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..
The growing popularity of women's sports has helped steer fitness companies such as Nike to carefully craft advertising messages aimed at women. The current study assessed Nike's marketing campaign in Glamour, a popular consumer magazine aimed at women aged 18-34, using a rhetorical analysis known as the critical feminist approach. This approach was utilized as a means of discovering how the construction of gender was created in this Nike advertising campaign, how this construction represents a dominating ideology of patriarchy, and how this oppressiveness can be recast into a picture that is more positive toward women. A total of five Nike advertisements were discovered by the investigators in the 1999 issues of Glamour, and each was analyzed according to image and content. Results indicate that although this advertising campaign appears to represent positive images of women connected to their experiences, patriarchal values still exist within this campaign. Narrative storytelling offers a further explanation for understanding these advertisements in that Nike uses the strategic narrative of epic genre to appeal to women and to enhance the image of Nike as being supportive toward women.
Mills and Ryan focus on Catholic women's religious orders and relate the legacy of their evolution, and the external forces which shaped them, to the present crises being experienced in such organizations. The authors draw conclusions not only for women inside Catholic religious orders, but for the understanding of management and organizing in general, among other things.
Before delving into the issue of women in combat which this essay is about, I would like to first name my social location. I am a young, middle-class, heterosexual, Greek-Hispanic, educated female and disabled veteran. Having served six years in the Army National Guard, I acknowledge both the contributions I can offer and the limitations I have when engaging in this particular topic. With that said, I would like to offer the following to my reader: what I write is written with my voice and my particular experiences in mind. I use a combination of rational theory, emotions, rhetoric, my lived experiences, and a particular theological perspective to compose this essay. I do not claim to be objective, nor do I consider this a flaw on my part. I believe it is not possible for any author to be fully objective on any subject matter, no matter how much an author might claim to be. We all hold particular political interests informed by our culture and environment which subconsciously and consciously operate through our language and actions.
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.
In a special issue that firmly addresses itself to space and time, we choose to discuss enacted concepts that we see lend themselves to the building of binary opposition and thinking as space and time become blended such that one has difficulty remembering what has happened to space in 'such a short period of time'. As such, the impetus for this paper has less to do with space or time than it does with inquiry into human relationships. That being said, we strive to learn more about space and time by looking at relationships humans have with themselves, each other and with organisations. When we say we have to “watch our selves”, we at the same time, mean this in at least three different ways. In the first place, to watch our selves means to become aware of the potential space and time have as experiences that shape the way we think and comprehend our worldviews -- our psyches' spaces -- before we act to shape our worlds.
This text inquires in a poetic way the possibility of theatrical space by exploring the question "what space makes theatre possible?". The central argument is that threatre creates an intensive yet fragile space of possibility and the possible through creating affects. The text, written in between a prelude and an epilogue, approaches this space of desire and intensity indirectly by exploring the perspective of audience, actors and "angels" as they are seized by desire and awaiting the play in the wings. We argue through interweaving these three angles that every play presupposes a twilight zone, a connecting boundary which forms a transition into the magical where dream and desire can take over, where the virtual and the everyday can become connected and where new lines of flight might emerge. The aesthetic experience of theatre is characterised by participating in a clearing of openness where truth happens and where its practical implications might be heard. There is no change possible without engaging with the open-endedness when entering the wings of theatre.
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
This paper explores the politics of interpretation from the perspective of hermeneutic theory. It presents a reading of Kafka’s novel The Castle focused on critique of the business of interpretation, where suspicion unfolds in distorted, possibly fraudulent, sense making between protagonist, narrator and reader. The protagonist’s mission is neither heroic nor a call to resistance to bureaucratic absurdity, but instead, the result of hubris, hoax, or even a slip of the pen, and it becomes impossible to unpick the perils of bureaucracy from the perils of interpretation, or to distinguish between error and insight. In mining discrepancies between justification, effort and reward of interpretation, Kafka punctures the mythology of understanding, rupturing the near-sacrosanct hermeneutic connection between interpretation and meaning. His work undermines both objective and subjective understandings, leaving us distrustful of both expert and experiential perspectives. In a post-truth era with its ‘alternative facts’, The Castle feels startlingly fresh and relevant.
In this article, I contend that the multicultural view of diversity found in management diver sity literature and diversity training programs diminishes our understanding of diversity. It reduces diversity to differences and assumes that the goal should be including, bridging, accommodating, and managing these supposed differences. Diversity is psychologized, depoli ticized, and biopoliticized. It becomes merely a means to an end. The end being superior organi zational outcomes in terms of utility and functionality. I contend that an ecological perspective makes for a more constructive and expansive view of human diversity. I discuss the contours of this emergent perspective and the many ways in which it expands our understanding of human diversity. Ultimately, I contend looking at diversity from an ecological perspective makes for a richer understanding of the relationship between diversity and the human experience.
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 central aim of this study is to provide a critical analysis of oppositional practices in the workplace by exploring the role of worker subjectivity in shaping and articulating contemporary strategies of resistance. First, a theoretical analysis will be presented which seeks to challenge many of the dualistic assumptions that have underpinned traditional studies of resistance. It is argued that the re-entry of subjectivity into the analysis of resistance provides a means for escaping these dualisms and retrieving the analytical and empirical significance of oppositional practices. The argument suggests that although subjectivities are indeed effects of power, and that individuals are positioned in relation to dominant discourses - and therefore constituted as having certain interests - power is not fixed and thus cannot completely or permanently determine identity. This instability of power makes apparent certain fragilities within these dominant discourses and makes them liable to threats and seductions from subject positions within different or competing discourses, it is suggested that these fractures and competing subject positions afford small but important spaces for resistance. The second half of this essay presents a detailed case study of the Acme School. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed to explore the subjective experiences of resistant members of Acme toward recent government reform initiatives. Two dominant strategies were identified: 'resistance through distance' and 'resistance through persistence' and it was demonstrated that an understanding of different subjectivities is vital to appreciating how these distinct strategies emerged.
This paper considers the methodological implications arising from competing narratives of an organizational change process in a large acute city teaching hospital. This qualitative case study was informed by a processual-contextual perspective, and relied on an interpretive, constructivist epistemology. Two forms of contradiction are revealed. First, differing accounts were offered of substantive dimensions of the change programme. Second, the impact of change on organizational effectiveness was indeterminate. This study suggests that the unitary, authentic narrative is illusory. Political motivations underpinning account-giving, and phenomenological variations in the lived experience of change, make competing narratives a naturally occurring phenomenon, not a methodological aberration. These findings have two main implications. First, case narrative validation through triangulation should be abandoned in favour of the pursuit of polyphony and ambiguity. Second, the researcher faces the choice of being either an arbiter of accuracy, or of holding the less comfortable, more challenging, but creatively constructive role of exposing organizational tensions, disputes and contradictions.
Time has become increasingly utilized as a tool for organizations to increase productivity and control workers. Since the advent of the mechanical clock in the fourteenth century, time has structured organizational experience. This increased precision has lead to the standardization of efficiency. The struggle for greater efficiency creates an organizational environment where the worker is dissociated and dehumanized-subsumed by the machine. Time and technology work in concert to improve efficiency In addition to the mechanical clock, computers and the Internet have also contnbuted to the conquering of time in the organizational sense. It is the instantaneousness of communication that has lead to the initial feeling of time being conquered. Social interaction is one of the fundamental drives of humanity, and this interaction is threatened by the standardization of efficiency. Implications for organizations are discussed, followed by an exemplar involving the changing nature of investing. Finally, ideas for reclaiming the pre-modern conceptualization of organizing are suggested.
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.
From 'the learning organization', through creating cultures of fun and play, to commissioning beautifully designed office spaces, many contemporary organizations are trying to tap into the aesthetic sensibilities of their employees by building an organizational 'experience' that is conducive to aesthetic expression in order to unleash the power of their collective, creative, artistic, unconscious. Drawing on psychoanalytical theory and primary, qualitative data, we offer a counter argument, highlighting the contested nature of the unconscious; therefore calling into question precisely what is being 'unleashed' during these processes of creativity. Additionally, we will postulate that the role of skill, ability and craft expertise is at least as important as aesthetic expression. Finally, adopting an object relations perspective, we will argue that the enactment of creative expression is frequently suffused with anxiety - either necessitating the existence of a facilitating environment which assists the individual or group to operate from the depressive position (often the location of creative, synergistic space).
On a theoretical level, complexity theory offers an emergence-based insight into organizing. The unicity of events, the undetermined nature of creative change, and the multifarious nature of circumstances are all honored. But how can (successful or unsuccessful) self-organizing be studied? If organizing really can be self-organizing, how could a researcher perceive it? Either the observer is entirely outside of the change process and is unmoved or unaltered by it -- i.e. only able to see the change from its exterior; or the observer changes with the change process and is part and parcel of it. If one is inside the change, how can one observe it; and if one is outside, how could one experience it? If self-organization really can occur, how could self-organization organize organization without betraying emergence and becoming just another form of control? To examine these issues a case is presented and then interpreted with use of a perspective inspired by (some aspects of) Luhmann, and via Luhmann, Serres (Luhmann, 1997, 2003; Serres, 1982).
In this article, we outline our organizational change initiative, our “small experiment,” and our attempt to understand how organizational change is actually accomplished. It is our desire to first change our selves and how we perform gender and through this local initiative, to eventually change how our organization as a whole performs gender. In our effort to accomplish this goal, we began by attempting to understand the issue, our experience, and the performance of gender within our organization. Based upon these understandings and because of this understanding, we will identify initiatives that change our organization's performance of gender. Finally, in an attempt to understand the microprocesses of change, of how organizational change is accomplished - “its dynamic, unfolding, emergent qualities (in short its potential) (Tsoukas & Chia, 2002, 568),” we will document and attempt to understand our experience of change from within.
This paper is concerned with the theatre of organisational life. It gives particular attention to the work of the playwright Antonin Artaud and his relationship with the Roman Catholic Church. In every aspect of his life, Artaud was a man of extremes. His attempts to theatricalize his personal tortures and to find expression for them are excessively brutal and intensely physical. His relationship with the Catholic Church is likewise passionate and one of extremes. From daily communicant to heretic and blasphemer, back to communicant, then to repudiator, is a pattern of oscillation which runs throughout his life. His theatrical works reflect this tension. In later life, he comes to believe that he himself was crucified as a punishment for his disordered life. At times in his life he seems to crave the community of the Church and other times to despise the moral order the Church imposes on him. This paper attempts to look at Artaud's desire to examine experience in its raw state. The paper concludes by considering the way in which this oscillation is apparent in ambivalent attitudes to the organising power of the corporation and in the quasi Catholicism of organizational rituals and performances.