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Strategisk Ledelse. 11. undervisningsgang – 19. november 2012. Lectures, Autumn 2012. Legitimate and shadow.
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Strategisk Ledelse 11. undervisningsgang – 19. november 2012
Legitimate and shadow If there is one thing that everyone knows about life in organisations or any other grouping of people for that matter, it is this: it is not possible to talk freely and openly to just anyone, in any situation, about anything one likes, in any way one chooses, and still survive as a member.
Conscious and unconscious • The concept of mental models used in Learning Organisation theory, postulates that most of the content of the models is below the level of awareness • A distinction between tacit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) knowledge • People are usually conscious of the formal propositional statements that organise their experience of being together • Most of the themes organising experience are likely to be unconscious • It is unusual for people to struggle publicly to identify what these themes are
Legitimate- and shadow themes Legitimate Shadow Conscious Unconscious Formal Informal Legitimate connections Shadow connections
Narrative patterning • We can only interact with each other locally • Such interactions always reflects population-wide generalisations (social object) and idealisations (cult values) – most of which we are not conscious of • Immersing is describing what we are doing as we act locally, preoccupied in the game, in ways which unconsciously reflect the generalisations and idealisations, the habitus of our society
Immersing Immersing refers to activities taking the form of • Ordinary everyday politics of life • Pattering of the power relations between people • Acts of politeness and face-saving • Practicing the arts of resistance • Denial, scapegoating and blaming as defences • Spontaneity and improvisation • Attachment to others • Creative imagination of alternative ways of living • Altruism and generosity as well as selfishness and meanness
Narrative patterning • People are negotiating their next actions in ways that have emerged and continue to emerge and evolve as narrative and propositional themes of power, identity and ideology • Thought, reflection and meaning-making are all activities of abstracting, the opposite of immersing • Abstractions are articulations of both local and global patterns of interaction. They are attempts to describe social objects, cult values, habitus and the game
Narrative patterning • Experience is an inseperable interplay between the activities of: • Immersing and abstracting • Participation and reflecting • - which in each is simultaneous forming and being formed by the other • Human thought has always been paradoxial acts of immersing and abstracting at the same time
Storytelling • When we articulate our experience in propositional forms, we make causal and prescriptive statements about experience, such as: • If you shout then people will get angry • If you improve the quality of your product then... • People cannot rely entirely on propositions in formals forms, they also need to draw on narrative knowledge embodied in the informal stories they tell each other • Storytelling is a traditional activity in which storytellers tell their community preserving folklore • Modernists sees such as fiction • For postmodernists, stories, not facts makes experience meaningful
Narratives • Narrative is more complex, taking the form of stories and evaluations of these stories which convey understandings of our experience; • A story is an account of a sequence of specific actions, feeling states and events • A narrative is a story line linked by reflections, comments upon, and categorisations of, elements of the story line • Narratives create a sense of temporality in experience linking present experiences to past ones; • Focus upon departures from what is expected • What is taken for granted as ordinary and acceptable • Reinforce cultural norms • Disclose some aspects of individuals silent conversations
Reflecting on experience • Generalising through identification of categories of experience, articulated in narratives is first-order abstracting from the experience of local interaction • Mapping and modelling of relationships between the categories, we might call second-order abstracting • Manipulates the categories of first-order abstractions and working on removing direct experience • Second-order abstracting loses the sense of paradox with immersion and abstraction by simplifying standardising and measure • Reducing elaboration, multiple interpretations and mystery
Reflecting on experience • We are largely unconscious of how we are relying upon abstractions and find it difficult to notice just how readily we reify them and so cover our preoccupation in the game • The activity of second-order abstracting involves: • Objectifying and categorising • Measuring • Averaging • Analysing • Selecting regularities and stabilities • Modelling • Prescribing rules • Setting targets