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..
When asked to serve on the TAMARA Editorial Board, we were honored. To be able to work and theorize with colleagues in such diverse and important fields as organizational science, critical postmodernism, green theory and left economics was a rare treat. We come from the tradition of "critical pedagogy." For us, critical pedagogy stands at the nexus of critical/postmodern/poststructuralist theories, multicultural theories, cultural studies and struggles for social justice and a progressive politics within education. And truly, we expect to learn more from our TAMARA colleagues and submitters than they will from us. And to then be asked to react to the important research presented in "Think Global, Act Local," by de Cieri, Wolfram Cox & Fenwick, was even more of an honor; for these researchers truly "push the envelope" of organizational science-specifically, by examining "critical participation" within the context of "strategic international human resource management" (SIHRM). In this essay, we choose to react to de Cieri, Wolfram Cox & Fenwick by going "old school." For us, critical pedagogy began with el abuleito, intelectual, Compañero Paulo Freire. While he was Brazilian, and we are Chicano and European American, as left educationalists, we feel an enduring political, cultural and educational bond with Freire. Although he died in 1997, his connection to all educational progressives, and all who are interested in advancing struggles for social justice and dignity among all women and men, we must always remember the legacy and importance of his years of living his theory and theorizing his practice.
Van Uden et al assert that the world is best described as being a complex system, and, through the use of the 'complexity' discourse, students of organizations--organizations being regarded as complex sub-systems of the whole--can benefit from the various complexity science research programs. They argue that complexity theory in this respect is reminiscent of postmodern organization theory.
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.
Understanding the parameters of modernism and the characteristics of postmodernism has been the goal of specialists and thinkers in the modern world. In recent years, the development of these epistemological modern and postmodern parameters and characteristics has attracted the attention of educational philosophers. In this article, an effort is made to analyze the educational ideas of some very influential thinkers such as Lyotard (1979), Frazer(1989) Penely (1989)), Hirsch (1987), Rortri(2002) and Curren (2003)as the foundations of modern and postmodern eras through a descriptive method. To this end, the relevant educational epistemological approach is scrutinized by dint of concepts such as definitions, principles, aims of education, parameters of critical and 'boundary' education, curriculum development and methodologies of modernism as well as postmodernism. The findings of this article elucidated the fact that paying attention to educational pluralism, multicultural conventions, creation of probable rather than absolute and certain knowledge are the outstanding features of postmodern educations. These features can illustrate the claim for fostering active and critical citizenship in the local, national and international arenas. Moreover, the findings of this study show that the rejection of all generalization and homogeneous perceptions and appreciations of social critical discourses are the essential building blocks and important aims of postmodern education. This leads to the practice of democracy based on interdisciplinary fields rather than on separate subjects(in the postmodern era). This aim is obtainable through the interrelated networks of group learning 'at school', and the 'university of life' as a 'small community' in critical education. Such a postmodern curriculum produces rather than consumes knowledge and it is iconoclastic not conformist and structuralism. The other result gained from postmodern education is the application of hermeneutic not dilectic modernist model. Based on the post modern criteria, the system of education must distance itself from the mere utilitarian, and instrumental criteria and embrace the postmodern touchstones of the citizen's critical and democratic attitudes, and mentalities
Many journalists describe the Zapatistas' use of media events to influence international public opinion in favour of their organization and its aim to achieve indigenous land reform as the “first postmodern revolution” (Carrigan 2001, 417). These journalists are not simply using a catch phrase, the Zapatista rebellion can be understood to be a postmodern movement in three different ways of examining the social theory: 1) as a polemic against another theory, 2) as a mode of discourse, 3) and as a guide to action (Simmons 2004). The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) stands as a postmodern polemic against modernism, and globalization. It has asserted itself as an alternative and opposing political force to the Mexican government. The postmodern mode of discourse can explain how the EZLN uses language and new technologies, over guns, to communicate their group's objectives to the repressive Mexican state authorities and to the world at large. However, postmodernism can be a poor guide to action due to its aversion to ideology. The Zapatista rebellion as postmodern revolution is an ongoing struggle and may never achieve its full objectives.
In this essay, it is argued that postmodernism has acquired an organisational theory, and it is accepted that the tools of postmodernism can be translated into the workplace. It has been proposed that postmodern tools are merely a means of oppression, following a lineage as old as organisations themselves. It has been negative and doom-laden in tone, with management potentially wielding the power of the resource metaphor over the subjected employees.
The paper is an exploration of the usefulness of postmodern theory to today’s manager. In particular, the paper asks whether it can be applied in practice. Decentring the self through a two-voice device aids in this analysis but leads to another dilemma. Where does the questioning end? The paper ends with a challenge about authenticity.
The evaluation of organizational change is a thorny issue. Firstly, accurate data depicting the organization's response to a change process are very difficult to collect, and the process can be corrupted by the Macnamara Fallacy. Secondly, the evaluative conclusions derived from the data are complex high-inference chains of reasoning based on implicit, taken-for-granted beliefs and values. Specifically, ontological and epistemological paradigms broadly determine the context for the conclusions of the evaluative inference, even though they are rarely made explicit. This paper presents two sets of ontological and epistemological paradigms; one set is modernist, and the other is postmodernist. It then applies them to organizational change data to demonstrate the divergent evaluations that can be constructed.
In the midst of the postmodern art tumult of the 1980's there emerged a group of artists whose artwork was outwardly focused and culturally critical in a broad Debordian sense. Focusing on the subjects of postmodern culture, critical postmodern artists depicted the "dark" side of the postmodern world from their multiple perspectives. They did this with well-crafted works that may communicate on a broader less "elitist" level. These artists are not neutral toward their subjects.
An understanding of the definition and dynamics of time is necessary to the conception of a "postmodem" political organization. Additionally, the nuances of time illustrate the shifting role that race has and continues to play in postmodern politics. This article discusses the relationship between time, race and politics by emphasizing three primary aspects of time: time itself, as the condition for political action; timing, which expresses a particularly strategic process of political action; and being on time, which signifies the fulfillment of political strategy. This understanding of the contours of time is illustrated by the dynamics of "black politics" in the American political system, and among Democratic and Republican party organizations.
Many transnational scholars agree that the nation-state is not disappearing because of globalization, but rather is being reorganized, in part, to reflect the interests of a global marketplace. Postmodern perspectives on borders have been critiqued for ignoring, if not obscuring, this point. The idea is that postmodernism’s emphasis on hybridity makes the notion of boundaries defunct and leads to the conclusion that the nation-state is irrelevant as a unit of analysis. This is problematic for those who now see any discussion of power and violence regarding the border as impossible to formulate. This paper aims to assuage some deep concerns regarding a postmodern analysis of globalization, the nation-state, and the border. In addition, the shortcomings of both critics and recent “reformers” of hybridity are examined, along with the far reaching value of using a postmodern approach in U.S.-Mexico border studies. Finally, the implications of postmodernism with regards to social change in this era of lobalization are discussed.
Democracy needs to defend itself from the many immediate threats - technology, imperialism, global economic powers, human passivity and reactionary religion. Reactionary religion has taken the lead worldwide in rejecting pluralism and democracy, viewing both values as gateways to secularism and decadence. Both modernism and postmodernism have failed to fully address the success of the continued political advances of the religious right worldwide. A new, postmodern politics of meaning is needed to address basic human needs currently served by the cosmology of traditional religious orthodoxy. Progressive thinkers in philosophy, religion and in critical theory must work dialectically to retain the good of religion and spirituality, the need for ultimate meaning, and the challenge of reducing negative, anti-democratic impulses. These impulses are embodied in theocracy and a fear of life. Until religion is totally reinvented or evolves to a higher level we will have to defend many democratic values from religious extremists. A live and let live political philosophy is a good defense of democracy.
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.
Standing Conference for Management and Organization Inquiry (sc’Moi) is coming undone, in the process of ending its 25-year conference run, and being dismembered, its members leaving for other conferences. The purpose of my talk is to develop a Hegel and Žižek understanding of the dialectic of storytelling of sc’MOI. Žižek claims that Hegelian dialectics is making a comeback because it is uniquely suited to our time. Unlike the usual erroneous oversimplified formula reading of Hegel (thesis-antithesis- synthesis), I will assert there is no synthesis, Marx rejection of ‘Spirit’ and Adorno’s turning dialectic into a pursuit of objectivity, leaves us with a shallow dialectics. By reclaiming the ‘Spirit’ in relation to system and science as well as materiality in Hegelian dialect, we have a new way to understand sc’MOI. Spirit is not about religion, but rather it is the experience of Reason in action and Being. Spirit stands in dialectic relation to the system principles (abstract, schemata), and to system that becomes science. In addition, Spirit’s relation to system is worked out in space, in time, in mattering, or what Karen Barad calls spacetimemattering. Looking at the history of sc’MOI, I will claim sc’MOI never was a whole system, but rather a systemicity of unmerged and unfinalized parts in search of a whole. sc’MOI is was part of the umbrella conference (International Academy of Business Disciplines) until Boje was beheaded as IABD conference president, and three divisions of IABD jumped ship to start sc’MOI in 2004, and held its first conference in 2005. From 1993 till 2004, that means sc’MOI was only a potentiality, a shadowy outline of a conference, not actually coordinating its own location, audiovisuals, meals, coffee, setting its own schedule and business meeting, etc. Even after 2005, sc’MOI did not get its legs, did not merge its processes, did not sustain economically or socially as a robust alternative to the Academy of Management (AOM) conference, ever its nemesis. As sc’MOI prepares to dismember its membership and re member its past, sc’MOI is without beginning, middle, and end. Its Spirit lives on, as do its materials: proceedings, paper presentations, receipts for room rentals and airline seats. sc’MOI is a movement, an opposition to modernity in its critical postmodernism, to corporate university, to TQM, reengineering, AACSB, to war, to globalization, to humanism in its posthumanism, and to unsustainability. Best to dismember before all of sc’MOI is unsustainable, its systemicity unraveling, its unfulfilled science, and only the sc’MOI Spirit actually can live on.