What does consulting and teaching look like from the sociopolitical spaces of privilege, ambivalence and oppression? Giving voice to visible social identities is explored through narrative exploration of teacher and student voices. Who can raise these issues and who cannot? Pedagogically, how can and should we as trainers address these issues? We discuss consulting and teaching about privilege and oppression across race, ethnicity and gender in psychology programs at urban universities in eastern and western United States. The three issues explored include: a) teaching about privilege and oppression from a visibly privileged social identity; b) acknowledging the ambiguities of privilege and oppression of minorities and immigrants from a sociopolitical space of ambivalence; and c) mentoring and modeling on issues of privilege and oppression from a visibly oppressed social identity. Consulting from this postmodernist perspective is different and more effective when members of all level of the organizations embrace readiness, patience and commitment toward organizational change. This approach is more aligned with the current shifts towards globalization and diversification occurring within organizations today.
This paper presents a personal account of how an individualized qualitative research process attempts to understand farmers. A story of how the author interacts with and interviews farmers in order to understand how they and the narrator constructs meaning about what it is to be a farmer and the ‘parallel world’ of the farmer. Explores some methodological issues and problems about framing farmers as entrepreneurs.
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.
The first seminar as a PhD student: it was the first impression for me of the way to become a researcher. The roles taken during the research process formed my identity in many ways: sometimes I was like a tourist, sometimes a spy, a missionary or a prisoner. All the roles taken during the research process formed the identity in one way or another. Some roles are of more a social origin, some are more individualistic. In this article it is revealed how the roles can form the identity growth process while conducting a study.
The research question in this article is: how do the different roles taken during the research process reflect on the researcher`s identity growth? The data consists of textual material on the research process. The content analysis is used as an analysis method. This article aims to contribute to the discussion about whether the formation of identity is of a social or of an individual origin.
Discrimination in the work place based on gender has been the subject of various studies; however, these studied have not discussed the possibility of the existence of superimposed psychographic characteristics, which could weaken or strengthen this practice of discrimination. The research presented here, enlightened by the ontological premise of post-modern criticism, seeks to verify whether the discrimination of the female gender in the work place is an isolated social phenomenon or if it is intertwined with other types of discrimination. To this end, a field study took place from March, 2006 to July, 2008, in public and private companies. Thirty-three women and thirty-seven men of various ages, ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations were interviewed. The reports were transcribed and underwent discourse analysis. The field study revealed that: (a) women are, in fact, submitted to discriminatory practices in the work place, such practices which are not rarely hidden under a mask of humor and informality; (b) in spite of their macho attitudes and comments, the men who commit them don’t perceive them as such; (c) Brazilian national culture prevails over organizational cultures; (d) gender cannot be treated as a fixed category since questions of esthetics, ethnic backgrounds, social class and sexual orientation accentuate the discrimination, and, finally; (e) contrary to what happens with blacks, ugly people, and homosexuals, towards whom discrimination is lighter when they occupy a more favorable social position or hierarchy, the same does not happen with women.
This paper explores how writing poetry came to make a significant contribution to an exploration of writing as a form of inquiry which questioned whether the process of writing can uncover and successfully express tacit, felt sense of knowing – aesthetics in the sensory embodied sense. An initial aleatory exploration with words led to the discovery of the potential of poetic language to express the inexpressible creating a poetic moment, where object merges with significance, the former opening up the latter. The writing also suggests that writing as a form of inquiry opens up opportunities for a more ethical writing through which there is increased capacity for researchers to ‘enter into the experiences of others’ with greater sensitivity and awareness. The documentation of the stages of the dynamic process of writing demonstrates how writing as a form of inquiry moves through a series of written representations suggesting that there is no difference between writing and field work as the fieldwork and writing blur into one, increasing the problem of representation.
In recent years, entrepreneurship scholars have begun studying entrepreneurship from social, prosaic, narrative, and discursive dimensions. These ―new movement‖ approaches privilege both business and non-business perspectives. Research in this domain of inquiry seeks to account for the everyday and mundane practices of social actors that can be characterized as entrepreneurial; therefore, prosaic approaches can de-center the narrative of entrepreneurship as comprised solely of a group of elite entrepreneurs. While researchers are encouraged to describe entrepreneurship from a life-story perspective, few scholars have used a self-narrative approach to writing about entrepreneurship. In this article, I use autoethnography to provide a personal account of entrepreneurship. I reflexively interrogate the ways in which I have reproduced, disrupted, benefited from, and been hindered by the dominant enterprise discourses in the United States. A prosaic approach using self-narrative, as demonstrated, is already engaged in a process of restorying entrepreneurship scholarship because it takes into account, among other things, the details of everyday entrepreneurial activity and is receptive to heterodox accounts (even stories that end in entrepreneurial failure).
This article studies how a political organization begins to experiment with its identity. By use of an empirical case of the Danish Ministry of Education, I examine how a political organization supplements its identity of a legislating power with identities of a supervisor, beacon and facilitator of reflection processes. I analyse how the Danish Ministry of Education observes that its initial attempts to strengthen evaluation in the Danish public schools did not have the wanted effects because the values and professional norms of public school teachers constitute a resistance towards interference from outside the educational system. The Ministry thus faces a dilemma: the more it tries to control evaluation in the public school, the less likely it is to produce a desired effect. This paradox contains destructive potential but also causes the Ministry to reflect upon its own role in the development of evaluation in public schools. Out of a paralysis emerge new innovative strategies of governing, aimed at the schools’ self-governing capacity. The identity of the political system thus emerges as oscillations between different roles of a legislating power and a supervising coach. The case study suggests that a society of experimentalism is emerging. Thus, the relevant object of study is no longer organizational identity, but the experiments with different identities that modern organizations are performing.
This article expands the hypothesis proposed by Peter F. Drücker and Dirk Baecker, that is, how the evolution of computer communication manifests and presses ahead the detemporization and poly-contextuality of information and therefore is said to be the driver for an unmanageable complexity within modern organizations. In order to do so, the article uses an illustrative case of Management by Objectives as it appears within the governmental programmes in Denmark associated with New Public Management. This case shows how this technology enables the production of a diversity of antagonistic images of the organization relative to its environment (polycontextuality) and in particular how these effects emerge due to different timebindings within organizations (organized temporality). As such the hypothesis is expanded in three ways: first of all, the hypothesis is expanded as polycontextuality is comprehended within the temporal dimension, that is, as the differences between timebindings. Second of all, the article renders probable these identity-problems of modern organizations but due to another technology which mediates communication: Management by Objectives. Thus, identity problems should be associated with other media of communication too, than the one of the computer communication. Third of all, the implications of identity problems of modern organizations are often associated with the impossibility of management or with a need for more complex ways of managing. The article is an attempt to specify this approach suggesting 2. order management as a matter of observing the observations enabled by management technologies. To these ends the article draws upon Luhmann´s system theory in order to direct attention to these organizational identity problems. This contribution is not conclusive. It is an attempt to expand a strong hypothesis in the need of further investigation
From the beginning of sociological reasoning about organizations, the loss of identity of individuals in the iron cage of an organization has been a prominent image. From the grandfathers of sociology through contemporary researchers, the identity of the person and the identity of the organization have been seen as antipodes that put the identity of the individual at risk. In this paper, we used systems theory to reconsider the relationship between identity and organization. We argued that both the individual and the organization must balance various expectations that occur in real time. Using empirical data, we demonstrated how multi-identities are constructed, referring to specific societal presents and their restrictions. We argued that conflicting identity constructions of individuals in organizations must not be interpreted as symptoms of alienation or oppression. For example, talking about conflicting requirements of organizational practice may affirm the professionalism of an employee. Moreover, the display of different identity constructions of organizations (e.g., in reports and resolutions) does not point to programmatic inconsistencies or indecisiveness, but to the organization’s need to deal with the expectations of a modern society that does not allow its organizations to follow only one purpose.
The growing role of the Internet social networking sites (SNS) has served as a flash point for debate about the democratization of information, particularly in light of their perceived roles in the 2008 presidential election. This horizontal sharing of information undoubtedly facilitated the revival of the youth vote and volunteerism in many ways mimicking traditional grassroots approaches. While the role of the Internet SNS in mobilization efforts and information-sharing cannot be overstated, its effectiveness in creating a new ―public sphere,‖ or transforming traditional electoral campaign strategies and communicative practices must be closely examined before generalizations about the democratization of media can be confirmed. In the aftermath of the election, theorists were quick to simplistically identify the use of social networking sites as key to this electoral shift. In this paper we attempt to advance contemporary theorizing of new media and institutional politics by examining specifically how and if ICTs (information communication technologies) and new media platforms are shifting the balance of power in terms of organization and mobilization away from the professional model and toward more democratic and bottom-up efforts. Reconceptualizing some of the basic theories of social movements and collective behavior this paper seeks to address questions such as: how are digitally enabled forms of mobilization affecting who becomes a participant; how do they affect organizational structure and leadership; how do they impact the dynamics of collective action; how do we address the powerful yet ephemeral effect of e-tactics established for short-term gains; can mobilizations succeed without collective identity and/or do we need new categorizations for collective identity; and whether e-tactics serve as a gateway for future participation.
The issue of workplace identity – how and why employees develop an attachment with and affinity for aspects of their work environment, and how work and non-work influences interact in the identification process, is a topic of substantial interest among both critical and ‗mainstream‘ management studies researchers (cf. Marks & Thompson, 2010). However, these streams of research have largely developed separately, with little cross-fertilization of ideas. This is also true of developments within the criticalmanagement community (e.g., between labour-process and postmodernist approaches). This paper seeks to remedy this situation by analyzing what I call ‗contextualist‘, ‗discursive‘, and mainstream approaches to the study of identity, with an eye towards synthesizing their best ideas. This may help management scholars to develop an understanding of identity that will empower lower-level employees at work.
In this paper I will investigate the phenomenon of the awayday and its potential as a transitional space as well as how it fits into management discourse. Transition is central to the awayday, often on a literal level (of being away from the office, for example). Furthermore I want to explore whether this shift from place or routine has any bearing on the feelings and experiences of the employees: does it represent a psychological transition? Does the irregularity of structure of the awayday provide a space for reflection? Does it alter the way the individual thinks about work or identity? I will discuss this apropos Turner’s concept of the liminal. My empirical data led the research. I interviewed members from two organisations that had recently been on an awayday and used their viewpoints to shape my understanding of the effects of transition on issues of identity whilst theoretically couching the discussion of the awayday within the context of ‘fun at work’ and how the awayday provoked questions about identity (both singular and multiple) and boundaries.
This paper advances the Buddhist insight of ‗no-self‘ as a foundation for theorizing the phenomenon of lack, and how such a sense of lack is symptomatic of a more fundamental and primary repression: a fear of no-self, or egolessness. Egocentric organizations depend on the reproduction of collective lack and underlying ontological insecurity, which manifests as a desire to be real, enduring, and self-existent. Egocentric organizational dynamics bind anxiety by channeling ‗reality projects‘ which feed compulsive desires for power, territory and control. The Buddhist perspective offers a liberative path as a counterforce to dominant egocentric organizational narratives. Rather than accepting lack as cultural condition, the Buddhist path focuses the mind directly on the source of lack, which, paradoxically is a gateway to seeing through the delusion of the egocentric self.
Amid the disempowerment and marginalization faced by young girls, character development programs are being implemented to change the course for girls by fostering strong and empowered feminine identities. I explore the challenges of implementing one such program through my ethnographic and community engaged research with a character development program designed to equip 3rd through 5th grade girls with the skills and confidence they need to grow into empowered women. Through a qualitative analysis, I empirically demonstrate the importance of community engaged scholarship for uniting theory with practice. My analysis extends research exploring community engaged, empowerment programs by highlighting the ways empowerment is experienced differently by every girl. I point to the tension between empowerment in theory and in practice, specifically addressing the assumptions: 1) of girls’ uniform experience base, 2) about the influence of the GRL message among competing others, and 3) regarding the utility of certain strategies in diverse situations, all of which undermine the process of empowerment. I describe my experience working with the founder of the organization to revise the curriculum and offer a set of practical implications for this and similar organizations to productively respond to the tensions between the theory and practice of empowerment. Finally, I argue for a conceptual shift in the way we theorize empowerment as an ongoing and constantly negotiated state of engagement, rather than an endpoint or stable state of being.
Contemporary organizations feature absence of boundaries and are increasingly defined by loose couplings, pluri-vocality and network configurations. What Foucault (1995) addressed as a former society of discipline is transformed and replaced into what Deleuze (1995) refines as a society of control that incorporates its subjects into new and ever changing lines of subjectification. This transformation of dispositifs (Deleuze, 1992; Foucault, 1980) and authoritative discourses (Bakhtin, 1982) that compose (and is composed of) a contemporary way of living induces in other words new types of embodied organizational knowledge and ways of organizing, which have consequences for how subject positions are (re)configured in everyday corporate lives. Such identity work is rarely studied in local discursive practices of today’s modern and emergent corporations. The aspiration in the present article is to scrutinize local practices in a dialogue based leadership development forum in university settings. This provides insights into the lived lives and identity work in Aalborg University representing a temporary, polyphonic and cross-disciplinary research project in a modern corporation. The project was an example of a loose-coupled and temporary arrangement/organization that invited a diverse group of participants to engage in the co-production of knowledge in/on leadership communicative practices. The participants were professional leaders from diverse organizations in the North of Jutland together with researchers and candidate students from the study programs of communication and philosophy at Aalborg University.
Communicative evaluation is a type of community-engaged scholarship that encourages collaboration between stakeholders and evaluators as they develop an action plan about a social problem. However, extant research has failed to adequately explore issues of power and identity encountered by communication evaluators in the field. Doing so could enrich assessment processes and outcomes to develop more nuanced theory and practice. Thus, we reflexively develop and integrate our personal stories and experiences of conducting communication evaluation research to highlight four dialectic identity tensions: (a) insider/outsider; (b) expert/novice; (c) program sustainer/impeder; and (d) researcher/friend. By displaying these tensions, we reveal potential opportunities for new insights that could offer pragmatic applications more attuned to the people and contexts of evaluation research. These tensions highlight the need for critical reflection in the pursuit of program sustainability and offer points for transformation. We conclude with pragmatic recommendations for engaging reflexivity in communication evaluation research.
This paper examines how employees respond to managements’ conflicting use of technocratic forms of control to ensure efficiency and socio-ideological control to produce an ‘on brand’ employee identity. The paper proposes a portrait-based form of ethnography as a way to illustrate both commonalities and differences in employees’ identity work and responses to managerial control within the call centre setting. The findings show that cynical distancing – and subtle enactment of the service brand – grows out of simultaneous embracing of and distancing from the contested work role. The study extends the concept of cynical distance as well as advances our understanding of how the tandem of socio ideological and technocratic control may work through employees’ cynical distancing. Finally, the paper argues for more nuanced insights into the identity work of call centre employees to fully understand negative but also positive consequences of managerial control in this specific setting.