This paper explores post-humanist assemblage and biomediation through ontological storytelling and antenarrative. It considers material agency via biomediation, examining the use of material devices to prolong and enhance human and animal life. The first ontological story presented is that of a woman and her biomediated dog (titanium knees), running in an urban setting with various material actants in assemblage supporting human health and psychological wellbeing. The second considers the use and efficacy of biomediation to prolong the lives of humans afflicted with renal disease and cancer. The work offers an experiential lens for contemplation of biomediation, assemblage, posthumanism and ethics. Its contribution is an authentic, contextual exploration of Heidegger’s (1962) Dasein and a related antenarrative fore-having of metanoia-derived strength. These illustrations support discussion of how material (ontic) and ontological (Being-there) aspects are overlooked or actively suppressed by social constructionism.
The paper advances two propositions. First, that organization theory (OT) comprises a heterogeneous body of knowledge which, in effect, is a history of the (on-going) power struggles that produce it. And, second, that OT harbours different concepts of power and associated value-orientations through which it is possible to interpret the diversity and development of OT. These propositions give priority to the politics and ethics of knowledge production, and not differences of ontology, epistemology or levels of analysis. Its pluralist stance accommodates value-orientations which prompt and justify knowledge oriented towards `rationalization’, `explication’ and `emancipation’.
This case study aims to discover why and how people tend to conclude that grievers of loved ones, acquaintances, friends, or even pets should remain under concealment. Some non-grievers in our society feel that grievers should conceal their heartfelt pain of those whom they have lost to death and dying. Grandmom, Mom, Matterie, Shabba (my pet), Brenda, and then Ivy were all individuals close to my heart. As the author, I take aim at finding consolation and answers as to why people in society today feel that grieving should remain concealed publically. These behaviors are seemingly constituted by non-grievers with such feelings of not knowing what to say, how to say it, or what to do, or is it simply because they really do not want to experience sorrow first handedly with others? Alternatively, this study seeks to reveal these behaviors or biases which may be imparted because non-grievers are unable to sympathetically or uncaringly, tune into their own intuitive super subconscious minds for grievers with a heart of care earnestly. Who listens, to our pain? This study is not suggesting that people intentionally do not want to show deep heartfelt care and concern for grievers to be mean, but brings to light how nongrievers really may not understand the complete social economical interventions that go along with the grieving process, and what grievers feel in the deepest part of their souls themselves over the loss of a loved one, acquaintance, friend, or pet. This case study hopes to discover the awakening of death and dying ontologically by delving deeper into the sense-making of common sense, and Social Constructivism as it relates to death and dying.
In the form of hip hop lyrics, this research-creation tells the story a grant application writing process as a feature of neoliberal, academic capitalism. The lyrics draw attention to institutional and organizational features of the modern academic workplace, including the effects of performance evaluation structures and the financialization (Billig, 2013; Giroux, 2015) of academic work. It also highlights the intensification of work caused by bureaucratization – not only by the workplace, but by external granting agencies who exert varying degrees of control over academic labour.
Researchers apply theories by Boje and the storytelling community to further understand how organizations, specifically universities, portray themselves on different fronts through storytelling in regard to sustainability. The current study expands the existing knowledge regarding stories (i.e. narrative, living story, antenarrative, and microstoria) by the synergies and lack thereof between them and demonstrates how organizations need to portray a unified image since stories can, and do, shape the physical, objective world. Two complementary studies are conducted to explore the sustainability story of university campuses. In Study One, three southwestern university campuses are explored through campus tour narratives. Study Two looks in-depth at one university to help understand how the story is told from inside the organization which leads to what is observed by the final consumer. Several inconsistencies are found on how the story is told to prospective students. The storytelling theories presented in this paper expand knowledge by providing insight into how one individual may change the perspective of sustainability and the lasting effects this may cause. Being present on several campuses paints a picture of how vastly different the stories told to potential students are. Applying the theories of narrative, living story, and antenarrative may help explain how synergic a university presents its sustainability objective to prospective students.
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.
The paper explores two recent social movements that show signs of global resistance to the ideology of neoliberal polices and values; the Indignados uprisings that took place in Spain, Greece and Mexico, and the Occupy Wall Street protests that broke out across many parts of the United States. It argues that to understand contemporary social movement activity and protest politics, it is crucial to update social movment theories to include analyses of how the digital revolution has categorically changed the way that activists express grievances and share information, strategize and for on-the-street forms of contentious politics, and challenge the narratives put forth by authorities and the mainstream media when there are confrontations between peaceful protesters and the police force.
The present study conceptualizes engagement by following Marifran Mattson’s story—from tragic motorcycle accident to community engagement. The authors advance a fivepart conceptualization of engagement and test its usefulness by exploring it in relation to a stage model approach and by contrasting it to Bourdieu’s theory of timidity and habitus in relation to symbolic violence. The community engagement begins with a motorcycle safety campaign and expands to include the development of support groups and public policy regarding health insurance fairness for amputees (a.k.a. prosthetic parity). The analysis draws on critical ethnography and the interpretation draws on alternative perspectives and reflexivity. The findings suggest that the stage model is less useful than Bourdieu’s theory in explaining discursive practices, the role of professional discourses, and the emergence of heroic activism and heroic discourse in community engagement. Overall, the study paints a picture of what Boyer (1996) called the “scholarship of engagement.”
This paper explores the concept of dominance in traditional rural and remote island communities in the Zadar island archipelago in Croatia. Like their EU counterparts, these communities struggle with geographical remoteness; island depopulation, irregular ferry connections, lack of entrepreneurship, unemployment and poverty. A previous study captured a complex web of communal relationships that play a part in minimising these negative effects on the island communities’ lives. This study focuses on studying one such behaviour - dominance and, thus, is concerned with two questions: How does dominance reveals itself, and what is its significance in practice? A conceptual and methodological approach consisting of living acts in Roman Ingarden’s spirit, ethnography, deconstruction and storytelling becomes a tool for observing the rural island communities’ experiences. In the process, the approach undergoes a qualitative metamorphosis – it co-exists and co evolves so to help us to better understand how island life unfolds. Findings show that dominance reveals itself as rada, signifying the approach of bonding the members into theisland community. Rada in this sense symbolizes Deleuze’s weapon against the governmental economisation. To engage and support the needs of the island communities, it is vital to understand how they make informal decisions, and studying local communal practices in this sense, has practical implications for the policy makers with the responsibility for small island development.
International students (ISs) are important actors in higher education institutions (HEI) as they bring diversity, status and revenue. However, ISs stories of acculturative stress in HEI have remained untold in the current research. While there have been quantitative attempts to understand the links of such stress to negative symptoms affecting ISs, the current literature fails to address the emic aspects, origins, and occurrence of such symptoms. In response to this oversight, this paper presents the results of an ethnographic study. spearheaded by an international student sensitive to these acculturative stressors at a large land grant institution in the Southwestern United States. Based on field observations and semi-structured interviews, this article contributes to the literature by addressing existing gaps in three main ways. First, by providing insight on how sources of acculturative stress are produced. Second, by allowing for increased understanding of the prevalence of resulting symptoms. Finally, it provides insightful implications for HEI.
This paper responds to current interest in the ‘untold’ in organizational storytelling research. In particular the research presented here contributes to studies that consider storytelling in relational terms. In this context, untold is constructed as both a provocation and a pointer to multiplicity: innumerable relationships of story. To develop and illustrate the argument of the paper, the discussion adopts interference as a deliberate methodological device. To illustrate the significance of composition and fabrication in storytelling the study consider fragments from an extensive period of multi-site ethnographic fieldwork with a professional, established and award winning author involved in literary, television drama and other story projects. The developing field of relational storytelling studies is discussed and attention drawn to key research foci: specifically current concerns for intertextuality, heteroglossia, materiality and flux. A fieldwork vignette is used to examine and extend a relational sense of ‘untold stories’. Further vignettes and a selective focus on science and technology studies relational ethnographies extends this discussion by focusing on performance, fabrication and fiction. The paper concludes that a fabrication sensibility that notices and attends to story on the move necessitates a shift in both methodological and representational strategy. In terms of method the paper demonstrates the potential value of extended, multi locational and deep field ethnography. In terms of representation, if stories are innumerable than we require a number of monograph ethnographies that can reveal and attend to varieties of limitless material, mobile and heterogeneous stories. In other words, if stories are lived, we require methods that attend to social life as lived if we are to surface and reframe hitherto untold, unseen and unheard agency at work in organizations.
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.
The following study will explore the stories which are not told – that is, it will scrutinize the process of intertextual emergence of an ultimately open story: one which has neither discernible authorship nor agenda and which remains in-the-making rather than strives to achieve closure. The paper will discuss the process in which multifaceted and multidirectional organizational stories are created, in which plots and characters exchange and ‘ending’ is defied. This lack of closure is perceived here as a breeding ground for networked meanings, which, if allowed to remain interdependent and plural, eschew the danger of a new organizational story becoming universal carrier of inflexibly established contents. Since the unifying semantic organizational frameworks (e.g. ‘success story’) may be construed as impostors attempting to ascribe both authorship and agency to a nonagentical and non-authored ‘untold story’, this study proposes one way in which multidirectedness and plurality of the story may be preserved.
We consider the construction of leadership influence involving manipulation and from narrative standpoint. We use the career of Adolf Hitler as an empirical example - as a case - illustrating the huge, and potentially destructive, power of story-telling. Hitler is used as an illustrative case for how storytelling is involved in constructing great leadership influence – and with a view to making sense of such a leader’s story. We have applied both conceptual and narrative analysis in our empirical case. In terms of the narrative analysis, we follow Polkinghorne’s definition on narrative inquiry. Despite the significant attention given to storytelling in the contemporary management literature, less research has been devoted to understanding its connection to destructive leadership. As a result of the case we have constructed a rich description of evolving process of destructive leadership. Leaders all over the world can get practical guidance and support for their aims to be better leader and to resist bad leadership.
While the nature, character and function of stories are variously theorized in organizational storytelling literature, little research has tried to unpack how organizational narrative domain may transform over time. Attending to the contextual transformation of organizational story space can reveal how popular stories at one epoch could be reformulated, ignored, or forgotten all together during another epoch. Drawing on ethnographic data of a children’s charity in UK, which experienced a stage of rapid professionalization, specialization, and bureaucratization, I examine the influence of this restructuring initiative on the organizational narrative domain. It was shown that the professionalization of the charity starved the old stories of the oxygen of relevance. The memories of the old pioneers, from the days of stress and violence, became less welcome as the organization turned increasingly managerial in character. The notion of ‘irrelevancy’ is further developed drawing on the work of Maurice Halbwachs, and its implications are elaborated building on storytelling research.
In this interconnection of embodied being and environing world, what happens in the interface is what’s important. At least that is the way a phenomenological perspective takes shape. Ihde, 2002, p. 8
We are embodied beings. Our flesh, our manner of being in the world as an intertwining of perceiver and perceived is a notion that makes it possible for us to articulate the human body with respect to its ontological dimensionality and the claim it has within the lived world. This claiming is our being-in-the-world and it is situated in the understanding of the Self. This fleshly schema called the body is a “opening and clearing, in the multidimensional field of Being, for it articulates the embodiment-character of our responsiveness and elicits its potential for development on the basis of our initial, most primordial sense of Being-in-the-world.” (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999, p. 62). As such, our everyday life takes place within this opening and clearing of personal space and personal movement. In this Being in the World, through history, humans have told oral then written stories to solidify culture and share knowledge for the future. Our Being-in-the-world comes through story. A different part of Being also intertwines with technology. When story and technology meet, digital stories are born. This theoretical reflection aims to connect the philosophy of technology and new media theory to clarify the role of digital processes in the storytelling, and explore the notion of techne. A variety of perspectives work to shed light on the phenomenological notion called Beingin-the-world-with-technology. Latour (2005) Giltrow (2002) Ihde (2002) and Orlikowski (2001) contribute to unpacking the interaction and relationship between humans and technology to identify the materials artifacts, characteristics of human agents, and context. This reflection aims to flesh out new media perspectives about digital storytelling through the phenomenological work of Gadamer, Heidegger, Ihde, Leder, Merleau Ponty, with concepts of mediation, mediatization, embodiment, motility, praxis, context, and aesthetic stance toward techne.
This auto-fictitious narrative is an existential and political exploration of scholarly identity transformation of a teacher educator in academia. Set within a parallel, metaphorical kingdom, identity is examined through the author’s actions, interactions and experiences with others in a fictional setting. Narratives, in storytelling formats, establish agency of self and provide “voice” to be freely expressed, most notably for those who experience marginalization where their thoughts and ideas have been mitigated within traditional institutional environments and dialogues. Expressed in a humorous, somewhat deliberately mischievous manner, the polyphonic self in this story reflects on relational power and academic identity within the university environment. This descriptive piece adds discussion to existing organizational research through presentation of a fictional piece for examining how one may self-construct identity within a hegemonic work setting.
I work with the concept of apparatuses of material storytelling as a way to study the enactment of ‘the future school’. The article analyses a project at a school that involved students, teachers and leaders building models for learning spaces to inspire the architect who were to design a new building for grades 4-6. The analysis is theoretically informed by ‘new materialist thinking’. The analysis show how the project, while producing differentiated learning spaces and ideas about the learning student, configures and reconfigures the organization known as ‘a school’ in ways that highlight contemporary problems concerning authority, management and the constitution of ‘the student’, in an education system which is increasingly focused on learning-centred educational management on the students desire and motivation for learning.
The purpose of this paper is to improve our understanding of how discursive practices are related to the sense of reality and materiality. It does not present ways of filling absences in storied fragmented and polyphonic lives, but rather offers a methodology of listening to what people say and do not say. It suggests the use of a multilayered theoretical framework only to listen to what is supposedly lived and experienced in discursive practices. The work produced by the researcher relies partly on what people do not say, and the researchers’ interpretative criteria of discursive practices in the material realm involve challenging normality and hegemonic discourses. There are implications for organizational storytelling. The paper suggests that the reader can become aware of material contextual structures in storytelling by taking consideration of the influences of the sense of reality of material discursive practices in the theory of storytelling, as well as the perceived value and risks in its use.
This special issue of TAMARA focuses on a new emerging field of storytelling informed among others by recent theoretical instigations in science studies (Barad, 2007) that matter matters.
As such, the double special issue highlights in various ways on the manner by which matter comes to matter in organizational story processes. Taking storytelling and discursive practices into the material realm raises the question of the agency of matter to the extent that matter is placed as an agential-force equivalent to that of human agency. This constitutes a profound conceptual shift well worth exploring in greater depth.
Drawing on various aspects of the new material feministic turn, the turn to affect, to space and to ontology the shift is not so much a turning ‘away from’, as a ‘turn towards’ the working of a different difference. A difference of meaning- mattering and material-discursiveness. A difference therefore of reworking previously constituted binaries. In short - a difference, constituted by a reorientation (Shotter, 2011) more than any specific theorizing.
Inquiring into this reorientation, this special issue of TAMARA specifically aims at throwing light on the relationship of organizational discursive practices and material (artifactual, bodily, spatial) practices in relation to understanding and dealing with processes of organizational development, learning and change, and organizational inquiry.