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Business and Management
Oxford Brookes Business School
In August 2014 we ran a stream on The Disruptive Potential of Arts Based Approaches at the Art of Management and Organisation Conference held at Copenhagen Business School. We were curious about trends in organization studies literature that are encouraging a search for new and innovative modes of inquiry questioning “assumed certainties” and disrupting predominant narratives (Dey and Steyaert, 2007: 443). Linked to this, we have noticed increasing recognition of the need to find new ways to address demands for flexible responses, innovation and knowledge creation in times of unpredictability and instability with calls to the organizational and management studies community to take inspiration from the arts. Nancy Adler (2006), for example, argues that new ways of seeing are necessary to understand the actual “realities” of the world we live in, and not to mistake them for seeing things as they are labelled. She suggests that people have to be able to dream, to envision possibilities, quoting Hamel who says: “Companies fail to create the future, not because they fail to predict it, but because they fail to imagine it.” (Hamel, 2000: 120). Arguing that such methods offer a fundamentally different way of approaching the world, Taylor and Ladkin (2009) suggest that arts based methods enable us to access and develop different ways of sensual knowing which can “contribute to a more holistic way of engaging with managerial contexts” (2009: 56). Taking inspiration from these approaches our own research invited participants to engage in a variety of arts informed approaches designed to stimulate imagination and intuition to disrupt predominant managerial discourses and thinking towards diversity management. By opening spaces to access tacit knowledge, imagination and dream participants were able to re-engage with their experiences of diversity and apply them to re-energise their practice (Page, Grisoni and Turner 2014).
This article presents the findings of a participative action research project into how arts-based inquiry can revitalise equality and diversity organisational practices. We demonstrate that the arts-based methodologies introduced enabled participants to explore the meanings they brought to equality and diversity work, by creating a liminal space for learning. We illustrate our findings through an exploration of how participants engaged with the inquiry, the learning about equality and diversity that took place in the workshops and the challenges and opportunities of translating this into change practice in the workplace. The article's originality lies in its analysis of poetic writings, dreams and visual artefacts created in the context of participative inquiry. Engaging with tacit knowledge extended understanding of the contribution that arts-based, aesthetic inquiry can bring to organisational practice, and more specifically towards restoring the transformative potential of organisational practices to promote equality and diversity.
This paper explores how working with metaphors provides a way to explore under the surface dynamics embedded in the practice and processes of collaborative inquiry. We argue that metaphors are a form of presentational knowing and provide a bridge between experiential knowing and propositional knowing. We have surfaced an exploration of horizontal (sibling) and vertical relations using retrospective inquiry. This paper demonstrates the reality, messiness and politics of collaborative research inquiry processes, which tend to be understudied and under-theorized. We are concerned to affirm the value of collaborative inquiry, and at the same time, break some taboos and myths concerning the practice of this form of inquiry, in particular, between and among women. We hope that our work will provide an impetus to further research in this territory
We examine how austerity measures have affected gender equality in the context of women workers in Spain. We adopt a feminist perspective to explore the multiple nature of the impact of the recession, emerging policy scenarios and forms of gender action that have developed. One of the unforeseen outcomes of the economic crisis in Spain is the opening up of new forms of collective action that have emerged in two political movements: ‘Podemos’ and ‘Barcelona en Comú’ and two examples of feminist activism: ‘La Vaga de Totes’ and ‘Igualdad de género frente a la crisis económica’—initiatives which point to alternative ways of engaging with work and working lives, in the hope of redressing the inequalities that have increased over recent years. New forms of organization have been successful in mobilizing people by developing the struggle against austerity from a progressive perspective and radical democratic forms of action have come to the fore.
This book illuminates the emotional processes of doing social and organizational research, and the implications of this for the outcomes of research. With contributions from leading academics and research practitioners, it addresses the significant issue of the sometimes intense emotional experiences involved in doing research and the implications it has for the theory and practice of social research. By examining the nature of feelings and emotions, it explores how we might understand researchers’ emotions and experiences, and considers the often powerful feelings encountered in a variety of research contexts. Topics discussed include: power relations; psycho-social explanations of researcher emotions; paradoxical relations with research participants and the sometimes disturbing data that is gained; research supervision; the politics of research; gender; publishing, undergoing vivas and presenting at conferences.
This book will therefore be a valuable companion to researchers and research students from the start of their career onwards.
Dr Louise Grisoni is currently a Senior Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes Business School. She was previously the Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange in the Business School. Before that she was Head of Department of Business and Management tasked with bringing together two pre-existing departments into one large department of over 60 staff and associates implementing the new structures and roles in the Faculty.
Louise's passion for research falls into the broad field of Organisation Studies. She has developed an international specialism in aesthetics and art-based approaches to research inquiry into a range of organisational phenomena including leading and managing change, leadership, equality and diversity. Her focus is on interpersonal dynamics at individual, group and organisational levels paying particular attention to the emotional dynamics and embodied ways of knowing at play. She has published widely and regularly presents her work at EGOS, SCOS and CMS and BAM and art of Management conferences, where she co- runs a stream on aesthetic approaches to inquiry. She is a member of the editorial board for the journal ‘Aesthetics in Organisations' and ‘Leadership' and is regularly invited to reviewing articles and books for journals including ‘Management Learning' and ‘Organisation studies' conducting book reviews for Sage, Taylor - Francis and OUP. Her external links have included external examiner and programme review roles at Bath, Nottingham Trent, Surrey, MMU and Distance Learning MBA at Tanaka Business School, Imperial College London. She has close ties as visiting professor with Copenhagen Business School and AUT and Unitec in Auckland, New Zealand.
Louise joined Oxford Brookes from UWE where over the years she held several key roles including Head of School of Organisation Studies, Director of Learning, Teaching and Assessment for the Faculty of Business and Director of Knowledge Exchange. She lead the development and delivery of cross faculty Masters programmes including a joint Health and Social Care/Faculty of Business MA in Leadership and Organisation in Public Services and an Msc in Group Relations with the School of Politics and Sociology. She was responsible for executive and senior manager leadership development programmes designed for client organisations including an MA Strategic Leadership with IBM, MSc Creative Talent and Solutions with Sainsburys and an MA Strategic Leadership with Newbury Building Society. She has also worked closely with a wide range of middle and senior public sector managers and leaders on bespoke leadership and management development programmes.