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Beyond authenticity? humanism, posthumanism and new organization development


Bryant, M and Wolfam Cox, J, Beyond authenticity? humanism, posthumanism and new organization development, British Journal of Management, 25, (4) pp. 706-723. ISSN 1045-3172 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1111/1467-8551.12005


In recent debates, the relevance of traditional objectivist organization development (OD) approaches has been questioned in terms of their appropriateness for contemporary organizations. A new OD has emerged wherein change is viewed as a socially constructed process and where there are multiple rather than singular authentic possibilities. We explore these possibilities by drawing on employees' discussions of how they manage conflicting interpretations of organizational change. Using the example of emotional labour, we compare traditional and new OD approaches in terms of how they view authenticity and then discuss posthumanist analysis, in which authenticity (or lack thereof) is no longer of focal concern. In particular, under traditional OD, where authenticity can be ‘discovered’, the need to negotiate multiplicity and to downplay ‘negative’ responses is a problem to be addressed. Under new OD such multiplicity becomes data for dialogue and discussion of future potentials. In contrast, a posthumanist analysis, while relational, neither reframes nor tempers authenticity but decentres the very notion of autonomy on which authenticity is based. The social constructionism of new OD is recast and implications for theory and intervention are discussed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Organisational planning and management
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services
UTAS Author:Bryant, M (Professor Melanie Bryant)
ID Code:114005
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2017-02-01
Last Modified:2018-03-16

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