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The novel as a vehicle for organizational inquiry: Engaging with the complexity of social and organizational commitment.

Sliwa, Martyna and Cairns, George (2007) 'The novel as a vehicle for organizational inquiry: Engaging with the complexity of social and organizational commitment.' Ephemera : Theory and Politics in Organization, 7 (2). 309 - 17. ISSN 2052-1499

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Abstract

In this paper, we seek to contribute to the development of the approach to organizational inquiry which employs the concept of ‘lay reading’ of literary fiction as a vehicle for exploration. We argue that this enables development of complex understandings of social and organizational concepts and phenomena. We illustrate our application of lay reading by discussing the notion of commitment as we identify it in academic literature, and in the fiction of Aldous Huxley and Milan Kundera. In considering the stories of individual characters, we point to attitudes towards commitment that exemplify complexity, ambiguity and ambivalence. We posit that the lay reading approach facilitates engagement with multiple theoretical perspectives, in support of students’ and organizational actors’ meso-theorising about relevant concepts and phenomena.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2019 12:37
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2019 13:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25071

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