‘This Phone Would Be Even Fairer If...’: Micro-political Struggles over Sustainability and Entrepreneurship in a Contemporary Organization

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Abstract

This paper offers an analysis of the Dutch start-up Fairphone that have tried to produce a smartphone that reconciles economic values and green values. Tapping into discussions on the company’s large and interactive webpage over the problems facing corporations working in the contested terrain of sustainability and entrepreneurship, the paper shows how the organization itself becomes a site in which contradictory political views clash. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari’s machinic ontology, we show how Fairphone’s online community takes the form of a social plane that produces structures of desire that foster conflicting modes of subjectivity. As a result, we see the emergence – understood as ‘openness, undecidedness and multiple potentialities’ – of micro-political tactics for coping with the problem of reconciling economic values and green values. Rather than shifting the perspective to political economy, we argue that the debate around sustainability and entrepreneurship in organization studies should pay more attention to the micro-political struggles that takes place in the boundary space between the contemporary organization and its surroundings. We conclude that Deleuze and Guattari provide a fruitful framework for exploring the lines of flights but also the fantasies that are produced within the micro-political struggles over sustainability and entrepreneurship taking place within contemporary organizations. The paper also reflects on utopian ideas that emerge in the attempt to transgress the divide between economic values and green values.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventWhither emergence? - NCCA Moscow, Moskva, Russian Federation
Duration: 6 May 20157 May 2015
http://www.ephemerajournal.org/events/whither-emergence

Conference

ConferenceWhither emergence?
LocationNCCA Moscow
CountryRussian Federation
CityMoskva
Period06/05/201507/05/2015
Internet address

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