A Methodological Framework for Organizational Discourse Activism: an Ethics of Dispositif and Dialogue

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In the article, we elaborate an interdisciplinary methodological framework that enables us to study and prepare the grounds for the development of organizational practices through discourse perspectives. The framework differs from mainstream monological and complexity reducing tendencies within organizational studies in that it argues for an approach that takes in historical, broad, and situational power relations and discourses into consideration when we engage in ethical organizational development. We place the framework within organizational discourse studies (ODS) and discuss how the intersection of Bakhtinian and Foucauldian ideas and concepts, as well as their diverse analytical strategies and focuses, contributes to the field. The combination entails taking a dissensus approach to organizational discursive phenomena that we view as dynamic features that are historically and locally (re)created through battles of unifying (centripetal) and diversifying (centrifugal) force relations. Following similar ideas of Deleuze and Bakhtin, we argue that dialogue and every (organizational) situation is seen as a plurivocal, open-ended, and unique time-space in which subjects have agency to change and transform the power relations and lines of subjectification that they are embedded in. We arrive at a methodological framework that bridges the gulf that often exists between discourse perspectives that tend to either focus on situated or more abstract and historical discursive dimensions. Furthermore, the frame involves an ethics of dispositif and dialogue that insists that organizational discourse scholars engage in organizational discourse activism furthering local change processes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophy of Management
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)99-126
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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