Questioning and organization studies

Kelemen, Mihaela, Rumens, Nick and Vo, Linh Chi (2018) Questioning and organization studies. Organization Studies . ISSN 0170-8406 (Published online first) (doi:10.1177/0170840618783350)

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Abstract

This essay identifies a cleavage in the organisation literature that separates ‘questions’ and ‘questioning’ at a very fundamental philosophical level. On the one hand, the objective notion of ‘questions’ has already been well addressed within organization studies, evident in how scholars have scrutinized questions as objects of analysis; for example, paying close attention to the forms and functions of questions as instruments of research. More recently, the linguistic turn within the social sciences has influenced how organization studies researchers have considered organizations as discursive entities, with debate extending to the discursive nature of ‘questions’. On the other hand, the process of ‘questioning’ remains under-researched. From one perspective, questioning the process of questioning is challenging, but, as we submit, this is precisely where American pragmatism can be helpful. As we explore in this essay, the forward-looking quality of pragmatist inquiry is what motors the process of questioning. Our pragmatist-inflected argument is that questioning does not have to always serve critique and position building in the organization studies field. Rather, questioning out of curiosity can build new dialogue and open up new methodological avenues. This may help change the habitual ways in which we explore ideas, problems and situations in organization studies as well as lead to more democratic forms of organizing. Crucially, in this essay we are not looking for ultimate ‘answers’; rather we hope to excite discussion about questioning by giving prominence to something that is so ubiquitous and taken-for-granted as to be invisible to many of us as an object of inquiry.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
Item ID: 24225
Notes on copyright: Nick Rumens, Questioning and organisation studies, Organization Studies (Journal Volume Number and Issue Number) pp. xx-xx. Copyright © 2018 (Copyright Holder). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications
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Depositing User: Nick Aston
Date Deposited: 09 May 2018 16:56
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2019 05:08
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/24225

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