This paper contributes to the current debate on the societal relevance of social sciences in general and management studies in particular. Using a narrative framework, we critique what we view an oversimplified discussion of Modes 1 or 2 knowledge production and provide a more complex depiction of various professional academic identities, along with their relation to cer-tain institutional structures and discourses. We show how different narratives relate to – and produce – different forms of professional identities and societal relevance. Drawing on the work of Zygmunt Bauman, we explore three main narratives for defining and creating societal rele-vance in management studies, each with its specific scholarly identities and institutional prere quisites: a modernist narrative in which societal relevance is defined by powerful external stakeholders; an interpretive narrative tied to local concerns and interests; and a consumption oriented narrative in which demand and the will to pay for academic services regulate what is considered relevant. We conclude that societal relevance presents itself to the social sciences in various shapes and forms. This leads to a multiplicity of narratives informing a variety of complementary professional academic identities.
Faculty performance assessments increasingly use the h-index. Designed to account for publication quantity and effect, the h-index informs organizational discussions and internal narratives. However, its use in business schools is problematic for two reasons. First, tension exists between the positivist approach of management and the reflexive approach of critical management studies. Second, the use of the h-index is hegemonic, privileging one group and construct over another. Given the power asymmetry between senior and junior faculty, discussions around one’s h-index could be unavoidable. Using Google Scholar, this study compared the h-index values of those in critical management studies with those in management. Examining these data descriptively revealed that the h-index of those in critical research were greater than those in management at the assistant, associate, and full professor levels. Incorporating these findings, even if skeptical of positivism, is constructive for the advancement and continuation of critical business research.
One ongoing theme in management theory focuses on mitigating the dehumanizing effects of organizational systems and related forms power over employees. Perhaps paradoxically, the alienating tendencies of neoliberalism resulted in various humanist and emancipatory theories intended to mitigate that alienation, which operate in a way that almost exclusively benefits the organization and subtly yet profoundly subjugates the worker. Critiques of contemporary management theory and practice, most notably by critical management studies and psychoanalytic theory, made important contributions in revealing many of the pernicious mechanisms and resulting effects of human relations approaches. However, in our assessment these critiques still struggle to respond to the emergent socioeconomic and political structures of neoliberalism. As an alternative, this article considers Deleuze and Guattari’s (1987) work on faciality in order to re-examine the form and function of those structures in a way that explains their perniciousness and suggests that there is a space within those structures for a more liberated form of subjectivity.
The world changed in 1986 when Mad Cow Disease showed up in cattle and began to kill human beings too. The destructive consequences of Mad Cow Disease have little to do with natural
processes, and everything to do with social process, with how the meat and diary industries, driven by profit imperatives, have gained global hegemonic power. Mad Cow Disease provides a
crucial lens into the operations and effects of these destructive industries which precede and transcend this one phenomenon that has become a compelling force with which to reckon. It beckons us to a sane and healthy mode of agriculture, or points the way toward our collective doom.
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.
TAMARA: Journal of Critical Postmodern Organization Science is about free speech and the relationship between science, organization, critical theory, global power, and postmodern culture.
I am by nature a postmodern storyteller. So I will begin Tamara with a story about conversations.
Carty examines ways in which the Internet has been employed to enhance political struggle in contemporary society. A case study of Nike Corp highlights the power and autonomy of transnational companies.
A dear friend who, as I write, is in a Chinese prison once told me this tale: For want of something to do, a prisoner gleaned from the sweepings of the shop floor tiny bits of glittering wire, which he deposited in a bottle. Years passed. On the day he was freed, there was nothing to take with him to make the passage of those years except the bottle, and so he carried it away. Back home he rose and he ate and he slept at the exact hours the warden had decreed. Too old to work anymore, he spent his days pacing, the exact space of his long confinement-four paces forward, four paces back, four paces forward, four paces back. For want of something to do, one day he smashed the bottle to count how many tiny bits of glittering wire he had collected. He wept. At his feet lay broken glass, and a clump of wires rusted solid in the shape of a bottle (Lord, 1990, p. 3).
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.
v rge-scale change at the institutional level is built on four major foundations: change theory, institutional theory, organizational culture and leadership, and contextual discourse and rhetorical persuasion. Thomas Paine's writings, a provocative stimulus for the new United States of America during its revolutionary crisis, employed all four of these in creating the nation's new “story.” In this case, the institution is the pre-Revolutionary concept of governance and the change, driven by multiple forces, is the breaking away of the 13 colonies from England. Paine's powerful pamphlet, “Common Sense”, as well as his other writings, reflected his rhetorical expertise and served as a cognitive foundation upon which the fledgling nation could build its new script and create new processes of institutional governance. As any good storyteller does, Paine engaged his readers in a conversation that allowed them to construct an organizational reality that articulated their collective identity. He was the change agent whose interventions helped with the birth of a new nation. One Paine biographer (Kaye, 2005) argues that Paine's “rhetorical patterns” helped to create the “vision of America as a nation gifted with a special mission” and are still quoted by Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians alike without apology (Ferguson, 2000).
Academic ‘labour’ within the Higher Education landscape is changing as universities are increasingly managed as business organisations. In the contemporary neoliberal academic context, departments and individuals are required to develop forms of accountability based on quantitative metrics regarding performance, budgets, human resource management and income generation. Drawing from Foucauldian theories of power, this article explores the contentious implementation of workload allocation models in the UK Higher Education sector not only as an illustration of a superimposed managerial tool of control but also as an instrument of resistance. This article suggests that in order to counteract the systematic failure of neoliberal academia at the individual and collective level, these performance management tools can be used as forms of empowerment and resistance. Further, it is recommended that these instruments are designed in a collaborative way to ensure fair and transparent allocations of tasks and responsibilities, and to avoid unmanageable workloads.
This article considers the storytelling metaphor of the quest to examine the challenges social entrepreneurs face when working in nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the human condition. Similar to the hero on a quest, a social entrepreneur can face a point of deep despair and lose confidence in the organization's mission. From this place of deep despair, the powerful images from American Blues Music as presented by bluesman Willie King, offer a vision for hope, faith and love. Accordingly, the stories found in blues music can inspire a social entrepreneur on the quest for a more just society.
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.
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).
In this article we argue that, to date, the knowledge management literature has insufficiently addressed the construct of power. The power literature is reviewed using three categories: power-asentity, power-as-strategy and power-is-knowledge. We find that much of the knowledge management literature, while not directly addressing power, aspires to the dictum "knowledge is power", which corresponds to the power-as-entity approach. Drawing on the work of Foucault we go on to show that, while the power-as-entity approach is important, it is not sufficient. Foucault's work demonstrates how our understanding of knowledge management can be enriched by adopting a power-as-strategy approach. Further, the work of post-Foucauldian power theorists, especially Flyvbjerg (1998), shows that while knowledge is power, "power is also knowledge"— and thus the nature and context of power shapes organizational knowledge. We argue that Foucault's inseparability of knowledge and power provides a foundation from which it can be shown that the inversion of the "knowledge is power" dictum to "power is knowledge" has significant implications for the theory and practice of knowledge management.
Digital technology and software networks enable large numbers of knowledge workers to incorporate themselves wherever and whenever they wish and to choose between a sedentary or nomadic lifestyle. One way of configuring these new circumstances is as the extensive power of people, products and markets to speedily overcome obstacles and span distances. However, we increasingly see nonrepresentative corporations accelerating human pace and swallowing open spaces within the rational administrative control of a new supranational “Empire”. Intensive movement, on the other hand, reconfigures the human condition in ways that politically and ethically engage with universalizing global processes. Like the traditional nomads of the steppe or the desert, for example, the movement in question is a complex, dynamic relation characterized by its immediacy and continuous variation of alliance and resistance, that remains difficult to locate, difficult to control, and even more difficult to defeat. The paper argues that nomadism can be a starting point for an opposing strategy to the global knowledge economy.
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.
Boje feminism is an alternative to Foucault feminism. One difference is Foucault feminism is discursability formation, whereas Boje feminism is storyability formation of the body, its discipline, and the power/knowledge relationship. A second difference is where as Foucault Feminism is about micropolitics of power/knowledge, Boje Feminism is far wider focus on macropolitics, even global sociopolitics of late modern capitalism. This parallel storytelling develops the differentiation between collective memory groups (gender, race, socioeconomic, class, etc) construct out of direct experience, and what Hirsch (1999) calls 'postmemory,' such as the trauma children of survivors of Holocaust live with. My feminism enters into investigation of trauma events women endure in sweatshops is possible for me, because of its resonance with my own trauma as a soldier in the Vietnam War. I explore here why this is so for me. This article is presented in left and right column, my column and her columns. After a bit of standard introduction. the columns are meant to intervibrate, to resonate, to interpenetrate, one another, as two voices, as many voices within me and her
Sexual harassment is a widespread organizational phenomenon and an evolving legal issue. There is a growing literature on sexual harassment, but a dearth of research on claims that have been pursued in the courts, especially outside the US context. The paper explores the organizational and legal context in which parties to claims are operating and presents a preliminary analysis of the population of sexual harassment cases heard by Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeals Tribunals 1995-2005. Core findings relate to the imbalance of power between parties to claims; an over-representation of claims from women in paraprofessional occupations; a notable proportion of owners or proprietors involved in cases, pointing to problems in small businesses; the predominant nature of claims clearly reflecting sexual harassment as an operation of power; and a range of outcomes relating to initial complaints of SH and to subsequent litigation. Policy and further research implications of these preliminary findings are discussed.
This article is a critical presentation of the discourse on US imperialism, covering the work of both pro- and anti- imperialists. It presents the contrasting theory of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, to who "U.S imperialism" is far from an accurate description of the current from of sovereign power . Despite the popularization of the notion of a new American imperialism our reality is becoming one of a single network of various forms of sovereignty, novel in scope and intensity, not only colonizing territory, but controlling communication, freedom of movement, knowledge and truth.