A Journey in Organizational Theory

Author: David L Cooperrider , Frank Barrett , Suresh Srivastva
Editor: Dian Hosking , H. Peter Dachler , Kenneth Gergen

Ashgate Publishing: In- Management and Organization: Relational Alternatives to Individualism
Date: 01/01/1995

Annotation: This chapter shows that the postmodern implication that organizations are made and imagined can serve as an invitation to re-vitalize the practice of social science. The suggestion that knowledge is not a matter of accurately reflecting that world but is a relationally embedded activity, that the world we come to know and inhabit is a product of linguistic convention, is an empowering insight that can alter the way that social scientists construe their task.

In this paper, the authors explore what it means for oranizational behavior to take on its own constructive project, that is, to fashion for itself a practice of social theory which simultaneously includes an exploratory approach to organizations and a program for organizational reconstruction and development. They begin with a brief look at postmodernist thought and show that what is often castigated as a spectre of relativism can be read as an invitation to a relational understanding of knowledge. They conclude by raising questions about the constructive project and what it means for our discipline. They suggest that it is possible through our assumptions and choices of methods that we largely create the world we later discover, including ourselves in it.

More related information can be found at
The Appreciative Inquiry Commons

http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/

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