Of Philip K. Dick, Reflexivity, and Shifting Realities: Organizing (Writing) in Our Post-Industrial Society
23 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2005
After introducing the problematic from the perspective of organisation studies - the growing awareness of the tenuous nature of organisational reality and the difficulty we have in constructing texts that deal with this tenuous reality in a reflexive way - I explore the key characteristics of Dick's novels and the essence of his writing techniques. This is followed by a discussion of Ubik to give the reader a flavour of a typical Dickean novel. I conclude with the logical, but rather too predictable, discussion of the importance of Dick for the field of organisation studies. Of course, it would be nonsensical to suggest that we can apply Dick in the way it has happened with Foucault, Derrida or Elias, but to name a few. Yet there is be something curiously attractive about an author who used the most trashy tropes of a genre (SF) to create a body of work that both transcends and invigorates that genre. Could this point to an analogue in organisation theory that might enable us to frame new possibilities of writing or reading organisational narratives? Perhaps.
Keywords: organization and management theory, fiction, novel, representation, reflexivity
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