This discussion piece sets the tone for this new journal in its narrative presentation form. It will run over two issues and is open to include feedback from readers. In debating the case for TAMARA to represent either a) a postmodern science approach to organisational analysis or b) a postmodern aesthetic appreciation, the two participants reflect on the relevance of critical theory to their life and work. Hence rather than the intellectual exchange taking place in a disembodied form, they situate their intellectual history via issues of social location and lived experience. They reflect on the integral connection between theory and practice with the objective of furthering their commitment to effecting social change. The first short article takes the form of initially introducing the authors and then moves to a discussion of the role of critical pedagogy. The detailed references to teaching content are broached in order to demonstrate the efficacy of critical analysis for pedagogical purposes; not to focus on the relative achievement of the individual lecturers involved. The second longer article entails a debate of central relevance to the Journal, addressing: what type of orientation a critical postmodern analysis of organisational politics might take? The discussion begins with a dialogue between the two protagonists on the pros and cons of adopting a scientific approach. The focus then switches to situating the plurality of postmodernism; analysing the `affirmative' versus `sceptical' opposition. The contribution of the `White French Pomo Boys' is interrogated in relation to the late modernist thesis. Finally, Boje proposes an eclectic integration between modernist and postmodernist influences in the name of `narrative ethics'. Bissett responds, outlining the dilemmas of employing unreconstructed narratives. She deconstructs the notion of the aesthetic as a modernist cultural category, in order to propose a postmodern `political poetic' alternative..
Tamara: Journal of Critical Postmodern Organization Science is an interdisciplinary dialog whose time has come. In their Communist Manifesto, written in late 1847, Marx and Engels wrote, "A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies" (published 1848). The purpose of this essay is to combine Critical and Postmodern perspectives in the study of Organization Science.
Beech et al argue that attacks to postmodern thinking that conceive it as leading to purposelessness are misconstrued and that it is possible to adjust the focus of purpose in a way the reframes action. They argue that the appropriate approach is postmodern, no post-purpose, and that postmodernism does not reject the idea of purpose per se, rather it draws attention to the chaotic context in which purposes are played out.
On Friday, April 8, 2005 in Philadelphia, PA at the Standing Conference for Management and Organization Inquiry (SC'MOI), a panel of female sports experts was gathered to answer some interesting and difficult questions regarding females in sports. The panel consisted of the following: Ms. Lynn Tighe, Associate AD/SWA, Villanova University; Ms. Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick, SWA, Lafayette College; Ms. Dei Lynam, Sports Anchor Reporter, Comcast Sportsnet; Ms. Karen Kopecky, Sports Marketing Manager; Ms. Ryan Heiden, Premium Services Event Manager, Philadelphia Eagles; Ms. Jamie Braunwarth, Compliance Assistant, Atlantic 10 Conference; and Ms. Connie Hurlbut, former Sr. Director of WNBA for Basketball Operations and Patriot League Executive Director. The historical perspective and attitudes of these women varied as did their years of experience and stages of their respective careers. For the purpose of this article the panelists were broken into two groups which were the experienced group (15 or more years in the sport industry) and the up-starts group (5 or less years in the sport industry). Both Ms. Heiden and Ms. Braunwarth were considered up-starts while the remaining panelists were experienced.
Organisational purpose is an important topic. It comes up regularly in leadership and management conversations. We pay attention to a tendency to consider purpose as something static, abstract and reified. Despite a natural desire to simplify, and referencing Peirce, Stacey and others, we show the complex shifting of meaning. It is relational, emerging within, and between, people. Context, the passing of time and local interpretations are important themes in considering the utility of what we might call purpose. Here we use a reflective autoethnographic approach to illustrate our ideas, arguing against the separation of subjectivity and objectivity, and for a process-oriented way of thinking of purpose in leadership and management
The topic of managerialism has in recent years received significant attention in the critical management studies field. However, this paper proposes that there are largely unrecognized conceptual disagreements hampering progress in understanding the nature of managerialist influence at work and in society in general, and in developing political strategies to combat the negative effects of managerialist ideology in those domains. The 'expansive' view presents managerialism as a sweeping hegemonic force that dominates society, whereas the 'focused' view argues for a much more limited scope of influence and focuses on a more empirical view of managerialism's effects. The purpose of this paper is to argue for the existence of these two points of view, to describe their differences, and also common ground between them that can constitute the basis for productive engagement between them that might lead to a critical perspective on managerialism that will help further CMS's emancipatory mission.
The following are antenarratives related by female U.S. Coast Guard cadets (now officers in the Coast Guard) as part of a gender and leadership directed study taught by Dr. Matthew Eriksen. Also, there are antenarratives by Captain Robert Ayer and Dr. Matthew Eriksen concerning their response to The Conference on Women at the Academy in which the female cadets participated. As well as education, the purpose of the directed study was to fundamentally change the participants: their self-understanding, gender discourse and gender performance. In addition, the directed study was conceived as a medium through which to change the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's and Coast Guard's gender performance and ideology to improve the day-to-day experience of female cadets and officers. The approach taken in the directed study is outlined in the article “Conceptualizing and Engaging in Organizational Change as an Embodied Experience within a Practical Reflexivity Community of Practice: Gender Performance at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy” (Eriksen, Van Echo, Harmel Kane, Curran, Gustafson & Shults, 2007) in Tamara: 4(1).
The purpose of this paper is to explore how the ideas and theatrical practices of Bertold Brecht may be applied in organizational contexts. A model is developed that builds on Brechtian conceptions of alienation and integrates organizational learning and role theories. Specifically, the model suggests that role distance may be reconceptualized as a reflective, dialectic process that builds on Brecht's ideas for alienating actors and audiences from the familiar to demonstrate the changing and changeable nature of behavior. This reflective process in turn may facilitate non-routine, role-related learning. Implications for organizational theory and practice are discussed.
The purpose of this paper is to understand the senses that people give to the machines used in their daily work with special emphasis on new technoiogies. The present essay is based on the constructionist methodological theoretical referential, which considers knowledge - the product ofinteractions between people - as the analysis object and tries to understand the senses that are constructed by people through the discursive practices of daily life.
This work is focused on the connection that people establish with technologies - especially, the computer - at work. Since the computer is a machine that allows velocity at work, our interest also turns to the meanings that people attribute to rhythm, to the velocity and to the acceleration resulting from the use ofmachines in daiiy professional activities. In this way, more specifically, this essay tries to interpret the senses that people attribute to the velocity and to the acceleration of daily life, from the connections that they establish with new technologies.
Written through the lens of the practitioner-scholar, this paper integrates first-hand experience with theory to explore the tension between positive scholarship and the Metamorphosis Model proposed by Boje (2005) in the context of the emerging workplace practice of systematically applying story/telling. In particular it examines the importance of shadow stories, potent stories from the liminal spaces of the organization, and their implication for organizational practitioners who are latching on to the emerging trend to formally or systematically integrate story/telling into their practice. It draws on the practical experience blended with the qualitative research of the author on the systematic use of stories in for-profit organizations. It does not problematize systematic, performer storytelling as a strategic process, but for the purposes of this paper accepts it as a popular contemporary trend. A preliminary set of reflective questions for practitioners who have chosen to participate in systematic storytelling are included with the intent of challenging practitioners to widen the angle of their listening lens and deepen their practice through an understanding and inclusion of liminal stories.
This article is about why organizations should take time to understand and care for employees and why they probably do not. The discussion is set against the backdrop of stories from 28 people separated from the job in August 2000 during a downsizing event at TREBCO (pseudonym), a manufacturing automotive firm based in a large midwestern U.S. city. A total of 1,100 white-collar workers were sent away at that time. The first author presents findings from a qualitative study she conducted in 2001 to explore these workers' experiences of the same downsizing event and their perceptions about whether or not TREBCO knew that its decision might adversely affect some lives. She ends her section by suggesting that because of the varied experiences that emerged from the study and because of the unique relevancy structures from which each emerged, TREBCO should have taken time to know these employees as persons and found alternative means of achieving corporate profitability ends. The second author then presents a counter-argument based on some of the organizational literature that questions why TREBCO should care, from an organization's perspective. He also presents a position from a labor point of view, which argues that the proposed action may actually be detrimental to those same employees. The purpose of this paper is not to resolve this perspectival dilemma; rather, it is to promote dialog toward possible transformation.
The purpose of this article is to deconstrct guru Tom Peters for his religion of management, and its mass worship. In the work presented, my intention was to confront myself with own assumptions, attitudes and perceived values. In my opinion every individual is following a vision of reaching a certain level of wisdom. There are numerous Gurus that our modern world is promoting and because of their status their ideas might have a huge influence on us.
In this paper, the Co-operative movement’s relevance to contemporary society is evaluated through a metatheatre type of analysis. With the help of a two-voice device, the author debates whether co-ops are out of touch with commercial reality or if they hold promise for developing sustainable, socially responsible business in the long term.The purpose of this article is a metatheatre script analysis of Nathan's acocunt.
This article grows out of a feeling that, over the past ten years or so, the concept of story has become distinctly too comfortable. Ideas that once seemed crisp and provocative (e.g. "The truth of a story lies in its meaning, not in its accuracy", "We are all storytelling animals", "Stories are repositories of knowledge" etc.) have assumed the standing of unquestioned truths, almost ‘facts’, in Latour’s view. Moreover, I have come to view some of the current ‘controversies’, notably over performance versus text, as diversions from more problematic aspects of the use of stories in organizational research. The purpose here to reproblematize the idea of narrative, to recover its recalcitrant and even dangerous qualities once more and point out some consequences of their seductive powers. In particular, I would like to argue that stories can be vehicles of contestation and opposition but also of oppression, easily slipping into hegemonic discourses; furthermore, that they can be vehicles to enlightenment and understanding but also to dissimulation and lying; and finally, that they do not obliterate or deny the existence of facts but allow facts to be re-interpreted and embellished – this makes stories particularly dangerous devices in the hands of image-makers, hoaxers and spin doctors. Stories have recently emerged as criticism-free zones, affording their authors an immunity from many requirements that apply to other narratives and texts. It is time, in my view, to withdraw this immunity. Neither stories, nor experiences are above academic criticism, challenge and contestation.
This paper is about an entrepreneurial fraternity and its role in reworking and reframing entrepreneurial excess. We achieve this through considering the historical presentation of the entrepreneur as an isolated individual, a maverick, can be mediated through the adoption of historical modes of organisation that have been appropriated to provide conformity, legitimacy and a sense of belonging. To achieve the purpose of our paper we examine the website of the Memphis based society of entrepreneurs (www.societyofentrepreneurs.com). Through examination of stories on the website, we show how the conservativeness of the stories presented may play a key role in creating a entrepreneurial identity that counters the rebellious and recklessness of the young turks. We suggest that while these modes of organisation may initially seek to curb entrepreneurial excess, in time, they have the potential to be abused, and thus, in themselves, become a form of excess.
This paper is based on an evaluation of a Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) Youth Sport, Recreation and Leisure Project conducted in Perth, Western Australia by researchers from Edith Cowan University on behalf of the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR). The purpose of the Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) Youth Sport, Recreation and Leisure Project which was facilitated by the City of Stirling (CoS Project) was to develop links between mainstream sport and recreation organisations, clubs and facilities in the CoS and young people from CaLD backgrounds. The authors of this paper were contracted by DSR to evaluate the Project over a two year period (2007-2008) in a two phase outcome evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation was to document the extent to which the Project had achieved its intended outcomes; to document barriers to the achievement of outcomes and; to document whether, and how, barriers to achievement of outcomes have been overcome. The primary target group is young people from CaLD backgrounds from new and emerging communities, particularly African young people as they dominated the refugee intake to the CoS (between 2001-2009). The paper provides new and useful insights into the resettlement needs and issues facing not only refugees in general, but young refugees and the ways in which sport, in the host country, may or may not facilitate the integration process. We use the term African with caution in this paper and understand it incorporates many nations; however it is used in the paper for a reference point. This paper is based on the final report submitted to DSR in May 2009, titled Evaluation of The City of Stirling CALD Youth Sport and Recreation Project. The basis of this paper’s structure and conclusions are based on this report.
Freidrich Nietzsche has declared an ‘excess of history.’ History is not being crafted for the purpose of life. Nietzsche posits three kinds of history: antiquarian (excessive concern for the past as just trivia about heroes), monumental (emerging history of becoming that is being stifled), and need for critical history (a resistance to antiquarian that can degenerate into skepticism and cynicism). My purpose is to develop the three modes of past into a critique of retrospective narrative and point to its antithesis, living story of becoming. Organizations suffer from an excess of retrospective narrative history. The antidote is a methodology we at STORI are calling ‘story noticing.’
Organizational spirituality is a widespread phenomenon and as such deserves the attention of academics. Of particular interest – and the focus of the paper are the internal dynamics which often drive spiritually imbued organizations (the term ‘spiritual organization’ will be purposefully avoided throughout the paper as burdened with troublesome implications) towards stagnated, immutable world view. I will suggest that these mechanisms may be elucidated – to a certain extent - by referring to Karl Weick’s theory of sensemaking. I will also argue that this approach contributes to the explanation of certain phenomena which can be observed in such organizations, many of which are very conservative, immutable structures. Accepting the heritage of conclusions drawn by Michael Pratt in his seminal article (Pratt, 2000), I supplement his approach by adding the results from my own empirical study. I will further use them to demonstrate the inadequacy of introducing a spiritual world view into the organizational environment from a theoretical and practical perspective. Finally, it will be argued that modern organizations are not securing conditions for the successful introduction of widely understood spiritual concepts.
Michael Moore is one of the most disputed authors and filmmakers in the United States. The purpose with this article is to try to shed some new insights and understandings of Moore’s political views as they are represented in his book “Dude, Where’s My Country?” and film “Fahrenheit 911”. By applying insights from international relations theory, we are trying to get a better understanding of Moore’s political views by putting his views within the framework of “soft power”. According to the soft power concept, the US’ mightiest power resource as of today is not its hard power (such as military and economic strength), but its soft power such as the attractiveness of its culture, political ideals, and policies. By applying the soft power concept, the article explains how Michael Moore is advocating a new foreign policy of the United States. This is a United States, which safeguards an international system made up by norms, institutions and a collective international order. Furthermore, the article underlines that Michael Moore’s popularity cannot be explained by rising anti-Americanism on a global scale, but quite the opposite. Instead, Michael Moore’s films and books could be regarded as a symptom of US soft power where he represents what people around the world regards as the attractiveness of the United States.
The interest in societal forms of entrepreneurship has increased in recent decades, emphasizing different kinds of prefixed such as ―social‖ ―ecological‖, ―sustainable‖, ―regional‖. In this article societal and social is at stake. Taking a point of departure in the prefix stories of entrepreneurship we read a wish to break with the grand narrative of entrepreneurship as well as attempts to feed into and draw legitimacy from the grand narrative. In this article we take a point of departure in an initiative taken in Sweden to introduce and finance a program labeled ―Societal entrepreneurship‖. The purpose is to create knowledge about, as well as conditions for, initiatives aiming at improving what is missing or does not work in public structures, and finding new and innovative solutions in order to create an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable society. Applying Burke‘s pentad it is illustrated that the grand narrative of entrepreneurship consists of the heroic entrepreneur (agent) who creates a kingdom (act) by way of establishing a company (agency) on the market in order to make a profit and contribute to growth (purpose). Applying the concept of Tamara, introduced by Boje, it is further illustrated how the grand narrative of entrepreneurship emphasizes capitalism, rationality and hierarchy in line with the epoch of industrialization, whilst the antenarrative of societal entrepreneurship gives priority to both premodern and postmodern discourses. The importance of community, of non-economic values, artisan craftsmanship is stressed, but also of how societal structures must be changed. The story of societal entrepreneurship thus de-centers human agency seeking to create instability as well as openings for enactment.