Academic journal article Tamara Journal of Critical Organisation Inquiry

The Dialectic Storytelling of the Standing Conference for Management and Organization Inquiry (sc'MOI ) as It Dismembers and Re-Members

Academic journal article Tamara Journal of Critical Organisation Inquiry

The Dialectic Storytelling of the Standing Conference for Management and Organization Inquiry (sc'MOI ) as It Dismembers and Re-Members

Article excerpt


Is it better to check out before one is forced to come to an end? One story is that the global economy is about to bankrupt our continuing as sc'MOI (Standing Conference for Management and Organization Inquiry). Another story, that the European economies and their universities no longer support travel funds, much less traveling to small conferences. Others say it's the journal ranking system that makes it essential to go to big Academy of Management (AOM) conferences. I think that is a superficial explanation of a 25-year old movement of going against the grain of the AOM conference, as well as its journal content, and its pragmatic science of managerialism, and its globalist narrative of non-complicity.

sc'MOI has an historical truth of its particular existence, a community with contingent and arbitrary as well as strategic aspects of conference content. The way sc'MOI inquiry has been made, its science, at each conference moment, is in its community's identity and self-consciousness.

sc'MOI is a double fold, a quantum storytelling dialectic. It is dialectic within and between two folds. The first fold is the space sc'MOI creates and goes to, the time of sc'MOI each year for 25 years, and the mattering substance of sc'MOI. Karen Barad (2007) calls this quantumness, the inseparability fold of spacetimemattering. But from a Hegelian perspective such as that of Zizek's (2010) critique of Barad's quantum philosophy, there is a second fold, the Spirit of sc'MOI (not in any religious sense), the System (or as I prefer, systemicities) of sc'MOI in a gamut for wholeness of an unfinalized, unmerged never whole systemicity (Boje, 2008, 2014), and a Science of managing and organizing that thumbs its nose at the science of the Academy of Management (AOM).

These two folds and their six elements are being dismembered as members are consigned to other conferences, perhaps even to our nemesis, the AOM. With the disappearance of sc'MOI the negativity of its content, its counter-narrative to the dominant positivity narrative of AOM, spacetimemattering and its Spirit-System-Science, does the dialectic of our engagement come to an end? Has the 'falsity' of AOM content disappeared as the movement of sc'MOI negativity-as-truthfulness, its process of meeting each year, comes to its End?

The answer lies in the Notion of difference that the sc'MOI movement, in its own sociomaterial process, in its own double fold has established.

sc'MOI, as you can peruse in Table 1, has no beginning, no middle, and no end. sc'MOI was never whole. I can tell you I did show up in 1991 to give a paper at IABD in Detroit, to a track that did not exist, and was there and then appointed track chair for Organization Theory, which I immediately renamed 'Postmodern Organization Theory' and invited Bob Dennehy to kick off the track in 1992 in Washington DC. We were skeptical of modernist management, TQM, and buzz words like 'empowerment'. But truth be told, we were not our own conference, until in 2004 I was beheaded by the board of IABD for many evils I had done: being a radical peace activist when US was at war, dressing as the clown Ronald McDonald in the theater we did at conference dinner, insulting an IABD member for dressing down two doctoral students (Bill Smith & Mark Hillon), and so on (take your pick). It was at the final hour of IABD, that the Postmodern OT, the Spirituality, and the Cross-Cultural tracks of IABD defected to form the sc'MOI movement. We met in Philadelphia in 2005, and Stanley Aronowitz was our keynote speaker.

The Spirit of sc'MOI

sc'MOI is the "appearance of Spirit" and it is the "experience of Spirit" that it embraces. sc'MOI is a complex web of passageways from the Appearance of system that never gets whole, the appearance of Spirit that promises Science in its method. sc'MOI is merely the dialectic negative, an antithesis that comes up against the spread of the AOM positive. sc'MOI's experience of Spirit, its systemicity in search of an impossible wholeness (whole system), the quest to be critical postmodern organization science, is always the negative: against TQM, against modernist managerialism, against performativity, against reengineering, against war, against globalization, against AOM, against journal rankings, against AACSB, against management itself, against Nike, McDonald's, Disney, Las Vegas, and so on. …

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