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We went looking for an organisation and could find only the metaphysics of its presence

By Jackie M. Ford and Nancy H. Harding

Abstract

NoThis article explores the `lifeworld theories¿ of organizations held by organizational actors, gathered from staff and managers of two `organizations¿ as they went through a process of merger. Using Henri Lefebvre¿s theories of place and space read through a postmodernist lens to interrogate the data, we discovered amongst staff theories of the organization as place, arising out of the material territory in which they worked. Amongst managers and those whom we call directors/chief executives there was a contrasting theory of organization as space, based upon a sense of an immaterial space occupied by a metaphysical organization. Rather than finding a dualistic distinction between organization and agents, we found the organization and organizational members collapsed in upon each other, with managerial identities fused with and inseparable from that of `the organization¿; chief executives requiring the existence of an impossible organization that could exist only in their minds; and non-managerial employees refusing to identify anything called `an organization¿

Topics: Postmodern Organisations, Space, Place, Modern Organisations, Organisational Dualism
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0038038504045866
OAI identifier: oai:bradscholars.brad.ac.uk:10454/4080
Provided by: Bradford Scholars
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