Playful Organizations: Undecidability as a Scarce Resource

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Abstrakt

This article explores how organisational play becomes a managerial tool to increase and benefit from undecidability. The article draws on Niklas Luhmann's concept of decision and on Gregory Bateson's theory of play to create a conceptual framework for analysing the relation between decision and undecidability. With an empirical point of departure in Danish public school policy and two concrete examples of games utilised in school development, the article analyses how play is a way for organisations to simultaneously decide and also avoid making a decision, thus keeping flexibility and possibilities intact. In its final sections, the article discusses what happens to conditions of decision-making when organisations do not just see undecidability as a given condition, but as a limited resource indispensable for change and renewal. The article advances discussions of organisational play by exploring the consequences play has for the very conditions of organising and for key concepts in organisation theory.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftCulture and Organization
Vol/bind21
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)338-354
Antal sider17
ISSN1475-9551
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2015

Emneord

  • Undecidability
  • Organisational play
  • Niklas Luhmann
  • Gregory Bateson
  • The paradox of the decision
  • Organisation theory

Citationsformater