Dissertation Abstracts

Appreciating the Power of Words and Imaginative Organizing: A Triadic Model of Ethics Practiced in Everyday Conversations

Author: Hamaoka, Hakushi , hamaokahlisboa@gmail.com
Department: Nova School of Business and Economics, Faculdade de Economia
University: Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Supervisor: Stewart R. Clegg
Year of completion: 2015
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Power , Ethics , Narrative Analysis
Areas of Research: Language and Society , Organization , Theory

Abstract

As one of the social scientific disciplines, management and organization studies (MOS) are expected to produce theories and models that can provide solutions to a variety of problems in organizations by identifying particular causal relations along the logic of substitution (Czarniawska 1999). While such a positivist assumption that problems can be solved along particular causal relations may translate into the practical relevance of theories and models of MOS, causal relations that do not take into account temporal contingencies often make theories and models less relevant to practical organization settings (Sandberg and Tsoukas 2011).
In response to the calls for more serious attention to different temporalities (Schatzki 2006, Cunliffe, Luhman and Boje 2004), processes (Langley and Tsoukas 2010, Tsoukas and Chia 2002) and practices (Geiger 2009, Miettinen, Samra-Fredericks and Yanow 2009), the thesis re-orients MOS towards appreciating, rather than solving, problems which we encounter in organizations. Power imbalances that are ubiquitous in organizations, constituted through discursive practices that are irremediable (Clegg 1989) were chosen for analysis. The thesis seeks to increase the practical relevance of MOS research, typically that which adopts discursive approach to processes of organizing, by accounting for member’s concerns about evaluative/moral appropriateness at a particular point in time and space. Thus, the thesis elaborates methods with which to provide thickness to each one member’s once-occurring present from which their particular social orderliness emanates.
Researchers are encouraged to propose possible alternative ways of configuring/re-figuring the reality of their subjects imaginatively using an analytical framework derived from narrative frameworks, specifically theories of plot or emplotment (Boje 2001, Czarniawska 1999, Pentland 1999, Ricoeur 1984/1990, 1991). Possible alternative plots produced by researchers’ imaginative interventions are expected to facilitate conversations with their subjects in ways that reveal implicit and context-specific assumptions and principles, thus the subjects are likely to obtain renewed understandings of reality with theories/models produced by MOS (Weick 1987).

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