Ruin and Organization Studies

Christian De Cock, Damian O’Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

24 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this paper we offer a preliminary study of the various ways in which ‘ruin’ has significance for organization studies. One important motif associated with both modern and romantic treatments of ruins concerns the revelatory impressions they make. In this respect the tradition of ruin writing will talk of their ‘beauty’, their ‘strangeness’ or their capacity to ‘intimidate’, which somehow never fails to strike a responsive nerve in us. In order to attend to this elusive phenomenon we must necessarily breach some of the self-imposed boundaries of our ‘discipline’. Taking up this challenge we follow W. G. Sebald in his use of contiguity as both method and textual structuring device, allowing us to drift across iconic ruin images, ruin theories and our own ruinous research experiences. This helps us learn how to ‘dwell’ in the ruin – without any impatient reaching after fact or explaining away ruins in the terms of an established tradition of theorizing in organization – and open up new analytic spaces and associations for organizational researchers. These concern specifically (a) a distinctive approach to time, history and memory; (b) an increased awareness of the multiplicity of forces impinging on organization, forces from which we so easily retreat behind the cordon sanitaire of organization-studies-as-usual; and (c) a cognisance of how the very way we write is a mode of doing organization that is crucial for our ability and willingness to look into ‘all corners of reality’ so that we might better grasp organizational phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume38
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)129–150
ISSN0170-8406
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Benjamin
  • Catastrophe
  • Ethnography
  • History
  • Memory
  • Spatiality
  • Ruin
  • Sebald

Cite this

De Cock, Christian ; O’Doherty, Damian. / Ruin and Organization Studies. In: Organization Studies. 2016 ; Vol. 38, No. 1. pp. 129–150.
@article{d1a200832bd043b7a4a6d00dcf1c0883,
title = "Ruin and Organization Studies",
abstract = "In this paper we offer a preliminary study of the various ways in which ‘ruin’ has significance for organization studies. One important motif associated with both modern and romantic treatments of ruins concerns the revelatory impressions they make. In this respect the tradition of ruin writing will talk of their ‘beauty’, their ‘strangeness’ or their capacity to ‘intimidate’, which somehow never fails to strike a responsive nerve in us. In order to attend to this elusive phenomenon we must necessarily breach some of the self-imposed boundaries of our ‘discipline’. Taking up this challenge we follow W. G. Sebald in his use of contiguity as both method and textual structuring device, allowing us to drift across iconic ruin images, ruin theories and our own ruinous research experiences. This helps us learn how to ‘dwell’ in the ruin – without any impatient reaching after fact or explaining away ruins in the terms of an established tradition of theorizing in organization – and open up new analytic spaces and associations for organizational researchers. These concern specifically (a) a distinctive approach to time, history and memory; (b) an increased awareness of the multiplicity of forces impinging on organization, forces from which we so easily retreat behind the cordon sanitaire of organization-studies-as-usual; and (c) a cognisance of how the very way we write is a mode of doing organization that is crucial for our ability and willingness to look into ‘all corners of reality’ so that we might better grasp organizational phenomena.",
keywords = "Benjamin, Catastrophe, Ethnography, History, Memory, Spatiality, Ruin, Sebald, Benjamin, Catastrophe, Ethnography, History, Memory, Spatiality, Ruin, Sebald",
author = "{De Cock}, Christian and Damian O’Doherty",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1177/0170840616640311",
language = "English",
volume = "38",
pages = "129–150",
journal = "Organization Studies",
issn = "0170-8406",
publisher = "Sage Publications Ltd.",
number = "1",

}

Ruin and Organization Studies. / De Cock, Christian ; O’Doherty, Damian.

In: Organization Studies, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2016, p. 129–150.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ruin and Organization Studies

AU - De Cock, Christian

AU - O’Doherty, Damian

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - In this paper we offer a preliminary study of the various ways in which ‘ruin’ has significance for organization studies. One important motif associated with both modern and romantic treatments of ruins concerns the revelatory impressions they make. In this respect the tradition of ruin writing will talk of their ‘beauty’, their ‘strangeness’ or their capacity to ‘intimidate’, which somehow never fails to strike a responsive nerve in us. In order to attend to this elusive phenomenon we must necessarily breach some of the self-imposed boundaries of our ‘discipline’. Taking up this challenge we follow W. G. Sebald in his use of contiguity as both method and textual structuring device, allowing us to drift across iconic ruin images, ruin theories and our own ruinous research experiences. This helps us learn how to ‘dwell’ in the ruin – without any impatient reaching after fact or explaining away ruins in the terms of an established tradition of theorizing in organization – and open up new analytic spaces and associations for organizational researchers. These concern specifically (a) a distinctive approach to time, history and memory; (b) an increased awareness of the multiplicity of forces impinging on organization, forces from which we so easily retreat behind the cordon sanitaire of organization-studies-as-usual; and (c) a cognisance of how the very way we write is a mode of doing organization that is crucial for our ability and willingness to look into ‘all corners of reality’ so that we might better grasp organizational phenomena.

AB - In this paper we offer a preliminary study of the various ways in which ‘ruin’ has significance for organization studies. One important motif associated with both modern and romantic treatments of ruins concerns the revelatory impressions they make. In this respect the tradition of ruin writing will talk of their ‘beauty’, their ‘strangeness’ or their capacity to ‘intimidate’, which somehow never fails to strike a responsive nerve in us. In order to attend to this elusive phenomenon we must necessarily breach some of the self-imposed boundaries of our ‘discipline’. Taking up this challenge we follow W. G. Sebald in his use of contiguity as both method and textual structuring device, allowing us to drift across iconic ruin images, ruin theories and our own ruinous research experiences. This helps us learn how to ‘dwell’ in the ruin – without any impatient reaching after fact or explaining away ruins in the terms of an established tradition of theorizing in organization – and open up new analytic spaces and associations for organizational researchers. These concern specifically (a) a distinctive approach to time, history and memory; (b) an increased awareness of the multiplicity of forces impinging on organization, forces from which we so easily retreat behind the cordon sanitaire of organization-studies-as-usual; and (c) a cognisance of how the very way we write is a mode of doing organization that is crucial for our ability and willingness to look into ‘all corners of reality’ so that we might better grasp organizational phenomena.

KW - Benjamin

KW - Catastrophe

KW - Ethnography

KW - History

KW - Memory

KW - Spatiality

KW - Ruin

KW - Sebald

KW - Benjamin

KW - Catastrophe

KW - Ethnography

KW - History

KW - Memory

KW - Spatiality

KW - Ruin

KW - Sebald

UR - https://sfx-45cbs.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/45cbs?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_ctx_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rfr_id=info:sid/sfxit.com:azlist&sfx.ignore_date_threshold=1&rft.object_id=954921376726

U2 - 10.1177/0170840616640311

DO - 10.1177/0170840616640311

M3 - Journal article

VL - 38

SP - 129

EP - 150

JO - Organization Studies

JF - Organization Studies

SN - 0170-8406

IS - 1

ER -