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.
Carr and Zanetti use the optic of dialectics to reframe the question and revisit the issues of identity and agency afresh. The central argument they pose is that text is both a product and site of political struggle and only by understanding text in such a way does the multi-authorship of identity itself become understandable along with the limitations and possibilities for self authorship of identity.
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.
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).
In this conceptual paper, we analyze how social acceleration as a key phenomenon of modern societies affects the relationship between organizations and places. We identify two dimensions of how organizations relate to places: (a) embeddedness (the degree of material integration in a place) and (b) attachment (the psychic closeness, identification, or affective bonds with a place). Building on Rosa’s (2003; 2013) seminal work on social acceleration, we further propose three processes (the time-space distanciation effect, the situational identity effect, and the managerial myopia effect) through which temporal changes in modern societies can lead to a loosening of ties between organizations and places. As the attachment to a place may also represent a precondition for organizations to develop a ‘field of care,’ the framework presented in this paper can help us develop a better understanding of the factors that influence whether organizations can develop a ‘sense of place’ that fosters responsible social and environmental performance that enhances the well-being of places and communities, respectively.
Organizational socialization research has been criticized for being too focused on socialization as an adaptation process. Furthermore, critics contend that socialization approaches tend to be micro-biased; they lose sight of broader societal implications. This study tackles both critiques by combining an identity-based understanding of socialization with the communicative con cept of the polyphonic organization. It is not only individuals who engage in multiple identity work; business organizations also do so when exposed to contextual voices at the macro-level of society. Qualitative interviews and focus groups with corporate communication professionals, alumni, and students reveal that there are multiple voices shaping organizational socialization. However, one societal reference has proved to be hegemonic, namely the instrumental reasoning of the economic system: newcomers are expected to adapt to the ‘real world’ of ‘budgets.’
Trends in organisation and in organisational activity, which have resulted in increasing dependence on the discretionary efforts, initiatives and judgements of employees, have left management with the problem of how to ensure that such discretion is exercised appropriately in the service of the organisation. The Human Resource Management approach, relying as it does on strategic integration and underpinned by a value-driven approach seemed to be an ideal mechanism, particularly when designed as encouragement to commitment via social identification and a shared sense of meaning.
If culture is the enacted manifestation of organisational identity, management aspiration is that the 'good' employee is one who will learn the cultural reality and enact it appropriately. Expectations of 'good' employees are that they will exhibit not only the appropriate competence, but will also possess the necessary commitment, via identification and emotional engagement, so that they can be trusted to regulate themselves, take decisions that are in the best interests of the organisation and even go that extra mile for the company and the customer. This paper gives attention to such expectations and explores their implications.
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.
A sense of loss of identity exists in modern Kronos capitalism with its constant need to devour its own reproductions in order to survive. Discovery of identity comes through deconstruction and techniques of mysticism which are seen as similar processes. Identity is defined in terms of awareness of multiple levels of being. Understanding of identity lies in the successive abandonment of all kinds of schema or conditioning processes which we summarize by the term organizational grammar.
This article revisits a previously published case study of group dynamics that related to when a leader dies (or is absent). The conceptual lens used to re-read these group dynamics, is one derived from psychoanalysis and specifically features the notion of the death instinct and the work of C. Fred Alford. The paper frames its discussion of the case study using Alford's five dramas of “acting out the missing leader”. Like a drama, the paper locates the case study as a series of acts and scenes with a specific psychodynamic script that is being played-out. The paper has broader implications than simply “When a leader dies” as the discussion speaks to an understanding of larger leader - follower behaviour.
This paper provides an extensive review and categorization of the work-family conflict literature, followed by a discussion of paradigmatic assumptions found within that literature and critical recommendations. The article describes the five most widely utilized theories in the work-family conflict literature: conflict theory, spillover theory, gender role theories, identity theory, and role theory. It concludes by recommending that future research focus on becoming more complex by moving from simple to complex explanations focusing less on hierarchy definitions and more on interactions, less on accounting for singular causality and more on multiple (sometime indeterminate) causalities, use less determinant and more indeterminate language, and adopt a morphogenic view of change.
Recently scholars have begun to explore the influence of materiality on organizations. For example, Gagliardi (1996) notes that the physical setting cultivates human senses and Gieryn (2002) asserts that buildings are a stabilizing influence in social life and are objects of (re)interpretation, with meanings or stories flexibly interpreting the walls and floors they describe. As a counterpoint to the materiality of organizations represented by places and spaces, the materiality of worker identity is noted in embodiment. While organizational studies address a plethora of individual constructs (e.g., motivation, self-efficacy, personality) the embodied identity of workers is a topic largely absent from the field. As individuals manufacture identities in organizational life, what role does the materiality of the body play? The embodied-self influences cognition and emotion (Varella, Thompson, and Rosch, 1991). This paper explores the influence of embodiment on individual identities, actions, decisions and experiences. Examples from a case study highlight issues of embodied selves at work, illuminating the significance of embodiment in workers' processes of manufacturing identities.
This paper discusses the broad strokes of liberal theory, feminism and universal rights. It covers opposing conservative arguments in which we review individual and social psychodynamics that we believe form the foundation for the tension between Liberalism and feminism and perhaps, more widely, Liberalism and Conservatism. It is within these discussions that we offer practical application of these posits in the form of our summary of precedent setting legal cases originating in Las Vegas and reported from Las Vegas. The cases are all united by the fact that they not only relate to Nevada, but that all, in one form or another, concern the matter of sexual difference. In our view they are also united in the manner in which they represent a perceived tension that arises in Liberalism as it is espoused in the United States and how it seeks to eradicate sexual difference under the law. We strive to unravel issues of identity as they pertain to the synthesis of Liberalism, feminism and the psychodynamic vantage.
This article focuses on the role of organizational storytelling and identity formation of a Danish filmmaking company, Zentropa Entertainment Productions Company (a.k.a. Zentropa). Identity formation, as storytelling, is taking place in a context of multiple voices, polyphony, and is performed in dialogue. The article explores how identities are co-produced through the interaction between the organization and external actors by their story interaction. The study illustrates how the identity of a filmmaking company emerges from identity stories and how they are co-produced with the media. We argue that the rebellious ‘Maverick’ identity of Zentropa has emerged through its interaction with the media through “counter stories.” Finally, the study shows the difficulties that Zentropa encountered trying to maintain its rebellious ‘Maverick’ identity.
Organizations can be seen as discursive places where language practices (developing, telling and restoring stories) flourish. Individuals usually develop their identity in this space, being influenced (choosing alignment or choosing counter-identity) by meta-stories told at the organizational level through brand identity or corporate identity. This article aims at identifying the link between the micro type (individual) and macro type of identity (brand and corporate identity). In particular, our work focuses on the impact and the risk of storytelling when developing theses links.
Through a nuanced braiding of Weick’s (1995) sensemaking epistemology and Sartre’s (1957) phenomenological ontology, we propose an approach to organizational analysis which we label existential sensemaking. We first explore the potential to fuse Weick’s sensemaking and Sartre’s ontology and then examine the case of a Peruvian mountaineering expedition to explore the potential of the existential sensemaking heuristic in understanding the importance of individual decision making in the process of identity work. We conclude that this perspective has profound implications for understanding ethical behaviour in organizing processes as well as within identity construction.
Drawing upon the genre of ethnographic fiction, this paper explores the challenges that occur when third- and fourth-tier colleges and universities seek accreditation from AACSB. Deans and change leaders normally see the process of achieving accreditation in terms of bureaucratic and behavioral change. This paper argues that more focus must be placed on understanding how the demands of accreditation challenge faculty members’ self-image. Therefore, achieving accreditation requires individuals to have a change in their self-identity so that behavioral change can follow.
A recent debate in identity studies is about gender of health care professions arguing that the feminization of health care professions will diminish diversity as well as status in the field. The paper argues that even in health care professions of many females, such as within public rehabilitation, there is still diversity in the creation of professional identity. This paper argues that the fundamental part the identity of rehabilitation professionals is not formed by educational values, gender and knowledge, but is created in the everyday work with patients and other professionals. Drawing on narrative interviews with rehabilitation professionals, the paper illustrates how rehabilitation professionals construct their identities and what kind of identity work is emerging. The findings illustrate hybrid identities and tensions in the attempts of becoming identities in the interaction with patients and colleagues.