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‘Remembering as Forgetting’: Organizational commemoration as a politics of recognition

Cutcher, Leanne and Dale, Karen and Tyler, Melissa (2019) '‘Remembering as Forgetting’: Organizational commemoration as a politics of recognition.' Organization Studies, 40 (2). pp. 267-290. ISSN 0170-8406

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This paper considers the politics of how organizations remember their past through commemorative settings and artefacts. Although these may be seen as ‘merely’ a backdrop to organizational activity, they form part of the lived experience of organizational spaces that its members enact on a daily basis as part of their routes and routines. The main concern of the paper is with how commemoration is bound up in the reflection and reproduction of hierarchies of organizational recognition. Illustrated with reference to two commemorative settings, the paper explores how organizations perpetuate a narrow set of symbolic ideals attributing value to particular forms of organizational membership while appearing to devalue others. In doing so, they communicate values that undermine attempts to achieve equality and inclusion. Developing a recognition-based critique of this process, the discussion emphasizes how commemorative settings and practices work to reproduce established patterns of exclusion and marginalization. To this end, traditional forms of commemorative portraiture that tend to close off difference are contrasted with a memorial garden, in order to explore the potential for an alternative, recognition-based ethics of organizational commemoration that is more open to the Other.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: commemoration; Edward Casey; organizational memory; portraits; recognition; remembering as forgetting
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD58.7 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 15:15
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:43

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