Research Methods for Non-Representational Approaches of Organizational Complexity. The Dialogical and Mediated Inquiry
This paper explores the methodological implications of non-representational approaches of organizational complexity. Representational theories focus on the syntactic complexity of systems, whereas organizing processes are predominantly characterized by semantic and pragmatic forms of complexity. After underlining the contribution of non-representational approaches to the study of organizations, the paper warns against the risk of confining the critique of representational frameworks to paradoxical dichotomies like intuition versus reflexive thought or theorizing versus experimenting. To sort out this difficulty, it is suggested to use a triadic theory of interpretation, and more particularly the concepts of semiotic mediation, inquiry and dialogism. Semiotic mediation dynamically links situated experience and generic classes of meanings. Inquiry articulates logical thinking, narrative thinking and experimenting. Dialogism conceptualizes the production of meaning through the situated interactions of actors. A methodological approach based on those concepts, “the dialogical and mediated inquiry” (DMI), is proposed and experimented in a case study about work safety in the construction industry. This interpretive view requires complicating the inquiring process rather than the mirroring models of reality. In DMI, the inquiring process is complicated by establishing pluralist communities of inquiry in which different perspectives challenge each other. Finally the paper discusses the specific contribution of this approach compared with other qualitative methods and its present limits.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: ESSEC Research Center, BP 105, 95021 Cergy, France|
Web page: http://www.essec.edu/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ebg:essewp:dr-10004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sophie Magnanou)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.