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.
We explore a discourse structurational approach and employ a planetary system metaphor in order to examine complex business networks within contemporary globalizing, consumer cultures. This conceptual/commentary paper reviews discourse structuration and employs a celestial metaphor to comment on strategy including reference to consumption, business marketing and business network research. Each sphere in the metaphorical constellation is characterised by a complex duality of deep structures and surface activities co-determined and mutually constituted through the medium of modulated actors’ schemas, norms and other ‘technologies’ of their practical consciousness. Market consumption is a galaxy comprised of complex, inter-acting, multiple structurations where everything co-determines everything else through mutual gravitational influence. We argue that consumption is comparable to a black hole at the centre of the system dragging all matter into its centre, warping and distorting structures and processes until eventually destroying and assimilating them altogether. Implications and consequences are discussed in terms of the increasing hegemony of consumption and consequent commodification of other spheres with via a discourse structuration approach concentrating upon strategy and marketing.
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.
Ainsworth presents a reflection on the process of doing critical discourse research using examples from a current project on the discursive construction of older worker identity. The study illustrated the potential of discourse analysis to enhance understanding of the processes and implications of public policy development.
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.
The question of how organizations are produced has been an ongoing theoretical puzzle within organization studies. In order to explain this question an increasing number of organization theorists have turned to the structuration theory of Anthony Giddens. Indeed it has been widely used to examine a whole range of organization phenomena such as structure (Ranson, Hinings & Greenwood, 1980), control (Clegg, 1981), discourse (Heracleous & Barrett, 2001), technology (Orlikowski, 1992), and institutions (Barley & Tolbert, 1997). In this paper we would like to call into question this increasingly popular approach. In particular we would like to explore some of the limits of structuration theory. We would like to argue that social reproduction of organization involves the reproduction of space and time. By doing so, we would like to put issues of time and space right at the centre of debates about structuration and social reproduction
This paper investigates the notion of corporate social responsibility. The focus is on analyzing, using different semantic tools, the perception that companies have of their social responsibility as well as the action plans that they initiate in this field. Based on four institutional communications produced by the companies, we establish various levels of reading thanks to narrative analysis and to metaphors, in particular of the fuzzy borders between the map and the territory or the undulation of the positioning of the writer. The reports on social responsibility were then identified like instruments of speech seeking to praise the actions of the companies, in the form of a type of communication which one could describe as propaganda. Beyond what is said, the article aims at identifying the sense given by the corporate world to social responsibility.
Robert Cooper has developed a discourse of organizing, centered on relationality. It is a discourse grounded in third generation phenomenology and pointing to fourth generation phenomenology. Phenomenology in its first (Husserl) and second (Merleau-Ponty) generations developed the epoché (procedure of investigation) whereby research transcended the natural attitude and forged contact between the researched and the researcher. Progressively logocentric 're-presenting' was transcended in (third generation) phenomenology via empathy and intersubjective awareness. Phenomenological 'research' has become the creation of dialogic and empatic identity. Despite the potential richness of such research, the ethics of shared awareness and involvement continues to pose major problems of consequentiality. If research is based on empathy and relationship, how does the researcher do justice to relationality? Without a clear link between awareness and action, it is very difficult for phenomenology to develop as a dialogic form of organizational studies. Ontological insight into the pre-structures of the life-world, however philosophically fundamental, will not suffice. Phenomenological research understood as a complex adaptive system (CAS), is (potentially) an alternative that respects relationality and honors the ethics of empathy. But truly radical relationality - for instance, embodied in the (very) flesh of life --- (in fourth generation phenomenology), challenges the very possibility of organizational studies.
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).
Security work is increasingly privatized under neoliberal governance, a trend that is not without controversy over legitimacy and ethics. Public interaction with and understanding of private security contractors is in part mediated by popular cultural representations. In particular, parodies of these organizations are significant for their ability to tell audiences what organizations and members are not. This paper examines representations of security work by looking at Paul Blart: Mall Cop as a parody that creates relief from official hierarchies of security using Bakhtinian carnival, by lowering security discourses to the level of the grotesque, non-professional body. However, parodies may also encourage public acceptance of privatization by showing private security workers to be more creative and efficient. Parodies of security work can serve as temporary relief from daily need to comply with security regimes, while also aligning privatized security work with discourses of professionalism and authority.
The ethical consumer occupies a significant position in the current capitalist system as the market-based answer to a whole range of negative externalities. Unfortunately, she has been proven to behave out of sync with her ethical values and thus has been taken apart by scholars as a mere myth. Yet, businesses and politicians continue to believe in her abilities. This, we argue, is not caused by them being blind to her failures but because the category of the ethical consumer represents an ideal solution in the neoliberal discourse that embraces the holy trinity of an unregulated market, personal emancipation and the freedom of choice. Unfortunately, the ethical consumer has turned out to be a poorly suited solution to the negative externalities as ecological and social critiques continue to emerge. In response, a neocommunitarian discourse seems to gain strength, replacing the neoliberal version of the market as a bifurcation point between customers and suppliers instead bringing together businesses and consumers in a new type of network formation overcoming the bifurcation between consumers and producers.
The following are antenarratives related by female U.S. Coast Guard cadets (now officers in the Coast Guard) as part of a gender and leadership directed study taught by Dr. Matthew Eriksen. Also, there are antenarratives by Captain Robert Ayer and Dr. Matthew Eriksen concerning their response to The Conference on Women at the Academy in which the female cadets participated. As well as education, the purpose of the directed study was to fundamentally change the participants: their self-understanding, gender discourse and gender performance. In addition, the directed study was conceived as a medium through which to change the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's and Coast Guard's gender performance and ideology to improve the day-to-day experience of female cadets and officers. The approach taken in the directed study is outlined in the article “Conceptualizing and Engaging in Organizational Change as an Embodied Experience within a Practical Reflexivity Community of Practice: Gender Performance at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy” (Eriksen, Van Echo, Harmel Kane, Curran, Gustafson & Shults, 2007) in Tamara: 4(1).
This paper draws on literature in the fields of organizational studies, industrial relations, and industrial sociology to attempt to address 'new paradigm' managerial initiatives that espouse sentiments of unitarism in their discourse from a UK perspective. The specific focus of this theoretical investigation is the output of the proponents of the 'Learning Organization'. It is argued that in such organizations, employers attempt to control and induce behavioural change in employees through the use of reorganization and instrumental discourse. Managerial commentators and theorists have written much about what the implementing agents' expectations are of the outcomes of such organizational initiatives. Among these expectations is that the new initiative will bring about a radical change in attitudes in the workplace and that unitarism will prevail. However, an as yet underdeveloped area of study is what happens when the subjects (i.e. employees) receive the initiative, the potential for counter-ideology and resistance to the initiative, and the forms resistance may take. It is these latter two issues that this paper concentrates on. Ultimately, the paper seeks to present a conceptual investigation of pluralism within, and the nature and implications of resistance in, the Learning Organization. An allusion to Beaumarchais' `Figaro' is used to illustrate the arguments.
Presents information on articles on discourses and paradigms. Analysis of educational discourses delivered by professors who were part of a multidisciplinary teaching team; Critique of the orthodoxy that the world is changing at an ever faster rate.
This paper argues that conventional patriarchal representations of the organisation reduce the notion of "organisation" to abstract relationships, rational actions and purposive behaviour which always and relentlessly presents itself as a quest for the good. In this context, regulation and control is achieved primarily via definition and location. Administration then functions in a very specific sense to establish a notion of "good"order, to establish what is "ordinary"in administrative and managerial practice. In contrast, this paper seeks to explore ways in which it is possible to restore the (m)other to the text of organisation, to restore the body. Consequently, the paper considers the possibility of a discourse of maternity and moves from this position to examine conceptions of matrix reproduction and conditions of exile. The paper concludes with a challenge to conventional notions of "good" management and a consideration of the implications of this for the political in organisational life.
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.
In recent years, feminist scholars have made substantial inroads toward a better understanding of the intricacies and complexities of organizing. Through the metatheoretical lens of a “feminist communicology of organization,” gender is seen as a dynamic principle of organizing, and organizations are seen as fundamentally gendered. By looking at both the macro- and micro-level activities of gendered organizing, we obtain a much richer, organic understanding of the processes inherent in creating and sustaining organizations. Such an approach helps us to understand one of the newest forms of organization-the virtual one-that exists both discursively and materially only in the virtual world. To better understand how organizing is accomplished in the virtual world, we have chosen to focus on the postings to a “renegade” web site called “Teamster.net.” This site was established by and for members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters but is not sanctioned by The Teamsters. Through content analysis, we studied the ongoing discussions concerning if, and how, this site should be moderated, and by whom. We found that these chat room dialogues exhibit the key characteristics of multiple discourses occurring simultaneously. Contributors are both social actors and the objects of multiple discourses that seek to normalize and control these actors, often occurring in disjunctive and contradictory ways. While contributors acknowledge the need for both social equality and respect, their mechanisms for dealing with these contradictions are most often unconscious; in psychoanalytic terms, compromise formations. Thus we offer this deeper understanding of virtual organizations through the metatheoretical lens of feminist communicology and the theoretical lens of compromise formations.
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.