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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1985

Richard Startup

Mathematics is a hybrid subject with the idea of number tending to unfold while some major geometrical innovations cannot be understood in these terms. The deployment of…

Abstract

Mathematics is a hybrid subject with the idea of number tending to unfold while some major geometrical innovations cannot be understood in these terms. The deployment of evolutionary, critical and non‐evolutionary structuralist conceptions in the analysis of mathematical development draws the conclusion that, in order to fully understand this development, it is necessary to consider mathematics' relations with other (artistic and scientific) concerns, the tendencies implicit in its subsystems, and the connections between its various fields, as well as the ability of mathematicians to appraise critically any given formulation and thereby transcend it.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2019

Markus F. Peschl

While many approaches in the field of unlearning aim at describing, understanding or explaining the “what” and/or “how” of unlearning, this paper aims to focus on the…

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1268

Abstract

Purpose

While many approaches in the field of unlearning aim at describing, understanding or explaining the “what” and/or “how” of unlearning, this paper aims to focus on the “where-to” and the goal of unlearning. In many cases, unlearning starts off with a specific result or goal in mind. This paper suggests that such an approach has to be challenged in the context of a highly complex and uncertain world and to introduce a mode of unlearning following a strategy of future-oriented open-endedness.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper draws on (both theoretical/philosophical and empirical) interdisciplinary evidence from a wide variety of fields, such as organization studies, organizational (un)learning, systems theory, cognitive science and innovation studies.

Findings

It turns out that open-endedness in unlearning processes plays a central role, especially if we are confronted with high levels of uncertainty and complexity. In such an environment, following a strategy of co-becoming with an unfolding environment and with an emergent goal seems to be more promising than aiming at a preconceived (un-)learning goal.

Originality/value

The unlearning literature provides various approaches to what unlearning is and how it can be executed. However, understanding the actual goals and outcomes of unlearning and how these goals are identified and determined is a rather under-researched field. In many cases, they are preconceived in advance finding their realization in new forms of knowledge, assumptions, belief systems, values or routines. This paper challenges this strategy and addresses the gap of how it is possible to unlearn toward an uncertain future. This has an impact on the process of unlearning itself; it has to be reframed and understood as an open-ended strategy for identifying emerging future potentials, purposes and goals in a process of co-becoming with an unfolding future.

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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…

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.

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

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Catharina von Koskull and Tore Strandvik

This paper aims to explore and demonstrate how an ethnographic research approach can reveal new aspects of the dynamics of service innovation processes. In contrast to the…

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1396

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore and demonstrate how an ethnographic research approach can reveal new aspects of the dynamics of service innovation processes. In contrast to the retrospective research approach found in most service innovation research, the ethnographic approach captures the innovation process as it unfolds.

Design/methodology/approach

An ethnographical investigation of an incremental service innovation at a bank was conducted. The innovation activities were performed jointly by a team of bank members from various functions and external business partners. This was a formal project with a pre-specified plan, budget, and timetable.

Findings

The ethnographical approach, capitalizing on its real-time, multi-methods, longitudinal, and up-close characteristics, made it possible to capture unforeseen events and issues at the micro level. The authors suggest that such critical events determine what direction the innovation process takes. The initial intentions and plans were partly realized; new issues emerged during the innovation work and were realized, while other emergent issues were finally not realized.

Research limitations/implications

The study suggests a framework that can be used to identify four categories of micro-level processes. Critical events in the micro-level processes represent potential turning points and are important foci in practice and remain issues for further research.

Practical implications

Managers may benefit from being open to including emergent issues and understanding the micro-level dynamics of the innovation process.

Originality/value

This study illustrates how the ethnographic research approach captures the dynamics of innovation processes and the potential challenges and possibilities for innovation managers. This finding suggests the need to address micro-level dynamics.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Book part
Publication date: 7 August 2019

Marian Konstantin Gatzweiler and Matteo Ronzani

This study explores how thinking infrastructures can orchestrate collective sensemaking in unstable and socially contested environments, such as large-scale humanitarian…

Abstract

This study explores how thinking infrastructures can orchestrate collective sensemaking in unstable and socially contested environments, such as large-scale humanitarian crises. In particular, drawing from recent interest in the role of artifacts and infrastructures in sensemaking processes, the study examines the evaluative underpinnings of prospective sensemaking as groups attempt to develop novel understandings about a desired but ambiguous set of future conditions. To explore these theoretical concerns, a detailed case study of the unfolding challenges of managing a large-scale humanitarian crisis response was conducted. This study offers two contributions. Firstly, it develops a theorization of the process through which performance evaluation systems can serve as thinking infrastructures in the collaborative development of new understandings in unstable environments. Secondly, this study sheds light on the practices that support prospective sensemaking through specific features of thinking infrastructures, and unpacks how prospective and retrospective forms of sensemaking may interact in such processes.

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Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2012

Chellie Spiller

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to encourage strategy and management researchers to undertake research that captures the relational, unfolding and emergent…

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to encourage strategy and management researchers to undertake research that captures the relational, unfolding and emergent processes of organizational life.

Methodology/Approach – The wayfinding method weaves concepts from traditional navigation with the wider body of strategy and management research literature. An illustrative case example is presented.

Findings – Six orientations informed by an Indigenous Māori research experience are presented under a trilogy of compass, conduct and contours. These orientations are dynamic dwelling, perceiving process, applying values, making connections, layering up, and expanding validity.

Practical implications – This study will aid researchers’ cultivation of greater methodological dexterity through insights that can assist with adopting a relational approach.

Social implications – The chapter shows how a holistic and relational mode of strategy and management research can help address the rising demand for more sustainable enterprises that create wealth and well-being.

Originality/Value – The chapter provides valuable insights from Indigenous wayfinding for strategy researchers and the organizations they work with.

Details

West Meets East: Building Theoretical Bridges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-028-4

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Book part
Publication date: 15 June 2018

Satu Teerikangas and Noelia-Sarah Reynolds

In this paper, we responded to recent calls for the use of a greater variety of qualitative methods in the study of inter-organizational encounters, including mergers and…

Abstract

In this paper, we responded to recent calls for the use of a greater variety of qualitative methods in the study of inter-organizational encounters, including mergers and acquisitions (M&As). The paper provided a reflection on the authors’ experiences in carrying out two studies of merger processes in the UK and Finland, one ethnographic and one combing also auto-­ethnographic methods. Contrasts between the former case of an “outsider” entering into an ethnographic study and the latter case of an auto-ethnographer with a dual role as a researcher and integration team member were highlighted. The paper offered three contributions to extant research. First, the paper extended the methodological debate in the study of M&As to the level of individual methods. Second, the paper identified the finding types that emerge when using ethnographic methods in the study of mergers. Third, the paper discussed the unique challenges posed when conducting ethnographic work investigating organizational combinations in times of mergers as opposed to ethnography in traditional, single organizational settings.

Details

Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-136-6

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

José Pérez Ríos

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a framework, based on Beer's viable system model (VSM) that enables managers of public and private organizations to cope with the…

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1541

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a framework, based on Beer's viable system model (VSM) that enables managers of public and private organizations to cope with the complexities faced by their organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on concepts from organizational cybernetics (OC) an heuristic is elaborated for the design or diagnosis of any organization, from the point of view of its viability.

Findings

An outline of the process that enables managers to diagnose or design the organization they manage is formalized in a structured sequence which, starting with the clarification of an organization's identity, purpose and boundaries, guides the whole process of structure creation and the detailed diagnosis of all its structural components from the point of view of its viability. A taxonomy of frequent pathologies that affect organizations is also presented.

Practical implications

This kind of framework can guide managers to apply the cybernetic concepts for higher organizational performance, thereby overcoming the oft‐bemoaned difficulties in applying these concepts in practice.

Originality/value

The paper tries to fill the gap between the conceptual deep theoretical works in OC by Stafford Beer and other researchers, and the need of managers for a structured process that can guide their application. The framework presented tries to provide that kind of guide. It integrates different components within a single framework, which covers the creation of the general structure, the diagnosis of each particular organization within it, the evaluation of the degree of coherence between organizational levels, and a taxonomy of organizational pathologies to facilitate such a structuring. Another contribution is the introduction of the VSMod software, created precisely to facilitate the implementation of the VSM.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 October 2020

Alexander Kaiser and Markus F. Peschl

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of self-transcending knowledge as one of P. Senge’s common themes underpinning his five disciplines approach. It will…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of self-transcending knowledge as one of P. Senge’s common themes underpinning his five disciplines approach. It will be shown that the notions of vision, purpose and transcendence, especially self-transcendence are closely related to each other. However, the aspect of self-transcendence has not been covered well yet in the existing literature. That is why this paper is guided by the following research question: What does a consolidated, integrative and interdisciplinary concept of self-transcending knowledge look like, and what are its defining and unifying features and characteristics with respect to learning organizations?

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper draws on (both theoretical and empirical) interdisciplinary evidence from a wide variety of fields, such as organization studies, psychology, philosophy, learning organizations, cognitive science and innovation studies. Key authors from the field of self-transcending knowledge and their approaches will be discussed to develop a unified interdisciplinary concept of self-transcending knowledge and its possible applications, which will be demonstrated in a case study.

Findings

Self-transcending knowledge turns out to be central in the fields of learning (organizations) and innovation, as it deals with future-oriented knowledge that is “not yet”, that transcends the boundaries of existing knowledge. It is based on self-detachment, the notion of potentials and the insight that novel knowledge is not only the result of a creative agent (or organization) but also can be found and cocreated through an attentive search in an unfolding reality.

Originality/value

Existing literature in the field of P. Senge’s five disciplines (and beyond) does not offer a comprehensive concept of self-transcending knowledge. This paper addresses this issue by bringing together approaches from a wide range of fields related to this concept; it develops an interdisciplinary and coherent notion and taxonomy of self-transcending knowledge and shows its impact for learning organizations and innovation.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Peter Wyer, Jane Mason and Nick Theodorakopoulos

The paper proffers a tentative conceptualisation of the “small business strategic learning process”, demonstrating the complexity of the small firm learning and management…

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4714

Abstract

The paper proffers a tentative conceptualisation of the “small business strategic learning process”, demonstrating the complexity of the small firm learning and management task. The framework, built upon personal construct theory and learning theories, is elaborated through the grounding of relevant areas of the strategic management literature in an understanding of the distinctive managerial and behavioural features of the small business. The framework is then utilised to underpin consideration of the concepts of “organisational learning” and the “learning organisation” within a small firm developmental context. It is suggested that whilst organisational learning may be a key and effective small business management approach to underpin sustainable development, the learning organisation, as currently conceived in the mainstream literature, fails to recognise and address the idiosyncrasies, problems and constraints relating to sustainable small business development. There does appear, however, to be great potential for extending understanding of the learning organisation concept into the small business context. An indicative research agenda is suggested.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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