Novel Thought: Towards a Literary Study of Organization

Timon Beyes*, Jana Costas, Günther Ortmann

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Novels espouse an epistemological freedom that is beyond even experimental forms of scholarly research and writing. Precisely this freedom makes novels so conducive to thought. Their enduring presence in organization studies demonstrates literary fiction’s power of conveying how things are, might be, or can be thought of; of inventing new ways of seeing; of enabling different vocabularies as well as staging and transmitting specific affects. In this paper, we trace the mutual ‘contamination’ between the novel and organization studies as well as discuss different modes of engaging prose fiction, drawing on Rancière’s ethical, representative and aesthetic regimes of art. With a special nod to Kafka’s novels and stories and also McCarthy’s Satin Island, we outline the contours of a literary study of organization and introduce the special themed section on ‘The Novel and Organization Studies’.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalOrganization Studies
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)1787-1803
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


    • Fiction
    • Kafka
    • literature
    • McCarthy
    • Organization theory
    • Organization
    • Rancière
    • The novel

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