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Book part

Joel Gehman

The concept of institution has been used by scholars from across a number of disciplines to explain a wide variety of phenomena. However, the philosophical roots of this…

Abstract

The concept of institution has been used by scholars from across a number of disciplines to explain a wide variety of phenomena. However, the philosophical roots of this concept have not been well examined, nor have implications for contemporary institutional analysis been fully appreciated. Returning to the works of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty reveals a depth of thinking that has otherwise been overlooked by institutional theorists. In particular, the author’s analysis reveals two critical insights. First, whereas organizational scholars have closely linked the concepts of institution and taken-for-grantedness, these two concepts were originally understood to be phenomenologically distinct. Second, a detailed examination of Merleau-Ponty’s later work poses the concept of flesh – the twining of the visible and the invisible – as the basis for the interplay of institutions. In turn, the idea of flesh as the foundation of institution invites a more radical reimagining of the growing bifurcation between microfoundations and macrofoundations.

Details

Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

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Article

François-Xavier de Vaujany, Emmanuelle Vaast, Stewart R. Clegg and Jeremy Aroles

The purpose of this paper is to understand how historical materialities might play a contemporary role in legitimation processes through the memorialization of history and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how historical materialities might play a contemporary role in legitimation processes through the memorialization of history and its reproduction in the here-and-now of organizations and organizing.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors briefly review the existing management and organization studies (MOS) literature on legitimacy, space and history; engage with the work of Merleau-Ponty to explore how organizational legitimacy is managed in time and space; and use the case of two Parisian universities to illustrate the main arguments of the paper.

Findings

The paper develops a history-based phenomenological perspective on legitimation processes constitutive of four possibilities identified by means of chiasms: heterotopic spatial legacy, thin spatial legacy, institutionalized spatial legacy and organizational spatial legacy.

Research limitations/implications

The authors discuss the implications of this research for the neo-institutional literature on organizational legitimacy, research on organizational space and the field of management history.

Originality/value

This paper takes inspiration from the work of Merleau-Ponty on chiasms to conceptualize how the temporal layers of space and place that organizations inhabit and inherit (which we call “spatial legacies”), in the process of legitimation, evoke a sensible tenor.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Book part

Wendelin Küpers

Based on a critique of reductive understandings of physicality, this chapter explores the significance of embodied materiality, the artefactual physical, the role of the…

Abstract

Based on a critique of reductive understandings of physicality, this chapter explores the significance of embodied materiality, the artefactual physical, the role of the living body and embodiment in relation to ‘intra and inter’ practices of leadership from a phenomenological perspective. Using a phenomenological and cross-disciplinary approach, issues of an embodied physicality in leadership are systematically explored and implications discussed beyond physicalist empiricism and meta-physical idealism. Furthermore, the chosen phenomenological approach reveals problematising limitations of naturalist and constructionist approaches.

Following Merleau-Ponty an extended understanding of physicality as well as the significance of the co-constitutive role of embodiment, inter-corporeality and intra-action in and of leadership practices in organisational life-worlds are identified and discussed. Insights into the role of corporeal materio-socio phenomena and expressions of meaningful practices of leading and following are rendered. The chapter concludes by noting limitations and implications of embodied physicality and physical inter-becoming of ‘bodiment’ for a more integral and sustainable conception of leader-and followership in organisations. Through its specific post-dualistic approach the chapter provides an innovative perspective on the interrelations between living, material, bodily and embodied dimensions of physicality in leadership.

Details

The Physicality of Leadership: Gesture, Entanglement, Taboo, Possibilities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-289-0

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Article

Chihling Liu

This study aims to offer insights into the embodied concerns that underpin men’s personal grooming practices through which they experience their body as the “existential…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to offer insights into the embodied concerns that underpin men’s personal grooming practices through which they experience their body as the “existential ground of culture and self” and manage their everyday bodily presentation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study analyses 16 interviews with male consumers of age between 20 and 76. The interpretative analysis is informed by both Merleau-Ponty’s concept of the body-subject and the sociology of the body as discursively constituted.

Findings

This study proposes four bodily identity positions that link individual personal grooming practices to specific embodied concerns. These bodily identity positions underline the different ways the male body is called upon to carve out a meaningful existence.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings are not intended to generalise or to be exhaustive. Rather, it is hoped that they may stimulate readers to think more deeply about the role of the body in aiding male consumers to seek maximum grip on their life-world.

Practical implications

The study findings provide marketers with rich narratives for brand positioning and image development beyond the traditional sexual and/or alpha male-themed marketing and advertising. They also offer preliminary insights for mental health practitioners into how the male body shapes men’s identity development and experiences of well-being.

Originality/value

The study identifies the different ways personal grooming can become assimilated into an individual’s system of beliefs and practices. It also offers empirical support for a definition of the body as active and acted upon, especially with respect to male grooming.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article

Wendelin Küpers

The purpose of this article is to develop a critical and extended understanding of practices in organizations from a phenomenological point of view. It explores the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to develop a critical and extended understanding of practices in organizations from a phenomenological point of view. It explores the relevance of Merleau-Ponty's advanced phenomenology and ontology for understanding the role of the lived body and the embodiment of practices and change in organizational lifeworlds.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the literature review and phenomenology, the role of embodied and relational dimension, the concept of an emergent and responsive “inter-practice” in organizations is developed systematically.

Findings

Based on the phenomenological and relational approach, the concept of (inter-)practice allows an extended more integral and processual understanding of the role of bodily and embodied practices in organizational lifeworlds as emerging events. The concept of inter-practice(ing) contributes to conceiving of new ways of approaching how responsive and improvisational practicing, related to change, coevolves within a multidimensional nexus of organizations.

Research limitations/implications

Specific theoretical and methodological implications for exploring and enacting relational practices as well as limitations are offered.

Practical implications

Some specific practical implications are provided that facilitate and enable embodied practices in organizational contexts.

Social implications

The responsive inter-practice is seen as embedded in sociality and social interactions and links to sociocultural and political as well as ethical dimensions are discussed.

Originality/value

By extending the existing discourse and using an embodied approach, the paper proposes a novel orientation for reinterpreting practice that allows explorations of the emergence and realization of alternative, ingenious and more suitable forms of practicing and change in organizations.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Book part

David Gilling

Few organisations exhibit the importance of physicality in leadership as explicitly as the symphony orchestra. While usually attributed to the direction of the conductor…

Abstract

Few organisations exhibit the importance of physicality in leadership as explicitly as the symphony orchestra. While usually attributed to the direction of the conductor my own experience suggests that leading in orchestral performance is grounded in physical relations between individuals and among instrumental groups across the orchestra as much as in the interaction between musicians and maestro. In order to further interrogate this experience while enhancing our understanding of onstage relations among orchestral musicians, I recently undertook research that employed an autoethnographic methodology underpinned by the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty (2002, 2004) and the sense-making ideas of Weick (1995, 2001a). Using this method while drawing on ideas such as kinaesthetic empathy (Pallaro, 1995; Parviainen, 2002), the picture presented in what follows is one of leadership embedded in physical interaction among colleagues.

This interaction is, I suggest, based on sense-making and sense-giving activity that occurs in a ‘kinaesthetic loop’ that draws on and is generated by auditory, visual and gestural information given and received by individual musicians. This activity in turn mediates the acoustic space between musicians and thus, ultimately, determines how leadership and coordination in the orchestra are constituted. Rather than being disembodied products of dictatorial direction dispensed through the orchestra’s hierarchy, orchestral performance and leadership emerge in this more nuanced account as co-creative processes in which all the musicians on stage share responsibility.

Details

The Physicality of Leadership: Gesture, Entanglement, Taboo, Possibilities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-289-0

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Article

John M. Budd

To examine work on phenomenology and determine what information studies can learn and use from that work.

Abstract

Purpose

To examine work on phenomenology and determine what information studies can learn and use from that work.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a literature‐based conceptual analysis of pioneering work in phenomenology (including that of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Paul Ricoeur, and others), application of such ideas as intentionality and being in information studies work, and the potential for greater application of the information seeker as other.

Findings

The literature on phenomenology contains thought that is directly relevant to information studies and information work. Close examination of perception, intentionality, and interpretation is integral to individuals’ activities related to searching for and retrieving information, determining relevance, and using technology. Essential to the realization of phenomenology's potential is adoption of communication by dialogue so that an information seeker is able both to conceptualize need and to articulate that need. Some promising work in information studies demonstrates an openness to the ongoing and continuous perceptual experiences of information seekers and the relation of that process of perceiving to the growth of knowledge.

Originality/value

Offers a different way of thinking about human‐information relationships and the ways that information professionals can interact with information seekers.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 61 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article

Wendelin Küpers

Seeks to argue for a phenomenology of embodied implicit and narrative knowing in organizations and show the significance of experiential dimensions of implicit and

Abstract

Purpose

Seeks to argue for a phenomenology of embodied implicit and narrative knowing in organizations and show the significance of experiential dimensions of implicit and narrative knowing and their mutual interrelations in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

For this the advanced phenomenology of Merleau‐Ponty will be used as a framework for clarifying the relational status of tacit, implicit and narrative knowing and their embedment.

Findings

Implicit and narrative processes of knowing are inherently linked. Moreover, both forms of knowing in organizations and its implications can be integrated in a Con‐+‐Text.

Practical implications

Some limitations and practical implications will be discussed critically. In conclusion some perspectives of further phenomenological research on embodied implicit and narrative knowing in organizations are presented.

Originality/value

This approach contributes to a processual, non‐reductionist and relational understanding of knowing and offers critical and practical perspectives for creative and transformative processes in organizations, bridging the gap between theory and practice. It provides innovative perspectives with regard to the interrelation of embodied and narrative knowing in organizations.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 9 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article

Nima Talebian and Turkan Ulusu Uraz

This study aims to explore the concepts of ‘place' and ‘place-experience' within the context of Post-phenomenology. During 70's, humanistic geographers have introduced…

Abstract

This study aims to explore the concepts of ‘place' and ‘place-experience' within the context of Post-phenomenology. During 70's, humanistic geographers have introduced ‘phenomenology of place' as a revolutionary approach toward place, which has been largely condemned by Marxist, Feminist and Post-Structural critiques through the last three decades. Accordingly, this study attempts to merge these place-related critiques in order to clarify a new framework titled ‘Post-phenomenology of place'. ‘Post-phenomenology', as a novel philosophical trend, is a merged school of thought, trying to re-read phenomenology based on Post-structuralism, Pragmatism and Materialism. In this study after a theoretical review on the formation of Post-phenomenology, the various aspects of place are discussed in order to clarify distinctions and paradoxes between phenomenological and Post-phenomenological understandings of place.

Details

Open House International, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article

Leah Tomkins and Virginia Eatough

The purpose of this paper is to look at how phenomenology can be used to explore the meaning and experience of organizational life. It argues that phenomenology provides…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look at how phenomenology can be used to explore the meaning and experience of organizational life. It argues that phenomenology provides more than just themes or leitmotifs for post hoc analysis of narrative data; in its basic formulation, phenomenology is a way of thinking – a method – which illuminates the embodied, subjective and inter-subjective qualities of the life-world.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper follows Husserl's command to “go back to the things themselves” to access raw experience, asking ourselves, “what does experience mean phenomenologically?” We draw on the work of Merleau-Ponty to “flesh out” the embodied aspects of that phenomenological experience, outlining how the idea of a “field of presence” grounds our reflections in the here-and-now and gives our selfhood its coherence.

Findings

The paper presents data on the diverse meanings of “experience” to suggest that phenomenological and organizational understandings can be differentiated in terms of both temporality and selfhood. The paper argues that these differentiations expose different ways of thinking about the world more generally, drawing on Husserl's philosophy of the “natural attitude” to propose that one of its derivations, an “organizational attitude”, is obscuring our view of embodied experience.

Practical implications

The paper provides practical guidelines for those interested in researching the embodied, experiential qualities of organizational life. These emphasize the need to suspend the “organizational attitude”, modify how the authors position and explain the research, and attend to the interplay between the felt sense of the world and the words used to articulate it.

Originality/value

The logic of the body helps the authors to work towards a more integrative, conciliatory epistemological position for qualitative organizational research. The paper uses a phenomenological view of embodiment – as both subjectively experienced and objectively presented to the world – to suggest that the body, particularly when it is sick, is giving us clues for how to conceptualize the life-world of work.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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