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Über dieses Buch

In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, the authors make a case rich in theory and narrative for a new reflexive approach to real life situations. This approach (immersed reflexivity) draws on Pierre Bourdieu's logic of practice and the complexity sciences.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introduction

Introduction

Abstract
How do you find out something new about your work? How will you know you have found something, when you do not know what you are looking for? How useful might what you find be to others? As you attempt this task, how might you feel? And, how might what you contribute at your workplace (including your leadership impact) change? We have taken these questions seriously, and they generate a structure for the five parts of this book.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

Experiencing Curiosity

Frontmatter

1. Two Cities — Journeying between Research and Practice

Abstract
The two metaphorical cities of this chapter are the cities of knowledge and of practice. The chapter is about a journey from research to practice.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

2. In Practice — Towards the Completion of Research

Abstract
In the previous chapter we looked at where Venkatesh’s curiosity landed him; now I, Rob Warwick, consider where my own curiosity has landed me. This chapter aims to offer a number of insights:
  • The emergence of my research question over some years that finally culminated in a programme of doctoral research.
  • The shifting nature of my research and how my thought developed.
  • The reflexive processes by which I was challenged to consider what my research amounted to and its contribution to knowledge.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

A Visit to the Library

Frontmatter

3. On Knowledge — Some Thoughts and Opportunities

Abstract
Knowledge is at the heart of the academy and is its raison d’être. There is therefore an extremely extensive literature on what should be accepted, and why, as more valuable than opinion, confusion, speculation and manipulation, or insights that are personal to one individual or context. What makes one interpretation or set of claims more truthful or trustworthy than another? This process of testing is central to the doctoral viva of which the last chapter gave one account. Understanding this subject is a deeper and more rewarding challenge than understanding what kind of dragons guard the entrance to a cave, because what is ‘getting past the dragons’ is making the cave a specially worthwhile destination.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

4. On Leadership — Some Thoughts and Opportunities

Abstract
Knowledge is about something. In this chapter we move from the section of the library that has books about knowledge to the section that has books about leadership. We cannot choose a practice that we and all our readers will find equally germane; however, leadership is an example of practical action of which all of us have some experience, whether from trying to lead or from being led (in many cases both); before entering the library we share some of our experience. Leadership is also a practice that looks starkly different when viewed from our two cities.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

5. Complexity and Power Relations

Abstract
Knowledge not only builds on what has gone before but is produced within specific social, economic and historical conditions. In this chapter we attend to some of the contributions to the library, specifically around complexity, which could only be made from the second half of the twentieth century onwards. At that time, initial and then increasingly rapid leaps in computing power made it possible to observe the evolution of systems (like the weather, or human or other biological populations) too complex to be explained by simple equations.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

6. Reflexivity — Introductory Themes

Abstract
We come in the next two chapters to the conclusion of our visit to the library, and to the theme of reflexivity. This chapter sets the scene for a more intense development in Chapter 7, in which we will draw on Pierre Bourdieu’s logic of practice to propose a way of understanding all that we do together to create knowledge, leadership or anything else that is important to us. We interpret Bourdieu’s work in a way that extends the insights into complexity and power discussed in the previous chapter and underpins the proposals in Part III for creating new knowledge and more effective leadership.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

7. Reflexivity — Engaging with Pierre Bourdieu

Abstract
In the preceding chapter we explored a number of different ways of understanding reflexivity: in this chapter we will take up one at greater length. Why? As we will see in the next section, reflexivity was a concept of central importance to Pierre Bourdieu (1930–2002), whose work spread across philosophy, anthropology and sociology, culminating in his appointment as Professor of Sociology at the Collège de France. However, that alone would not be a sufficient justification.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

Creating Knowledge

Frontmatter

8. Immersed Reflexivity

Abstract
In the field of management and leadership there is an array of models, templates, methodologies and frameworks for the practitioner and the researcher. They are offered to enable us to understand our world, communicate our point, to understand and influence others, and to make and justify decisions. However, without the ability to think reflexively they can prove to be ‘empty vessels’, lacking meaning and context. Indeed, we often see the unthinking use of frameworks whereby practitioners ‘shoe horn’, or objectify, their experience into structures they have been presented with or think they have to use, as opposed to giving thought to questions such as: how does this framework help or hinder my understanding of the situation; how has it affected my paying attention to what is happening; how am I responding to what I am experiencing with others; how is my experience now being affected by the sweep of time? We are not advocating the rejection of frameworks and methodologies; they are a vital means by which we understand our world. However, here we describe a way of thinking with others that enables attention to be paid to the disturbing details of what is happening as we do organisational work. Therefore, we are not trying to build another technique (for, say, ‘managing change’) but a way of remaining attentive to experience as we engage with methods, frameworks and templates and each other.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

9. Contribution to Leadership and Knowledge

Abstract
The interpretation of Bourdieusian reflexivity developed in Chapter 7 has the potential to illuminate the nature of knowledge and the process by which, as researchers into organisations and management, we add to it. In this chapter we set out this claim and then aim to demonstrate it, by shedding new light on the discourse on leadership that we left in Chapter 4. We think that is a worthwhile contribution to make. But there is more. Yes, research can illuminate leadership, and if new insight can be offered in a confusing field, all the better. But the converse is true as well: raising the quantity or quality of knowledge may require leadership. Both are complex social processes; both processes are intertwined.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

Inviting Engagement

Frontmatter

10. In Practice — Beyond the Viva

Abstract
In Chapter 2 Rob explored some of his experience of doing doctoral research culminating in his viva. Now Douglas, writing as the ‘I’ of this chapter, explores some of his experience from the viva onwards, trying to publish and talk about his research, wrestling with questions of identity, and putting this alongside his simultaneous experience of leading. I begin with the latter, to give a sense of the place and time from which I am writing.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

11. In Practice — Writing This Book and Beyond

Abstract
The purpose of this chapter is to give a view of the reflexive journey of writing this book, which spanned approximately 12 months. In other words, to give a sense of the social experience of writing by exploring vision, courage and conflict in a process that mattered to us. It conveys the development of thought as well as those moments of ‘stuckness’ as we worked on the book together and engaged others with its development. The chapter is written from the perspective of one author, Rob, who conceived the idea of the book and led the process of inviting engagement by others.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

Making an ‘Ending’ and Offering a ‘Beginning’

Frontmatter

12. A Practical Guide to Exploring Immersed Reflexivity

Abstract
The aim of this chapter is to convey our sense of the practical realities needed to enable a reflexive process of knowledge and leadership development to occur. It is not offered as a prescriptive route map, but rather as a description of the terrain over which the reader is encouraged to make their own choices; with all the hazards and opportunities that the terrain may offer. Descriptions of practice only come to life in the act of practice itself, either in the doing or (as a second best) narrative accounts of the doing.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

13. The Confluence of Knowledge and Leadership

Abstract
In this final chapter we reflect on the changing relationship between knowledge and leadership that we have explored in these pages; we summarise what we hope to have contributed according to whether your primary interest is in action or in ideas; and we conclude with an invitation to explore your own practice.
Robert Warwick, Douglas Board

Backmatter

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