The purpose of this paper is to understand the senses that people give to the machines used in their daily work with special emphasis on new technoiogies. The present essay is based on the constructionist methodological theoretical referential, which considers knowledge - the product ofinteractions between people - as the analysis object and tries to understand the senses that are constructed by people through the discursive practices of daily life.
This work is focused on the connection that people establish with technologies - especially, the computer - at work. Since the computer is a machine that allows velocity at work, our interest also turns to the meanings that people attribute to rhythm, to the velocity and to the acceleration resulting from the use ofmachines in daiiy professional activities. In this way, more specifically, this essay tries to interpret the senses that people attribute to the velocity and to the acceleration of daily life, from the connections that they establish with new technologies.
This paper is a generalized discussion related to the nature and implications time, story and organizational culture play in corporate decision-making, CEO selection; treatment of long-term employees; the change process and the language used to present andpromote the corporation. The paperprovides a beginning point for revisiting how unrecognized (societal and individual) assumptions affect choice and decision-making. Practically, the paper also provides a starting point for organizations to self assess their external and internal approaches and whether they align superficially or whether the mission and vision are lived in mundane daily activities. The paper is based on qualitative, experiential and anecdotal evidence gathered by the author.
Introduces a series of articles on the awareness of time in modern organizations.
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.
Editorial for Vol 4 issue 4
The rhetorical vision of the independent Nation of Hawai'i, a sovereignty group seeking independence from the United States, was analyzed via fantasy theme analysis of two artifacts in their website. Spirit, Kupuna, and Lili'uokalani symbolized positive dramatis personae themes; the United States Government and haole invaders represented villains against Native Hawaiian people. Cultural preservation, political determination, and environmental protection of all Hawai'ian 'aina is deemed paramount for Hawaiian survival. This study demonstrates that the use of symbolic themes has been developed to persuade the public to support an Independent Nation of Hawaii, which is a symbolic vision of the future.
The Enron collapse highlights the need to study how corporations implement strategy. How was Enron so successful in this age of free information? Our thesis is that Enron dramaturgically implemented strategy through associative delusion. Enron used theatre in three ways we term "Metatheatrical": (1) as a technology to persuade, or associate, (2) a fagade to deceive, or delude, and (3) a metaphor in the important sense of Shakespeare's Life is Theatre. Their use of theatrical tools has implications for agency and transaction cost theories in how organizations can reduce transaction and production costs. Our synthesis contributes to the understanding of organizational boundaries through the development of winning scripts.
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.
With the recent collapse of Enron and the need for sense-making, opinions of Sherron Watkins'status in the Enron spectacle abound. Competing narratives portray her as both heroic whistleblower and anti-hero of corporate greed. Was she a hero or not? Rather than add to this dialectic controversy, we first define the classical typology of a hero as originally set forth by Homer and later detailed by Joseph Campbell. We next analyze the texts of Watkins' quest chronology in order to elucidate the complex circumstances surrounding the creation of both narratives. The textual analysis then leads to a clarification of the anti-hero typology, followed by a new prototype, the quasi-hero, which possesses some classical hero attributes, yet is devoid of other essential qualities. Our contribution extends the current hero typology, thereby providing a necessary expanse of classification for understanding today's corporate spectacles.
As a boy, summering with his extended family in Kennebunkpoti, Maine, George W. Bush was Boss Cousin: the oidest in a swarm of his own brothers (and sister) and the sons and daughters of his aunts and uncles. They played games all day, from tag to tennis to basketball. George, one of the players told me years later, very much liked to win — and, as oidest sibiings always do, wrote the ruies (or rewrote) them to guarantee it. That's the way he prefers to operate even now. Kart Rove, the president's longtime political consigllere, calls them 'game-changing moves'. Bush tikes to outmaneuver his foes by using his dout to change the game itself It's worked many times. (Fineman, 2002).
Once upon a time I made a promise to my dad (Daniel Q. Boje), to study the relationship between the presidency and the oil industry. This was before the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and before Enron became scandalous. It turns out that Enron was a major contributor to the Bush campaign (for governor, then President), than Enron executives wrote much of the U.S. energy policy, and that Bush's wildcat oil ventures induded Enron as a financial partner. All this is now well known.
This paper takes up the themes of organization as dreamscape, the psychodynamics of everyday organizational performance and organizational rituals and the enactment of death and desire in the context of a longitudinal case study of an academic institution. This case study focuses on the various ways in which the organization has developed and continues to develop neurotic and dysfunctional tendencies. It looks at the ways in which those tendencies are expressed in the culture and structure of the organization and the ways in which the various constituencies of the college are complicit in the enactment of the neurosis of its leadership, as reflected in various dependent and counterdependent dynamics and performances. Of specific interest in this paper are the changes in neurotic patterns over time and the ways in which these changes relate to the changes in leadership. Using Kets de Vries' concepts related to organizational neurosis, we will discuss how the college moved from a compulsive organization to a dramatic organization.
The question giving shape to this paper is: Can the workplace in today's corporate world ever be constructed, legitimately, as a psychological place? This paper will argue that it is the responsibility of the individual to engage their imaginative processes and learn the art of soul making. The corporation may encourage its members to be creative and imaginative but mostly its activities will militate against these activities. Reference will be made to a research project for a major production site (BP Oil Australia) that evaluated an espoused psychological goal (improved production and improved creativity) as its outcome. The author conducted the evaluation of this leadership development initiative that shed light on the vexed question that is the focus of this paper. The findings of the research indicate that corporate life has evolved into a totally above-world enterprise where transparency of decision making, policy planning, and implementation is the sought-after ideal. This very conscious and heroic-ego world roots out any semblance of under-world (unconscious) forces.
This article describes and considers the process and outcome of an experiential workshop held in the 'Art & Aesthetics of the Unconscious' stream at the second 'Art of Management & Organization Conference', Paris, 2004. The workshop was designed to introduce participants to an art therapy approach to explore the organizations in which they work. Through this process the intention was to consider and explore the potential of using art therapy in the context of organizational management. With particular focus on considering how it may assist with interventions where surfacing the unconscious material or psychodynamics of the organization may be useful in gaining insight into the organization and shape helpful responses.
This article revisits and seeks to add to some of the author's earlier work to highlight, once again, the manner in which art is able to return our gaze and induce critical reflection. In line with Herbert Marcuse's notion of "The Great Refusal", it is suggested that art has the potential to help us 'see' anew that which is familiar, the everyday, the banal. Drawing upon the work of the surrealist art movement, the paper highlights the manner in which an "estrangement-effect" is created that gives us sufficient distance to reflexively consider the taken-for-granted. The techniques used by the surrealists are shown to have their parallels in the work of some who occupy a 'space' in the field of organisation studies. The author argues the case that the field of organisation studies needs to recognize and protect this space of refusal.
This is a guest editorial to the TAMARA JOURNAL special issue, Art & aesthetics of the unconscious.
This conversation explores some of the connections between Deleuzian philosophy, organization theory and work by DeLanda and Protevi, and it springs out of questions initially posed by Torkild Thanem to DeLanda and Protevi as well as questions posed by Protevi to DeLanda. Working through these connections is not completely free of tension. Deleuzian philosophy is a fairly recent arrivant in organization theory. Moreover, both DeLanda and Protevi are outsiders to organization theory, and they both – in their own distinctive ways – critically rethink and reconstruct Deleuzian philosophy.