Organizational (auto)-ethnography: an interaction analysis of identity work through the study of other-orientation and storytelling practices in a leadership development forum

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Contemporary organizations feature what can be said to be the absence of boundaries and is increasingly defined by loose couplings, pluri-vocality and network configurations. What Foucault (1995) addressed as a former society of discipline is transformed and replaced into what Deleuze (1995) refines as a society of control that incorporates its subjects into new and ever-changing lines of subjectification. This transformation of dispositifs (Deleuze, 1992; Foucault, 1980) and authoritative discourses (Bakhtin, 1982) that compose (and is composed of) a contemporary way to live out society induces in other words new types of embodied organizational knowledge and ways of organizing, which have consequences for how subject positions are (re)configured in everyday corporate lives. Such identity work is rarely studied in local discursive practices of today’s modern and emergent corporations. The aspiration in present article is precisely to scrutinize local practices in a dialogue based leadership development forum in university settings. This provides insights into the lived lives and identity work in Aalborg University representing a temporary, polyphonic and cross-disciplinary research project in a modern corporation. The project was an example of a loose-coupled and temporary arrangement/organization that invited a diverse group of participants to engage in the co-production of knowledge in/on leadership communicative practices. The participants involved professional leaders from diverse organizations in the North of Jutland together with researchers and candidate students from the study programs of communication and philosophy at Aalborg University.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date26 Oct 2013
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2013
EventDoing Organizational Ethnography: Work, politics and organizational storytelling - Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland
Duration: 24 Oct 201326 Oct 2013


ConferenceDoing Organizational Ethnography
LocationKozminski University


  • organizational auto-ethnography
  • Leadership Development
  • dialogicality
  • Governmentality
  • otherness
  • positioning theory
  • lines of subjectification
  • identity work
  • Embodied Interaction
  • interaction analysis
  • small stories
  • temporal multiplicity


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