The digital revolution is impacting enormously on the way we create and undertake business. To keep pace and navigate the complexities of this incessant evolving state requires entrepreneurial thinking capable of moving us from the old to the new. An often-overlooked aspect of this transition or change process is the space that lies between the old and the new, a betwixt and between state, fuelled by opportunity, but clouded in uncertainty and ambiguity. In this article, we stress the significance of this between space and discuss the importance of liminal thinking as pivotal in navigating the passage from old to new. We do this by drawing on the concepts of liminal space and liminal thinking, illustrating how these concepts can be deployed to reconstruct reality in such a way that stimulates the crucial cognitive recalibrations needed to cross the passage from old to new. To know that this ‘betwixt and between’ space exists, to recognise the qualities of this space and, most importantly, to manage it, is invaluable in entrepreneurs’ dynamic, rapidly changing world.
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 study envisions that both organizations and careers can be perceived as texts and examines the intertextuality of organizations and careers as organizations and individuals construct and reconstruct change through narrative. The study, exploratory in nature, investigates individual/career texts in the context of change and proposes an intertextual lens through which to juxtapose these texts with organizational texts.
This paper dreams forward the mythical patriarchal imagery of management stories. Eleusinian and alchemical memes return to guide an ironic Manichean Feminist deconstruction of patriarchal ego consciousness that forms the ossification whereby management texts recreate the symbolism of a heroic immortality. The role of the feminine on this stage is all-too-predictably ambiguous.
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 evaluation of organizational change is a thorny issue. Firstly, accurate data depicting the organization's response to a change process are very difficult to collect, and the process can be corrupted by the Macnamara Fallacy. Secondly, the evaluative conclusions derived from the data are complex high-inference chains of reasoning based on implicit, taken-for-granted beliefs and values. Specifically, ontological and epistemological paradigms broadly determine the context for the conclusions of the evaluative inference, even though they are rarely made explicit. This paper presents two sets of ontological and epistemological paradigms; one set is modernist, and the other is postmodernist. It then applies them to organizational change data to demonstrate the divergent evaluations that can be constructed.
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.
This paper is a polemical critique of the current orthodoxy that the world is changing at an even faster rate, that organizations must adapt to this change in order to survive, and that change management techniques enable organizations to do this. There is no basis to evaluate the proposition that we face unprecedented rates of change, and change is not something to which organizations must respond, but is instead an outcome of organizational actions. Change management initiatives are largely failures, and the usual explanations for these failures are inadequate.
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.
There is no doubt that health management can improve employee well-being and can have positive outcomes for the organization. But, the mere goodness of such programmes has to be questioned. First, the paper shows how health management activities fit in processes of discipline in our society as extensively analysed by Foucault particularly in his genealogical works. Second, it discusses possible normative implications of such a Foucauldian analysis. What is the alternative to taking care of employee health in organizations?
Campus Bitch and White Trash are the kind of appellations that can draw one into the dark heart of a world where words wound, images enrage, and speech is haunted by hate. One need look only as far as the latest outbreak of violence in the workplace or on the schoolyard to find examples of how name-calling and bullying can erupt in rage.
The issue of injurious speech and our vulnerability to words is a critical management issue. In her book Excitable Speech, a politics of the performative, Judith Butler raises the questions: What establishes the performative character of injurious labels? And what makes the force of an utterance injurious?
Our vulnerability to words is a consequence of our being constituted by them. As linguistic beings we have to use words to form reason. We cannot create meaning without structuring our thoughts and feelings with words. According to Althusser, ideology hails or interpolates or concretizes individuals as subjects according to the functioning of the category of the subject (1971, 162). Thus we are called upon by our names. Being called a name is one of the examples Althusser uses to explain "interpolation." When an ideology hails us, it alters who we are, and, so the argument goes, we recognize who or what we have become.
This paper reflects upon the 'goodness' or 'ethics' of Critical Management/Critical Organisation Studies (COS) research practices. I argue that academic representations of others entail an ethical responsibility to the researched, a responsibility that COS is, as yet, insufficiently exploring. Reflecting upon my own research with those who have colluded in discrimination and Stanley and Wise's (1979) research on obscene telephone callers, I explore the nature and limits of responsibility when researching those who have acted reprehensibly. I end by arguing that COS "owe(s) some responsibility to 'the researched' of all kinds, whether we morally approve of them or not" (Stanley and Wise 1993:177).
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.
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.
Discusses articles on management and conception of goodness. Relationship between management and goodness; Opposition to Aristotelian notions of the good; Discussion on the conventional patriarchal representations of the organization.
The purpose of this paper is to explore how the ideas and theatrical practices of Bertold Brecht may be applied in organizational contexts. A model is developed that builds on Brechtian conceptions of alienation and integrates organizational learning and role theories. Specifically, the model suggests that role distance may be reconceptualized as a reflective, dialectic process that builds on Brecht's ideas for alienating actors and audiences from the familiar to demonstrate the changing and changeable nature of behavior. This reflective process in turn may facilitate non-routine, role-related learning. Implications for organizational theory and practice are discussed.
In the midst of the postmodern art tumult of the 1980's there emerged a group of artists whose artwork was outwardly focused and culturally critical in a broad Debordian sense. Focusing on the subjects of postmodern culture, critical postmodern artists depicted the "dark" side of the postmodern world from their multiple perspectives. They did this with well-crafted works that may communicate on a broader less "elitist" level. These artists are not neutral toward their subjects.
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.
Traditional structural-functional approaches to organizational change, as well as critics of those approaches, often offer overly structured and rationalised views of how change occurs. This paper attempts to build upon processual studies of change and critiques of overly hegemonic views of managerial control by seeking to capture the complex, emotive and fluid character of organisational 'changing'. In pursuit of this aim, the paper documents these characteristics of change through a personalised ethnography of a micro-incident -- a critical change meeting -- in an Australian steel making plant undergoing cultural change. In conclusion, it is argued that even the more sophisticated studies of the emergent process-like character of organisational change fail to fully capture the ambiguous, ironic, emotional, and uncertain character of events in the 'blender' of change.
This paper considers the methodological implications arising from competing narratives of an organizational change process in a large acute city teaching hospital. This qualitative case study was informed by a processual-contextual perspective, and relied on an interpretive, constructivist epistemology. Two forms of contradiction are revealed. First, differing accounts were offered of substantive dimensions of the change programme. Second, the impact of change on organizational effectiveness was indeterminate. This study suggests that the unitary, authentic narrative is illusory. Political motivations underpinning account-giving, and phenomenological variations in the lived experience of change, make competing narratives a naturally occurring phenomenon, not a methodological aberration. These findings have two main implications. First, case narrative validation through triangulation should be abandoned in favour of the pursuit of polyphony and ambiguity. Second, the researcher faces the choice of being either an arbiter of accuracy, or of holding the less comfortable, more challenging, but creatively constructive role of exposing organizational tensions, disputes and contradictions.