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Book part
Publication date: 10 December 2018

Marita Svane

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…

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.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Quantum Storytelling Consulting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-671-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 November 2010

John Shotter

In Bouwen (2001), René Bouwen discusses the case of an R&D department in a metal refinery developing a new refining process, only to have it at first rejected by the Operations…

Abstract

In Bouwen (2001), René Bouwen discusses the case of an R&D department in a metal refinery developing a new refining process, only to have it at first rejected by the Operations department as too difficult and time-consuming to implement notes. Yet later, when it was reintroduced at an opportune moment in a discussion — occurring within the context of a task force established by the Business Unit manager to study new innovations — the too revolutionary new process was accepted for implementation. About this event René Bouwen remarks: “The implementation of innovation really means a ‘crossing of the boundaries’ between the departments […]. The innovative breakthrough can be attributed to a frame-breaking interaction […]. Frame-breaking thinking does not occur in isolation but as a consequence of close interaction with significant others who provide the necessary challenge and safety to pose a new framework […]. The crossing of the communities of practice allows for the new technological innovation to emerge […]. Only ‘interruptions’ in one's modus operandi create opportunities for new exploration of meaning among oneself and significant others” (p. 362). He then goes on to discuss another case, a second example from the domain of rural development in the Southern Andes in Latin America. Here, a whole multiplicity of different “communities of practice” (Wenger, 1998) is involved: a local NGO supported by representatives from the local Indian population, an international NGO, officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, local university geology researchers, the local water management authority, and social scientists from a neighboring university. Starting from the principles of “multiparty collaboration,” this last group organized a platform for all those involved to come together.

Details

Relational Practices, Participative Organizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-007-1

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

John Shotter

Offers an alternative to the Western view that rational and systematic thought about actualities or realities is crucial if we are to solve the problems facing us. Some of the…

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Abstract

Offers an alternative to the Western view that rational and systematic thought about actualities or realities is crucial if we are to solve the problems facing us. Some of the possible features of an alternative, participatory way of thinking are explored as distinct from the disengaged or detached forms of thought and discourse we currently employ in the academic and intellectual spheres of our lives.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 6 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Inquiring into Academic Timescapes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-911-4

Article
Publication date: 16 July 2021

Chris Blantern

This paper aims to draw attention to the significance of “acculturation” in organisations and organising and how learning occurs as micro-practices (organisational poetics).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to draw attention to the significance of “acculturation” in organisations and organising and how learning occurs as micro-practices (organisational poetics).

Design/methodology/approach

The recognition of the ontological significance of organisational acculturation invites a more critical view of the effects of organisational practices on individual identity, social norms and the accountability of organisations to society.

Findings

Organising and organisations are cast as nurseries of cultural practices that are so normalised we regard them as “unremarkable,” as “just the way things are,” yet “schooling” of identity and social norms.

Practical implications

If we want a better world, we should, as citizens, expect more from our organisations and their learning.

Social implications

The significance here is, from a post-structural, relational stance, that organising and organisations are significant agents in the performance of what it is to be human and our social conditions. As well as goods and services, organisations produce “humans.”

Originality/value

As distinct from the canon of organisational learning literature which is primarily concerned with learning for the effectiveness and resilience of organisations for their own benefit, this paper asserts that what we learn and normalise in organisations structures society – the world we live.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 7 February 2011

John Shotter and Haridimos Tsoukas

In this chapter, drawing primarily on Wittgenstein, we argue that a representationalist view of theory in an applied or practical science such as organization and management…

Abstract

In this chapter, drawing primarily on Wittgenstein, we argue that a representationalist view of theory in an applied or practical science such as organization and management theory (OMT) is unrealistic and misleading, since it fails to acknowledge theory's ineradicable dependence on the dynamics of the life-world within which it has its ‘currency’. We explore some of the difficulties raised by the use of representational theorizing in OMT, and mainly explore the nature of a more reflective form of theorizing. Reflective theory, we argue, invites practitioners to attend to the grammar of their actions, namely to the rules and meanings that actors draw upon in their participation in social practices. In this view, the role of theory resembles the role Wittgenstein ascribed to philosophy: it is theory-as-therapy. The latter seeks to make action more perspicuous by providing the conceptual means to practitioners to engage in re-articulating, not only their taken-for-granted assumptions and models but also their modes of orientation and their ways of relating themselves to the situations in which they must work. Reflective theory works to draw their attention to aspects of people's interactions in organizations not usually noticed, to bring to awareness unconscious habits, confusions, prejudices and pictures that hold practitioners captive, and, furthermore, to point out that other continuations of them than those routinely followed are possible. This view of theory – as perceptually reorienting rather than as cognitively explaining – is illustrated by looking at the Karl Weick's sensemaking theory.

Details

Philosophy and Organization Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-596-0

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

John Shotter

The purpose of this paper is to outline a distinctive kind of qualitative inquiry, strongly influenced by Wittgenstein's very practical philosophical investigations.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline a distinctive kind of qualitative inquiry, strongly influenced by Wittgenstein's very practical philosophical investigations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes how there is a very clear, but not yet fully recognized, difference between (at least some crucial forms of dialogically‐structured) qualitative research and current more quantitative forms – a difference that is not fully captured in characterizing it as more focussed on subjective experience and as context‐oriented.

Findings

Central to this approach is a kind of poetic writing that requires a special kind of slow reading that leads us, not to a referential‐representational understanding of the text, but to a relationally‐responsive understanding of it, a shift from being concerned with the extra knowledge or information that one is left with after reading a text to a concern with what can happen during one's reading of it. Its focus is thus on the provision of detailed portrayals rather than on accurate representations, and with how ‘striking’ expressions remembered from our reading of such portrayals can come to in‐form our ways of perceiving, acting, talking, thinking, and evaluating events occurring around us.

Originality/value

Through this way, the seemingly merely descriptive inquiries of the kind Wittgenstein advocates can be applied, for example, in making sense of knowledge creation and innovation in organizations.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 November 2010

Chris Steyaert and Bart Van Looy

This book focuses on the concept and role of relational practices as a way to understand, conceive, and study processes of organization, and subscribes to a processual view of…

Abstract

This book focuses on the concept and role of relational practices as a way to understand, conceive, and study processes of organization, and subscribes to a processual view of organization that, since Weick's seminal book The Social Psychology of Organizing, has turned the study of organizations into one of organizing. More than 30 years later, the field of organizing has increasingly expanded Weick's interpretive framework of sense making, resulting in a rich palette of conceptual frameworks that vary between such diverse processual approaches as complexity theory, phenomenology, narration, dramaturgy, ethnomethodology, discourse (analysis), practice, actor-network theory, and radical process theory (Steyaert, 2007). These various theoretical approaches draw upon and give expression to a relational turn that has transformed conceptual thinking in philosophy, literature, and social sciences, and that increasingly inscribes the study of organization within an ontology of becoming.

Details

Relational Practices, Participative Organizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-007-1

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Rene´ Bouwen

From previous research projects in the context of technological innovation and social development the author argues that knowledge development, as well as knowledge sharing and…

1080

Abstract

From previous research projects in the context of technological innovation and social development the author argues that knowledge development, as well as knowledge sharing and integration, are essentially relational activities. Actors define and deal with content issues while mutually defining each other and the emergent social membership at the same time. These relational aspects are handled mostly implicitly: people talk “content” and “enact and experience” the relational mode. In process consultation approaches in training and development contexts, consultants work explicitly on the relational reflexivity. Examples are given of a third mode, a dialogical mode of creating relational practices while attending both aspects: the content and the relational in an integrated skilful mode.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 6 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 November 2010

René Bouwen

What if we were to take an explicit relational perspective on organizing? What if we put our organizational conversations and interactive practices right in the middle of our…

Abstract

What if we were to take an explicit relational perspective on organizing? What if we put our organizational conversations and interactive practices right in the middle of our scholarly focus on organizations? In this contribution, I wish to document how the concept of “relational practices” can be formulated as a generative approach to organizing in emergent and multiplex organizational contexts. Starting from the main concern of developing “actionable knowledge” about organizing, I will compare and contrast a relational constructionist approach with a mere instrumental approach to organizing. Beyond the purposive coordination of the means to attain intended goals, organizing will be considered as an essentially relational activity. Actors acknowledge mutually meaningful contributions and, at the same time, mutually enact organizational membership through joint engagement in “relational practices.” Relational organizing is as much a goal in itself as a means to an end.

Details

Relational Practices, Participative Organizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-007-1

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