The role of business in society: creating space to live the question within the paradox of change

Howaidy, Ghada (2015) The role of business in society: creating space to live the question within the paradox of change. DProf thesis, Middlesex University / Ashridge Business School.

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Abstract

Through an action research inquiry into the role of business in society within the context of post-2011 revolutionary Egypt, this thesis substantiates the practice of holding the paradox of change that balances agency and emergence within a social construction framework that is informed by critical complexity. The thesis is a presentation of a journey that starts with setting out to inquire into personal, organizational and social change and ends up embracing ‘becoming’ that privileges values-based choices all along the journey over end results as the most important element of change. The thesis is in seven chapters that include a discussion of the paradox of change and action research as a framing for the inquiry. This is followed by the researcher situating herself in her practice in a business school and demonstrating a transformative change from directive to relational leading. A background on the social and economic context in Egypt that is the backdrop of the inquiry as well as a critically reflective review of the researcher’s worldview and assumptions is presented with an understanding that the account is incomplete, emerging and being constructed. This is followed by a discussion of responsible business practice and responsible management education as an inquiry into a socially and politically responsible role for business that could support democratic transformation. In the conclusion the researcher reflects on the ‘bricolage’ of elements of theories used in the thesis, the validity of this research and the acceptance of the paradox of change and ‘becoming’. The relevance for managers seeking to transform their leadership styles in complex situations with competing ontologies is to engage in reflective first person inquiry, appreciate bricolage as practice, recognize the potential for change from different entry points that may appear peripheral, and acknowledge conversation as a form of change.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Ashridge Business School
Item ID: 18746
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2016 16:55
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 19:03
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/18746

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