U.S. television comedy The Office (2005–) and comedian Will Farrell's impersonation of George W. Bush (2009). These examples illustrate the strength of bureaucratic hierarchy as an affective cultural ideal that retains its appeal even whilst being continually the subject of derision. We suggest that this cultural ideal is structured through a ‘fantasmatic narrative’ revolving around the desire for a spiritualized sense of sovereignty; a desire that is always undermined yet reinforced by its failures to manifest itself concretely in practice. Our central contribution is in relating hierarchy to sovereignty, suggesting that hierarchy persists because of an unquenched and unquenchable desire for spiritual perfection not only amongst leaders, but also amongst those they lead.

Details

Reinventing Hierarchy and Bureaucracy – from the Bureau to Network Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-783-3

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Stewart R. Clegg, Carl Rhodes, Martin Kornberger and Rosie Stilin

To identify the distinguishing characteristics and future challenges for the business coaching industry in Australia.

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Abstract

Purpose

To identify the distinguishing characteristics and future challenges for the business coaching industry in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

A telephone survey of business coaching firms was used to identify the main structural characteristics of the industry. Structured interviews with selected business coaches were used to identify the key business and professional issues they faced.

Findings

Firms in the business coaching industry in Australia have three main characteristics: most firms are young and small; most are not exclusively dedicated to coaching; and most have a poor appreciation of the competitive environment in which they operate.

Practical implications

The research identified three main challenges for the business coaching industry that will need to be addressed if business coaching is to develop further: the challenge of defining standards of service and performance that do not inhibit the flexible and personal orientation of the coaching process; the challenge of developing a more coherent and well understood perception of the nature and benefits of business coaching amongst industry more generally; and the challenge of establishing robust and durable coaching businesses that can take leadership in growing and developing the industry.

Originality/value

Business coaching is an emerging industry that is increasingly being used to provide learning‐based interventions in organizations. To date there has been little formal research into the nature of this industry or the services it provides. This paper addresses this by examining the “state of play” of business coaching in Australia.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2009

Carl Rhodes

The purpose of this paper is to examine the themes of resistance to organizations in Charles Bukowski's novel Factotum in relation to contemporary theory in organization…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the themes of resistance to organizations in Charles Bukowski's novel Factotum in relation to contemporary theory in organization studies, and to consider the ways in which the literary depiction of resistance can be used to extend theoretical debates on the subject.

Design/methodology/approach

Literary fiction, and the novel in particular, is theorized as an undecidable space between experiential reality and creative/fictional experiment that offers a valuable exposition of and experimentation with, the meaning of work in organizations. The theme of resistance to organizations in Factotum is read in terms of how the experiment of the novel can be articulated with discussions of resistance in organization studies.

Findings

The paper shows how Bukowski's novel portrays a form of resistance that has elided attention in the organization studies literature – that which is highly individualistic and disorganized yet extreme and overt. This is a resistance that does not just work against the power structures of one organization, but rather rejects all aspects of capitalist work relations other than those necessary for survival.

Originality/value

Theoretically, the paper extends theories of resistance in organizations by using Factotum to explore the meaning of extreme individualised organizational resistance. Methodologically the paper exemplifies how the reading of novels can provide insight to the paper of organizations not available through more conventional means by testifying to, and experimenting with, the meaning of organizational experience.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1997

Carl Rhodes

Explores organizational learning based on the interpretations of actors in the organizational setting. Brings out the major point that events of organizational change are…

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Abstract

Explores organizational learning based on the interpretations of actors in the organizational setting. Brings out the major point that events of organizational change are subject to multiple and competing interpretations and that labelling a particular event as “organizational learning” can be seen as an act of power through which a progressive and positive interpretation of organizational events is privileged over other interpretations. Argues that, although the metaphor of “learning” is a useful tool for organizational analysis, focusing only on learning marginalizes the darker themes of people’s organizational experience and leaves us with a more partial appreciation of organizational life.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Applied Ethics in the Fractured State
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-600-6

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Hermine Scheeres and Carl Rhodes

The purpose of this paper is to critically scrutinize the use of training interventions as a means of implementing corporate culture change and to assess the implications…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically scrutinize the use of training interventions as a means of implementing corporate culture change and to assess the implications of such programs for employee identity.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses empirical materials, observations and reflections from a two‐year ethnographic study in a manufacturing firm to discuss the organization's “core values” with specific attention directed to a particular organizational event – the running of a training program designed to educate the firms employees in the company's newly designed culture.

Findings

The contested interaction between formally articulated corporate culture and the workplace experience of the employees is shown to demonstrate how cultural change programs can work to suppress employee's dissent and dialogue whilst being articulated in a language of inclusiveness and involvement.

Practical implications

The paper provides a review of the complex and paradoxical implications of cultural change programs that would be of use to managers, management consultants and human resource development professionals involved in implementing cultural change.

Originality/value

The paper examines organizational culture through detailed ethnographic study with a particular focus on the problematics of how training is used as a technology for cultural change.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Rick Iedema, Carl Rhodes and Hermine Scheeres

To examine Hardt and Negri's discussions of immaterial labor in relation to personal identity and sociality at work in a context of the postmodernization of the global economy.

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Abstract

Purpose

To examine Hardt and Negri's discussions of immaterial labor in relation to personal identity and sociality at work in a context of the postmodernization of the global economy.

Design/methodology/approach

Hardt and Negri's discussions of immaterial labor are reviewed in relation to their implications for social interaction and identity at work. Heidegger's idea of “presencing” is then used to examine the dynamic emergence of identity as an effect of the “affectualization” of work.

Findings

Global trends towards an informationalized economy have profound implications for identity at work in that the dynamics of identity are foregrounded and managerial and organizational power structures that seek to define an essential worker identity are destabilized.

Research limitations/implications

Suggests that research into identity at work should include a focus on the immaterial dimensions of work and should consider the implications of this for the dynamic emergence of identity and for future forms of organization and management.

Practical implications

Suggests that the emergence of immaterial labor might provide increasing, albeit complex and contested, opportunities for worker participation; this is on what management relies, and what at the same time has the potential of undermining the legitimacy of management.

Originality/value

Provides an innovative way of examining the dynamics of identity in contemporary organizations.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

The question “How do you make great leaders?” has been asked so many times in business literature that the person reading it can be forgiven for taking all the answers, opinions and points of view that follow with a huge pinch of salt.

Practical implications

Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 22 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2009

Chris Land and Martyna Śliwa

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise the relationship between novels and organizational change and to introduce this special issue of the Journal of

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise the relationship between novels and organizational change and to introduce this special issue of the Journal of Organizational Change Management.

Design/methodology/approach

The themes of the special issue are discussed and each paper is introduced.

Findings

The relationship between novels and organizational change is a complex, iterative one that should be understood in its historical, political, economic and cultural context. If so understood, novels can enhance our understanding of organizational processes.

Originality/value

Although literature and representation in general have been discussed in studies of organization and management before, the specific literary form of the novel has not been theorised in relation to the question of novelty and organizational change.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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