European Group for Organisational Studies

Olsen, P. B. (Participant)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


    Standing working group 6 Practice-Based Studies of Knowledge and Innovation in Workplaces – Practice that Upset and Upsetting Practices Gail Greig, Paolo Landri, Davide Nicolini, Kjersti Björkeng, Marc Barbier, Marie Hemming & Poul Bitsch Title : Dispatch technique and research on virtue During recent years, several communities within the field of EGOS have produced discussions on the process, organization and power relations during research seminars (Gherardi 2006). Critical voices and reflections are formulated in several texts, e.g. Räsanen (2006), Steyart & van Looy (200X), expressing desperation and hopelessness about the institutions that sustain research seminaring and are reproduced into intersubjective situations in the meetings. Inconsistent theorizing and expectations seem to some extent to be an inherent part of our seminar practice, revealing that productive seminars should still be strived for. Productive initiatives have been formulated by conveners organizing workshops within the field, also in relation to the PBS; the quality of a productive seminar may not be a single unit supported by simple measures. In this text we suggest a productive seminar may be a changing social activity, through which internal good is developed in relation to the morality employed by the participants. This text investigates a research technique organizing an intersubjective reflection and negotiation on PBS participants’ experience with seminar participation, organizing and outcome. The first phase of the research technique includes a turn-taking questioning and answer about “how is virtue present in an academic seminar?” This phase has an actual form as a dispatch, circulated between the participants, and can be read as a file. This first phase is executed as distinct monologues: while each contribution is resting on the input of the others, and as such part of a dialogue, the texts’ contributions are still stand alone items, with no interventions from other writers and the distinct signature of the writer on it. Next step is a more open discussion on areas of agreement as well as contrary views. The aim is to collectively negotiate what (they) have said about the presence of virtue in an academic seminar, creating a form of collective knowing. By step two the research technique is moving from the “monologues dialogue” of step one to a collective reasoning more explicitly in search of a joint platform. This collective reasoning is also present in the discussion practice, as the borders between words which are “mine” or “yours” are rubbed out, and the origin of ideas becomes a joint venture. The product, or for-the-moment-frozen result, of step two is this paper jointly written by the participants in the “extended seminar” on virtues in research seminars. In the paper the particular technique as well as the negotiated suggestions on virtue in academic seminars is presented. Furthermore the virtue of the technique (the process) is discussed in light of the generic topic (the content). Having experienced the technique as providing a space of virtuous negotiation, the relation between the process and content becomes conspicuous. Is it the technique, or the explicit presence of virtue through the topic, that gives room for virtuous discussions? Are the virtues emerging dependent on the joint forces of process and content, or would any discussion with this process become virtuous? Would any discussion on virtue become virtuous? Suggesting a productive seminar as a changing social activity, where its internal goods are developed in relation to the morality employed by the participants, the explicit presence of virtue through the topic discussed lends itself to the becoming of virtuous practices. We wish to apply the third part of the technique at the PBS. It is an organized negotiation about how the knowing we have created in this collective could be an answer to the question about virtue’s presence (and production) in an academic seminar. That is; we wish to instantiate the becoming of an organized negotiation where the text (product of phase two) should function as a starting point for further virtuous negotiations on virtue. This organized negotiation will also be a test on whether the method of negotiation (process) can be recreated and applied for the broader and present set of seminar participants that will be at the PBS. The presentation consequently includes methodological aspects, while another discussion – about the meaning and scope of morality in the organizing of an academic seminar – is an inherent issue in the presentation. The presentation could – if the convenors want to emphasize the discussion on the theoretical and practical implications of the paper – have a session for itself or an enlarged amount of time. We suggest opening the PBS by introducing and discussing this paper. Adjusting the technique to the assembly, we wish to introduce questions on virtue prior to the workgroup and by this presentation and discussion hopefully contribute to even more virtuous discussions on our EGOS standing workgroup. Several authors present other papers during the seminar, while a few cannot participate this summer.
    Period10 Jul 2008
    Event typeConference
    LocationAmsterdam, Netherlands