First 4 REQUIRED BOOKS (bold below):

FOR A+ level Homework Answers, use & reference these articles

1. Boje LEADERSHIP IS THEATRE 2003, (online)

1. Alvesson, M., & Kärreman, D. (2000). Varieties of discourse: On the study of organizations through discourse analysis. Human relations, 53(9), 1125-1149.

2. Alvesson M and Kärreman D (2011) Decolonizing discourse: Critical reflections on organizational discourse analysis. Human Relations 64.

2. Augusto Boal's Theater of the Oppressed (free on line in PDF)

3. Benso, Silvia. (1997/2000). The face of things. Symposium, I, I (1997), 5015, reprinted in 2000, Albany: Sate University of New York.

3. Augusto Boal's 200 Exercises and Games for Actors and Non-Actors (on line)

4. Boje, David M. (1995). Disney as Tamara-Land. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 38 (4): 997-1035.

 4. IAELyon Business School Implementation of PRME and 17 UN Sustainability Goals

5.Boje, David M. (2018a in press). How True Storytelling Can Save Humanity from its Own Extinction. World Scientific Press.

6. Boje, D. M. (2018b) The Collision of Two Discourses: Leadership and Society. Working Paper, NMSU.

7. Boje, D. M. (2018c) The Dieselgate Case with Antenarrative analysis (forthcoming in Boje, 2018c Appendix)

Some Recommended books

1. Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals (on line)

8.Fairclough N (2005) Discourse analysis in organization studies: The case for critical realism. Organization Studies 26: 915–939.

2. Saul Alinsky’s Reveille for Radicales (on line).

9.Hamrin, S. (2016). Communicative leadership: Exploring leaders' discourse on participation and engagement. Comunicação & Sociedade, 38(2), 7-42.

3. Paulo Freire Pedagogy of the Oppressed (on line PDF)

10.Heidegger, Martin. (1977). The question concerning technology, and other essays


11.Mumby, Dennis K. (2011). What’s cooking in organizational discourse studies? A response to Alvesson and Kärreman. Human Relations. Vol. 64(9): 1147-1161.


12. Parker, Martin. (2018). Why We Should Bulldoze the Buiness School. Guardian, 27 April.


13.Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., Persson, Å., Chapin III, F. S., Lambin, E., ... & Nykvist, B. (2009). Planetary boundaries: exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and society14(2).


14. Rosile, Grace Ann; Boje, D. M.; Claw, N. (2016). Ensemble Leadership Theory: Collectivist, Relational, and Heterarchical Roots from Indigenous Contexts.” Leadership journal

CATALOG COURSE DESCRIPTION: Leadership & Society: Exploration of the multifaceted nature of leadership in (post) modern society through readings, exercises, skits, & seminar discussion. PRE-REQUISITES/CO-REQUISITES (none) This is an NMSU sustainability-focused course in Greening NMSU Curriculum:


David M. Boje, July 1 2018

The earth will survive the 6th extinction event. Unfortunately, most of humanity will not survive. We therefore need new kinds of leadership thinking and action, what I call leadership-out-of-the-box. Leadership-in-the-box is all about the great many (sometime the great woman), and its about the same old power-over others approach that has led humanity into the 6th extinction. The focus of leadership as traits, styles, and behaviors, as interpersonal psychology and communication is just too narrow, too limited, because a societal, an ecological, an economically-politically, and spiritually enlightened approach to leadership is necessary if humanity is to survive the 6th extinction event.

We (Rosile, Boje & Claw, 2016) contribute an Ensemble Leadership Theory (ELT) that is derived from work archaeologists have been doing in Mesoamerica and the ancient Navajo peoples of New Mexico. In ELT, we theorize 6 key aspects of these indigenous leadership cultures. These ELT dimensions are 1. Relationship (or process) vs. outcome; 2. Group vs. individual; 3. Networked vs. linear; 4. Univocal vs. plurivocal; 5. Materiality and cognitive; and 6. Embodiment vs. virtual (largely absent from leadership theorizing).  ELT, while developed in ancient indigenous cultures, is an alternative to leadership in a structural functionalist, complex adaptive systems (CAS), and Neo-evolutionism paradigm. ELT also contributes to current leadership work on relational leadership, distributive leadership, and embodied leadership.

Leadership-storytelling is shifting. We are seeing an opposition to fake-storytelling, to fake-news, to fake-corporate-social-responsibility, to fake-leadership that is not addressing the societal, ecological, and planetary boundary problems of our world. The old leadership-narrative about top-down, power-over, hierarchical control is not doing the job needed to save humanity from consuming and producing itself into such planetary destruction, human species may give way to the cockroach. The planet will survive. The cockroach will survive, but most of humanity will not, unless there is a leadership-course change, and something more societal, ecological, and answerable ethical is taught to a new generation of leaders. The baby-boomer leaders have failed to save humanity from its own fakery, its own greed, its own excess consumption, and excess production.

Leadership has an inadequate theory of the essence of things that does not enable a discourse on things in what Levinas terms the ‘otherness of the other person’ (Benso, 1997: 5).

Leadership as taught in the Business School has gone astray. For example, Martin Parker (2018) writes:

"Many business school professors, particularly in north America, have argued that their institutions have gone horribly astray. B-schools have been corrupted, they say, by deans following the money, teachers giving the punters what they want, researchers pumping out paint-by-numbers papers for journals that no one reads and students expecting a qualification in return for their cash (or, more likely, their parents’ cash). At the end of it all, most business-school graduates won’t become high-level managers anyway, just precarious cubicle drones in anonymous office block."

Parker (2018) adds something relevant to our exploration of leadership storytelling:

"The things taught and the way that they are taught generally mean that the virtues of capitalist market managerialism are told and sold as if there were no other ways of seeing the world"

Leadership, and small business studies, that I also teach, both have completing knowledge claims that are preserving the subject-object dichotomy which I among many other generations of philosophers have sought to overcome. I can summarize 60 years of B-School leadership theory in the following XYZ (In-the-box) model:


Figure 1: XYXZ of In-The-Box Leadership all about Psychologizing and Socially Constructivism of Leadership into little 'd'.

XYZ-leadership is a relatively self-contained academic enclave of the B-School, privileging the subject-object dichotomy of psychology, and how the heroic, charismatic or the bureuarat, or the superman, or prince sort of solo-leader gets the corporation its profit, and the shareholders their dividents. What is left out is the ecological and societal consequences of XYZ models of leadership.

X - the transaction to transformation dimension of the solo leader

Y - the serving others to power over others dimension of the solo leader

Z - the monological to polyphonic dimension of the leader's participation with others' voices

What is missing in XYZ leadership approaches is the context, the material context, the 6th extinction context, the planetary boundaries.

We can't afford to slip back, as Margaret Wheatley reluctantly reveals:"I'm sad to report that in the past few years, ever since uncertainty became our insistent 21st century companion, leadership has taken a great leap backwards to the familiar territory of command and control". (Wheatley,M. 2005) 

For several decades leadership has struggled to move beyond these issues (Rosile, Boje, & Claw, 2016):

  1. 1. Structural functionalist theories of groups integrated by functions into social systems.

  2. 2. CAS theory of system wholeness, unitary causality, unitary purpose, self-organizing equilibrium, etc.

  3. 3. N-EHS history stages along a single trajectory according to universal laws.

  4. 4. Focus on utilitarian economic and ecology adaptation to the exclusion of politics, religion, and culture.

  5. 5. General Western materialism.

  6. 6. Grand narratives of linear sequence of selected events passed off as a whole, while excluding the facticity local lived experience in people’s own webs of living story.

  7. 7. Definitions of chiefdom and state teleological stages of Neo-evolutionism, CAS, and structural functionalism.

In these ways structural functionalism, CAS, and Neo-evolutionism theories and models minimalize an emsemble of leadership appraoch that is rooted in societal and ecological problem solving.

The result of XYZ models of leadership is a top-down leadership perspective where ‘lower order participants’ (Mechanic, 1962) are not recognized for the control of information, people, and resources that participate in power and political processes.

  1. In XYZ formulations, leaders are seen as the sole participants in decision-making and politics driving organizational and social change.

XYZ is an elitist Action Theory perspectives, where “Leaders produce the innovations that drive cultural evolution at key points of transition during which societies evolve form one evolutionary stage to another”


Leadership therefore needs an ethics of things, such as air, water, soil, and how leaders and society treat such earth elements and their abysses in humanity’s rush to extinction. Humanity and its leaders are ignoring the ecological consequences of their own life styles of over-consumption and unsustainable production. Leadership and societies are not noticing the elemental things of planetary boundaries:

Boundary 1: Climate Change
Boundary 2: Biodiversity Loss
Boundary 3: Biogeochemical changes (e.g. phosphorous)
Boundary 4: Ocean Acidification
Boundary 5: Land Use Crisis
Boundary 6: Fresh Water Crisis
Boundary 7: Ozone Depletion
Boundary 8: Atmospheric Aerosols (solid &/or liquid particle pollutants suspended in air, in its space & time)
Boundary 9: Chemical Pollution by Plastics & Heavy Metals

For example in Boundary 8, the natural background aerosolis present in the absence of human activity, while the urban aerosol is dominated by anthropogenic (human & organizational) sources that affect our life on the planet. Business and society emit primary aerosol particles into the global climate, local weather (smog from combustion automobiles) in ways that affect human, animal, and plant health. The particle that form in the atmosphere have reactions (e.g. formation of sulfuric acid droplets by gas-to-particle conversions) that can travel global distances and into the troposphere (an altitude of 11 km).

See Boje, D. M. (2018c) The Dieselgate Case with Antenarrative analysis (forthcoming in Boje, 2018c Appendix)

During Dieselgate (VW and other diesel car manufacturers installing defeat devices in their cars & trucks; from surface mining; from agriculture) created air pollution (smog photochemical reaction) episodes in metropolitan cities around the world. Aerosol particles in smog events have a long lifetime in the atmosphere and hav visibility effects. There is also particle aerosol from volcanic activity.

Figure 2: Dynamic Processes of Atmospheric Aerosol

Fine particles in atmosphere are acidic containing most of the sulfates, ammonium compounds, hydrocarbons, and elemental carbon-soot (absorbing light), and toxic metals in the atmosphere. Human activity produces coarse particles, such as silicon, iron, calcium, and aluminum in the atmosphere.

These atmospheric aerosols have significant health effects on lung functions, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. A recent study reports 5,000 ‘Dieselgate’ deaths in Europe per year. The defeat devices have illegal software that only reduce emissions during tests. For example, in some devices the software detects movement of the steering wheel during actual driving conditions, and turns off the pollution equipment. In Italy, Germany, and France, large populations had higher share of diesel cars and trucks in their fleets, emitting much more nitrogen oxides (NOx) on the road than in the lab test conditions

VW admitted in 2015 to using cheat devices on vehicle emissions on its diesel vehicles. In all there were 38,000 premature deaths, globally in 2015 due to vehicles exceeding certification limits. Nordic countries experiences 10,000 deaths from small particle pollutant from light duty diesel vehicles. Almost half of these deaths would have been prevented if there were no defeat devices.

If defeat devices had not been installed in 100 million cares in Europe (twice the rest of the world), many premature deaths would have been prevented. There would have been less planet0warming from carbon dioxide pollution.

How many deaths did VW defeat devices cause in the U.S.? VW installed defeat device software in 11 million diesel cars in order to cheat, to emit more pollutants that societal regulations allow.

This is a failure of leadership in the VW corporation. The violation of Boundary 8: Atmospheric Aerosols (solid &/or liquid particle pollutants suspended in air, in its space & time), caused many premature deaths from increased respiratory issues, pulmonary inflammation, and cardiovascular diseases that were preventable. The stratospheric particles play a major role in Boundary 7: Ozone Depletion. According to the American Lung Association, 41% of Americans live in areas with unhealthy levels of ozone.

Bad things happen to our nine planetary boundaries when good leaders do nothing what bad leaders heading up multinational corporations, governments, and universities — do nothing.

Ensemble Leadership Theory (Rosile, Boje, & Claw, 2016) as alternative to the XYZ Leader models.

ELT therefore contributes the following:

  1. 1. Emphasizes socioeconomic differences in practices, perspectives, living stories, and resources.

  2. 2. Focuses on varied subject positions of people in the past and why they changed over time.

  3. 3. Views the systemicity of organizing social practices as embedded in multiple simultaneous trajectories that reproduce and transform historical traditions (Joyce, 2010: 287).

  4. 4. Attends to the agency of people in their everyday activities, including rituals, ceremonies, and warfare.

  5. 5. The living story web, by not reducing to grander narratives of universalizing abstraction is able to be more empirical, factually grounded in historicality than structural functionalism, CAS, and New-evolutionist theory approaches.

  6. 6. Rather than presuming an integrated, coherent, whole-system, it allows for tracing the systemicity practices that are fragmented, overlapping, contested, unfinished, unfinalized, and polyphonic (Boje, 2008, 2014).

  7. 7. Rather than elitist Action Theory of heroic leaders, systemicities theorized to be outcomes of local negotiations among differently situated agents which agency in affecting the historical process of adaptation and innovation.

  8. 8. Following poststructuralist theory, it does not assume ‘systems’ or organizations exist as accomplished wholes holistically integrated, as in open systems and CAS theorizing. Rather people’s affiliations with what Joyce (2010: 288) calls “complex, nested, overlapping, and partially contradictory collectivities” that change over time.

  9. 9. Rather than one unified grand narrative of history, a conjuncture of many historical factors such as, emergence of hereditary status distinctions, overcrowded living conditions, less privacy in urban living, problems with sanitation, decline of a region power center, sedentism, landscape degration, differences in status of craft production households that had higher quality products and/or foreign contacts, organized corporate groups production and creating innovations (larger pubic celebration area, enduring material media venerating wealthier families, special access to divine forces in the celebration buildings, etc. ) to cope with political crises of growing differences in wealth and status within a traditional discourse or egalitarianism equality. 

We have created a Margarita Glass of World Wealth in which 8 billionaire leaders now have 50% of $280 trillion dollars of the total world wealth. They are part of the 1% that has amassed 50.1% of the world wealth. Meanwhile its a leadership model in which 3.75 billion people live on less that $10 a day. If humanity is facing the 6th extinction, why are we allowing the Margarita Glass of World Wealth to pay its leaders this exorbitant amount.

Figure 3: Margarita Glass of World Wealth and Poverty (Boje, 2018)

 Eighty two percent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest one percent of the global population. - Oxfam Report -

How much wealth should be amassed by 8 billionaires, or by the 1%? They already own a disproportionately large share of the economy - and that trend is accelerating.  

We need new leadership-storytelling, about how as societies we all live in fragile, exhaustible, ecosystems, and in planetary boundaries (Rockström et al., 2009; Boje, 2018 in press). Right now leadership is about the greed.

Disney CEO Bob Iger Could Earn Up To $423 Million In Compensation

“Iger’s generous compensation package suggests the Disney board believes he is singularly placed to lead the company over the next several years,” said John Roe, head of ISS analytics

Meanwhile the workers are being offered an extra 50 cents an hour.

"Robert Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company

Disney’s board argued the lucrative package is “critical” to retaining Iger, 67, who has presided over record profit growth and has considered retiring.

That argument fell flat with a coalition of Disneyland unions which organized a protest at the company’s March meeting, wielding signs proclaiming #StopDisneyPoverty.

The union coalition recently funded a study by Occidental College and the Economic Roundtable, a nonprofit research group, which cited federal census and economic data showing the average hourly wage for Disneyland workers dropped to $13.36 from $15.80 in inflation-adjusted dollars between 2000 and 2017"

"I have a feeling ABC will not be asking on its nightly news program tonight how Disney can make $9 billion in profits while three-quarters of Disneyland employees can't afford basic living expenses," Sanders wrote on Twitter.

"During the 2016 primaries, Sanders visited Anaheim, where he pointed out that Disney “pays its workers [at the park] so low that many are forced to live in motels, because they can’t afford a decent place to live. Meanwhile, Disney made a record-breaking profit of nearly $3 billion last quarter”

Leadership discourses are popular in a variety of ways (Alvesson & Kärreman, 2000, 2011), but that popularity is not going to save the day. What to do? Change the leadership curriculum. Change the leadership storytelling to something bigger, something more societal, more ecological as its primary objective. First, we can analyze leadership discourse produced in interviews and everyday life as ‘socially constructed texts’ (particularly talk and living stories empirical material). But, that would leave out materiality and reduce leadership to text. Second, leadership discourses are considered material-discursive practices, events, and experiences of historical and sociomateriality trends. That means leadership is more than psychology, or in-the-head. Leadership is relational. We know, that is important to be participatory, to be convivial, to not be a bully. But it is also important to have an ecological conscience, to understand planetary science, to be about the long term, about humanity's survival in the long haul. Third leadership discourses are ways of ethical, economic, cultural, ecological, political, and scientific reasoning-discourses about the relationship between the micro-world of an organization, and large-scale reasoning of a societal-global world at a grand narrative level of discourse (or meso-level).

The problem with leadership is its dualism. The leaders and the others, the leaders knowing it all or knowing nothing at all. Leadership that is so micro, so about the one 'big man' or 'big woman' or 'big boss' that everyone else just sits back and waits for their marching order. It's thinking is too small, too narrow, too much about traits and style and not enough about the substance and the big context. This way of leading is bringing humanity to its knees. Leadership must learn how not to dualize so the the micro-world of leadership (called 'little d') discourse that is interpersonal (often psychological traits of leaders) is estrange from the macro Grand Narratives (called 'Big D') Discourse about societies, globalization, economics, politics, and 6th extinction.

In this essay I work out a way to avoid the dualism, by invoking what I call antenarrative processes that are constitutive processes of both living stories (little s) and grander narratives (Big N). Antenarrative is about forecaring (Becoming) as more important than consuming it all now, producing for the long haul instead of the next quarter.

Figure 4: Storytelling as 'little s' (living story webs), antenarrative processes, and 'Big N' (Dominant Narratives & Counternarratives) each with Beginning-Middle-End coherence plots (drawing by Marita Svane).

Dennis Mumby (2011) challenges Alvesson and Kärreman’s (2001) ‘varieties of discourse essay as a misplaced, reductionist conception of the interdisciplinary field of communication/organization studies and of the ‘linguistic turn.’ His main point is not to they dualize the 'little d' discourse as separate from the 'Big D' discourse, without addressing the processes that relate them together, which Mumby believes are 'dialectical' and not a 'dualism' (or separation). It is therefore important in leadership-constituted-by-storytelling, that antenarrative processes explain the connections among living story webs ('little s') and dominant narratives and counternarrative ('Big N'). Further, if leadership is storytelling (little s & Big N, & antenarrative), and leadership is discourse (little d & Big D) then how are storytelling and discourse related? My answer is that they are related by the processes of antenarrative: Before-Bneath-Between-Bets-Becoming. Antenarrative is Before-Narrative, and Before story. Narratives are usually retrospective-sensemaking (backward looking at history), whereas antenarrative is prospetive-sensemaking (forward looking to the arriving-future). But, sensemaking (the five senses) is not all there is to storytelling. Storytelling is material-discursive. The things and materialities tell stories, like in forensics, or in the rings of a tree trunk telling the age of the tree, or pollution telling a story about climate change.

You hear the phrase, leadership (& small/Big business) are socially constructed, because everything is language. This is known as 'social constructivism.' Norman Fairclough (2005) challenges extreme versions of social constructivism with a method called 'critical discourse analysis' (hereafter CDA). CDA is based upon a ‘critical realist’ social ontology, and it is potentially of greater value to organization studies than social constructivism because, it attends to the materialities, not just the cognitive-sensemaking, not just the talk, writing of text, or the performance dramaturgy of leadership and organization.

Critical Realist Social Ontology of Storyteling and Discourse

The extreme versions of social constructivism limits the value of organizational discourse to leadership and organizational studies. Fairclough (2005)proposes that a ‘critical realist social ontology’ resolves this gap. People’s concepts about the world contribute to its reproduction and transformation, in socially constructed discourse. However, Fairclough asserts that extreme forms of social constructivism should be rejected.

What is discourse? It has linguistic and other semiotic elements including visual images and body language, as well relations that include material elements.

Discourse analysis is generally considered to be the analysis of different kinds of texts: written, spoken, multi-media, and Internet. Those texts have linguistic/semiotic elements of social events and social process.

Some storytelling studies focus on how narratives are constructed out of stable and durable discourses into textual events. Other storytelling studies focus on the less stable, emergent, and ephemeral discourses that become constituted within the linguistic grammar, semantics, vocabulary, and metaphor elements of narrative textual events.

Like Fairclough, I adopt a version of storytelling that does both kinds of discourses (linguistic/semiotic elements of social events of social structures & facets of social practices). We both have an analytic dualism between narratives constituted out of dominant discourse that is stable and durable, and what I term ‘living stories’ in Indigenous Ways of Knowing (IWOK), which lack the coherences and beginning-middle-end plot structures privileged in western narrative. I see a mediating role for antenarrative processes, in the relationship between dominant (grand/stable) narratives, and webs of living stories, as well as between the various kinds of discourses that constitute social events of social structure as well as becoming facets of social practices. In Savall’s model, storytelling is constitute in both structures and behaviors, and in practices that are dysfunctional or have hidden costs.

A Storytelling Approach to Leadership and Critical Realism Discourse

Critical realism is minimally the claim that there is a real world existing independent of our epistemology (ways of knowing) about it (Fairclough, 2005: 7). Therefore, for critical realists, ontology must be distinguished from epistemology. The natural world exists despite human beings having limited or mistaken knowledge about it. Critical realists attempt to avoid the ‘epistemic fallacy’ of confusing nature of reality with our knowledge about reality. Of, the ‘judgmental relativism’ that all representations of the world are equally good. Critical realists assume a ‘stratified ontology’ of processes/events and structures as different strata of social reality with different properties.

EAR Domains Model:
Empirical domain of of actual and real domains experienced by social actors’ sensemaking. Actors’ sensemaking has its causal powers which affect the actual domain.
Actual domain of events and processes contingent upon complex interactions of different structures and causal powers. The actual domain does not in any way simply reflect the real domain.
Real domain of structures and their associated causal powers.

7 levels of reality of open laminated systems:
1 Physical level mechanisms
2 Biological mechanisms
3 Psychological mechanisms
4 Psycho-social mechanisms
5 Socio-economic mechanisms
6 Cultural mechanisms
7 Normative mechanisms

1M first moment for non-identity
2E 2nd edge for negativity
3L 3rd level for totality
4D 4th dimension for human transformative praxis
5A 5th aspect for reflexivity understood as spirituality
6R 6th realm for (re-) enchantment
7A 7th awakening stands for non-duality.

Four plenary Theory:
Plane 1 material transactions with nature
Plane 2 - social interactions between human beings, who are agents
Plane 3 - social structure proper, e.g. forming foreign polity about oil
Plane 4 stratifications of embodied personality of agents (some quite egotistical), e.g. being-for-self in use of technology resulting in climate change.

Seven Scalars:
1 Sub-individual psychological level
2 Individual, biological level
3 Micro-level (e.g. ethnomethodology)
4 Meso-level (functional roles of capitalist and worker)
5 Macro-level of whole regions or whole societies
6 Mega-level of whole traditions of civilizations,7 Planetary level of wholeness

Critical realist ontology is transformational since “human agency produces effects by drawing upon existing structures and practices which are reproduced and/or transformed in action” (Fairclough, 2005: 8). Like the field of leadership, critical realism seeks to explain transferal social processes and causal powers of both pre-structures of socioeconomic life events and human agency actions of social practices, and the contingency of their effects.

Organizations accumulate pre-structured networks of social practices which are articulated in storytelling modalities and orders of discourse.


The result is to give primacy to researching storytelling and discourse as the relationships between agency (process & events) and structure on the basis of realist social ontology.

Fairclough wants to avoid the trap of setting up an opposition between positivist and postmodern research that makes positivism unacceptable, and postmodern, as the only challenger left standing. There is also a strong tradition in “realism in organization studies which is equally adamant in rejecting positivism without embracing postmodernism” (Fairclough, 2005: p. 3). For example, Mumby and Stohl (1996) and Weick (1979) treat organization - or organizing, as “precarious, ambiguous, uncertain process that is continually being made and remade” (Fairclough,2005: p. 3).

I treat storytelling as the substance of organization in which discursive practices organization members engage in the construction of complex and diverse systems of meanings (paraphrase). I also treat organization - organizing, as processes of ‘organizational becoming’ (Tsoukas & Chia, 2002) and as processes created through discourse (Mumby & Clair, 1997). “Chia identifies a postmodern ‘style of thinking’ in organizational studies which ‘accentuates the significance, ontological priority and analysis of the micro-logics of social organizing practices over and above their stabilized “effects” such as “individuals” ' (1995:581)” (as cited, Fairclough, 2005: p. 4).

Organizational members create organizations - organizing through storytelling and discourse, and its what gives members their identity (who they are), and their organization identity (what it is). What I don’t want to do is to collapse ontology (ways of being) into epistemology (ways of knowing) or to treat structures (environments) as constraints on storytelling and action (process/agency) members of organizations.

“With respect to organizational change, both organizational structures and the agency of members of organizations in organizational action and communication have causal effects on how organizations change” (Fairclough, p. 3).

Fairclough (2005) advocates a dialectical-relational ontology that “sees objects and entities as emergent products of processes” (p. 4). Styles of leadership tent to focus on one-sided emphasis on leadership process, whereas, a critical realist (dialectical-relational ontology) “centers upon the tension between process and restructured (discourse as well as non-discoursal…) objects” (p. 4).

Mumby and Clair (1997) contrast ‘organizing-as-communication-discourses’ with ‘organization-as-structures-discourses’. Fairclough does not want to make choices between organizational discourses (communication) and organizational-structures, because the later is already at least partly linguistic/semiotic discoursal. Social practices mediate the relationship between structures and processes (& events) because organizations are networks of social practices, including an ‘order of discourse’ configuration/styles/genres that are relatively stabilized and durable permanences. Linguistic/semiotic systems have potential to be selective social ordering of storytelling of organizational processes of texturing and organizing texts into semiotic elements of social events that are durable/stable/coherent/dominant/grand/petrified narratives. And there are more delicate webs of living story processes whose texturing and organizing are more embodied practices of talking/writing/showing constituted by fragile/unstable/nonlinear/incoherent/terse/partial/ephemeral/unfolding/undone ways of telling/hearing/seeing/doing/being. Rather than divide/dualize narratives a grand discourse (Big D macro-level) ‘Discourse’ and living story webs as micro-level (little d micro- or mess-level) ‘discourse’ categories/texts/ I prefer to analyze the relationality between them. I do this with the mediating/dialectical/dialogical role of antenarrative processes that bring narratives-counternarratives and stories-counterstories into being. Storytelling is part of discursive-action, textualizing-action, and dramaturgically performative-action.

In storytelling I don’t agree one can choose between ‘big S’ storytelling and ‘little s’ storytelling because that would avoid the dialogical/dialectical/intertextuality relationships that antenarratives are mediating.

Like leadership, storytelling/discourse is so widely deployed and variously defined that both have “lost much of their analytic power and theoretical rigor for empirical work (Mumby, 2011: 1147, paraphrase). When I write about Leadership In-The-Box, it is all about the psychological school of leadership, and about the social constructivism school of leadership. I take a material-discursive approach, one that I believes fits leadership at its 'societal' level. I therefore want to get Out-of-the-Box, to think about societal leadership in all its material-discursive aspects. The larger objective is to overcome the duality between XYZ, (little d) psychologizing and social constructivism (more little d) discourse of leadership, and relate them to 'Big D' Discourses. I also care about social science of storytelling and want to use antenarrative processes to connect living story webs (little s) to Narrative and Counternarrative (Big N).

Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). CDA needs to be included in research on leadership and small/Big business, rather than purely psychologizing leadership or extreme versions of social constructivism of small business studies that ignore materiality, and Dominant Narrative (or Big D Discourses) and I am particularly interested to explore the inseparability of the material-discursive i leadership and society. We need to do 'relational process ontology (RPOS) particularly in research leadership transformation and small business (or organizational) change. Organizational phenomena are socially-materially constituted by storytelling the world they live, work, and act within, and that storytelling contributes to its reproduction and transformation (Boje, 1991, 1995, 2008, 2014, 2016, 2018 in press).

Silvia Benso (1997/2000: 5) retraces “Heidegger 's description of things as gathering elements that enable a discourse on things in terms of their alterity”versus “Levinas 's otherness of the other person.” Alterity has a double meaning, being other or in otherness, quality of being different or otherness in diversity.

Leadership and small business is also socially constructed within discourse that has linguistic and semiotic elements (e.g.. body language), but it also has ‘materiality’ (architecture, material conditions, relationality, the body, the ecology, the world), as well as material-texts (written, spoken, and theatrically performed as dramaturgy). Its not all in-the-head. We need to look thoroughly at the materiality all “round-about-us” as Heidegger comments (in Benso, 1997/2000: 6).

Benso (1997/2000: 12): “as all good storytellers have known ever since a long time ago, things tell stories, as much as they are material for stories.”

Storytelling is embedded in the Fourfold. “The elements of the Fourfold enter the thing endowed with stories of their own, coming to them from previous relations, from previous constellations, from previous places of encounter they have entered, from their having witnessed the anarchic past preceding the origin of their relation as Fourfold” (Benso, 1997/2000: 12).

Storytelling addresses the ‘why-question’, ‘the request for causal explanation, giving an account of cause. But it is not just the formal cause (XYZ in-the-head) cause, it is also the efficient-agent of leadership, the final cause (vision of leadership) and the material itself that is all part of leadership-storytelling in its material-discursive (Out-of-the-Box of psychology & social constructivism).

Figure 5: 'Aristotle Fourfold' of Material, Formal, Efficient, and Final Causes

“Aristotle recognizes four types of things that can be given in answer to a why-question’:

* The material cause: “that out of which”, e.g., the bronze of a statue.
* The formal cause: “the form”, “the account of what-it-is-to-be”, e.g., the shape of a statue.
* The efficient cause: “the primary source of the change or rest”, e.g., the artisan, the art of bronze-casting the statue, the man who gives advice, the father of the child.
* The final cause: “the end, that for the sake of which a thing is done”, e.g., health is the end of walking, losing weight, purging, drugs, and surgical tools.

To the Fourfold, Heidegger (1977) adds a fifth, making it Fivefold, with the “revealing [das Entbergen].” One meaning of the revealing is what we call ‘truth’ (Heidegger, 5), or a ’true storytelling’ that answers the ‘why-question.’ (

Here I am interested in the 'true storytelling' of ‘why’ the planetary limits are being exceeded (Rockström et al., 2009), and why consumerism-production is contributing to the 6th Extinction (Boje, 2016 in press), and why those 17 UN SDG’s are so important to the survival of most of humanity. The ‘revealing’ of what Heidegger (1977) calls the ‘essence of technology’, grouping technology in its revealing, bringing-forth the fifth causality in the activities, processes, and skills of leadership, craftspersons, and small businesses (as well as Big businesses). Revealing what globalization is bringing-forth, and how it never comes to an end, this course of globalization, in its dry, oppressive, monotonous way (Heidegger, 1977: 8). In globalization-revealing Nature is transformed into the ‘standing reserve’ that “drives technology forward” for further ordering of the local by the technology of globalization (Heidegger, 1977: 8). A revealing brings things into unconcealment of what is happening by the human handiwork, human-doing (9). Enframing (G-stell) is the skeleton of globalization-technology-revealing.

“Enframing means the gathering together of that setting-upon which sets upon man, i.e., challenges him forth, to reveal the real, in the mode of ordering, as standing-reserve. Enframing means that way of revealing which holds sway in the essence of modern technology and which is itself nothing technological” (Heidegger, 1977: 10).

Right now, the enframing, the revealing cause, is what human consumerism and production is doing by its actions and inactions to bring forth the 6th extinction (which is most of humanity) (Boje, 2016 in press). Clearly its a time for Out-of-the-Box leadership.

SEAM and the XYZ (in-the-box are two or many leadership and business frameworks through which various leadership-discourse-organization relationships can be compared and assessed.

How do different leadership and small business worlds emerge in-the-box I call XYZ defined as X (transaction-transformation), Y (power-serve), and Z (monological-polylogical)?

In the linguistic turn and social constructivism there was hope “to replace consciousness with language as the fundamental constitutive description falls to the re-psychologicalization of experience” (Deetz, 2003: 425).

In the sociomaterial turn there was hope to bring material back into relation to the discursive and the social. Latour (1998) and Barad (2007) asserted that social constructivism and linguistic turn has gone too far in exorcising ‘material’ from the social.

CCO invokes both the linguistic turn and social constructivism as having a ‘constitutive role’ in the emergence of ‘organizational discourse’ studies and research agendas.

What is the Linguistic Turn? Mumby argues that Alvesson and Kärreman have misunderstood the linguistic turn and its constitutive role in emergence of organizational discourses (such as leadership, and small business). For Mumby the linguistic turn is more than a simple shift to a focus on on language, talk, texts, discourse, communication, or what I call storytelling (narratives-living stories-antenarratives). Rather the linguistic turn is about the whole continental philosophical tradition that attempts to transcend subject-object dualism in much of modernist knowledge production.

This is important to leadership theory because which is rooted in a autonomous psychological conception of experience of the world that exists independently from social meanings that are rooted in language. Leadership is more than a psychological fully-formed consciousness separated from Being-in-the-world of language, discourse, narrative, communication, talk, or my own field called storytelling.

There is not just one grand narrative or one knowledge-constituting discourse. Rather there are a variety of narrative-counternarratives, and discourse-counterdiscourses. There is not just one living story, there are a web of living stories and counterstories.

The reproduction of subject-object dualism in leader-storytelling (including text- and talk-based, and interview approaches have oftentimes led to studies that examine the text and talk of storytelling and its meanings rather that using a the societal- and ecological-discourse perspective. Leadership becomes ‘in the heads of individuals’ in the ‘subjectivity’, the ‘psychological’, or In-The-Box I call XYZ.

The field of traditional leadership misses the leadership and societal and the planetary context of how to adjudicate between subjective (discursive) and objective (material) conceptions and explanations of human behavior and the ecological-economic-political world in which leadership operates in the time of 6th extinction.

Out-of-the XYZ-leadership box focuses on the dialectical relationship between all competing knowledge claims and experiences of the world, on the societal and ecological context. One way forward is what Rosile, Boje, and Claw (2016) resurrect as indigenous approach, called 'ensemble leadership theory' (ELT).

It is equally polemic to treat leadership as in-the-world ‘out there’ waiting to be revealed in the object-world, in the objective-word.

A ‘critical perspective’ on the ‘linguistic turn’ “has highlighted the ways in which power and discourse are inextricably and constitutively lined in the construction of social realities” (Mumby, 2011: 1149).

Critical discourse theory and research explores how leadership identities, meanings, structures, and institutions become “sedimented and naturalized with their formative conditions hidden from everyday experience” (Mumby, 2011: 1149). The implication is that leadership is inherently political, hidden, in the constitutive processes of discourse. This is what we in storytelling call the realm of ‘untold stories’ (Hitchin, 2014) and ‘antenarrative’ (Boje, 2001, 2011, 2014, 2016a). Particular leadership identities become privileged over other identities.

In XYZ In-The-Box the X-transactional, Y-power, and Z-monological have become institutionalized widely in everyday organizational practices and processes that are hierarchical and bureaucratic. The opposing X-transformational, Y-serve, and X-polyvocal have become lip service, and not at all the day-to-day routine of complex organizations or of small businesses.

Right now the particular identities, meanings, and institutions of making students pay the cost of higher education is quite privileged over the potential formations and possibilities of imagining higher education paid for by the federal and state government. The language (or discourse, in understanding higher education behavior, is part of the linguistic turn, understood as a mediated relationship between the societal world and our everyday lives. The Discursive versa agential realist (& critical realist).

The linguistic turn and the materialist turn of discourse is not simply about privileging one or the other. More fundamentally, it involves sociomateriality and material-discursive practices. Nor is it discursive versus realist examinations of “intersubjective character of social reality - a reality in which both the discursive and material are inextricable entwined, but are by no means isomorphic or reducible to each other” (Mumby, 2011: 1149).

The big issue is not how differentiate and adjudicate between discursive and material conceptions of storytelling. Rather, the issue is how material-discursive is generative of storytelling in their dialectical relationship without reducing the relationship to the subject-object dualism in leadership and organization studies. Leadership is particularly political and contextual.

It is particularly critical in text-, talk-, and storytelling-based approaches to address material-discursive dialectic without reducing everyone to the transmission model of (sender-receiver) communication, to a psychological determinism (cognitive traits of leadership), to social constructivism, or to the linguistic turn reading of organizational discourse.

In storytelling, the denuding discourse of narrative constructs discourse in a particular way, which limits other ways, such as living story webs, and antenarratives. Western ways of knowing of the narrative academic community continue to focus on the main plot, characters, theme, etc. of Aristotelian beginning-middle-end linear logic.

If we follow Alvesson and Kärreman (2000) approach then the discourse-organization relationship ‘constitutes’ organizational reality (Mumby, 2011: 1150).

There are many ways to theorize the the notion of discourse-organization relations constituting organizational reality. One is the CCO, and another is the antenarrative.

In leadership and small business (e.g. SEAM) courses I am teaching, I want us to do the hard work of investigating the dynamics of of the leadership-discourse-organization and the SEAM-discourse-organization relationship.

One idea is discourse constitutes organization in an ontologized and reified rather than a problematized and investigated way to unpack the complexities (paraphrase, 1150).

Problems of Text-Positivism in Discourse Studies
In SEAM, we run the risk of taking claims of people interviewed and transforming them into empirical evidence (i.e. text-positivism) about socially constructed reality of organizational life, its discursive-identity constructions (individually or collectively) and the sensemaking of members. But from interviews it is quite problematic to make claims of organizing processes unless, as in the case of SEAM, we are using more encompassing ethnographic methods.

Therefore, we focus on relation process in the discourse constitutes organizational reality thesis.

Antenarrative assumes there is limited sensemaking self-awareness ob organizational members of the complexities and contradictions of the sensemaking process.

“Good discourse studies problematize constitutive processes by unpacking the complexities of (often contradictory and indeterminate) meanings that provide the substance of organizational life” (1150).

Alvesson and Kärreman make questionable assumptions about the relationship between ‘Big D’ (e.g. Foucauldian studies) and ;little d’ D/discourses. In storytelling, I make assumptions about the relationship between Big N (Narratives, e.g. Lyotard’s Grand Narratives) and little s (living stories, e.g. Rosile’s indigenous ways of knowing in living stories), but with a focus on the ‘antenarrative’ processes constituting them both (living stories & Big Narratives). Alvesson and Kärreman argue that positing a seamless relationship between ‘Big D’ and ‘little d’ D/discourses is questionable because researchers forego the hard, empirical work of examining the processes of the ‘Big D’ discourses, or in my case, the ‘Grand Narrative’ storytelling. Alvesson and Kärreman’s solution is to focus on ‘little d’ discourse studies that relabel as ‘Text-Focused Studies’ (TFS) and ‘Big D’ Discourse studies they relabel ‘Paradigm-type Discourse Studies’ (PDS) to be addressed as separate phenomena.

Obviously, I disagree, and look to antenarrative with the ‘relational process ontology’ methodologies (Boje, 2018a in press), focusing on dialogical and dialectal RPO’s.

I am sensitive to a second concern of Alvesson and Kärreman, that I may be overpacking in my storytelling studies so that ‘storytelling’ takes on an all-encompassing analytic role through which all organizational phenomena are constituted, framed, and understood as ‘storytelling processes. This may give storytelling too ubiquitous a role. Alvesson and Kärreman’s alternative is to counter-balance so that concepts such as ideology, material, and social structures, norms, and culture provide a subtext to language use as restructured understanding and different meaning contexts can and do lead to different meanings of both leadership and SEAM (the later as applied to small business studies in New Mexico).

Alvesson and Kärreman, by implication, would bemoan the ay storytelling in both TFS and PDS forms is granted a degree of ‘muscularity’ whereby organizations are conceives as having no substance outside of their ‘storytelling organization’ constitution through story, narrative, and antenarrative practices. The concern is the claim of storytelling constitutive of organization must be accompanied by a rigorous complementary investigation of the constitutive processes involved.

What I have tried to do is separate ‘Big Narrative’ (Big N) from ‘little s’ (living story webs) and various antenarrative processes that are antenarrative-before, -between, -beneath, -becoming, and -bets on the future.

This way the claims of Indigenous Ways of Knowing (IWOK) about ‘living stories’ (little s) being agential in their aliveness are separate theoretically from the ‘Big Narrative’ (Big N) which I have treated as more akin to ‘Big D’ (Discourses). What I try not to do is ignore the dynamic relational and complexity of the constitutive power of relationships between Narratives, living stories, and antenarrative processes. Further, I attempt to preserve the underlying dialogical and/or dialectical storytelling, communication, and discourse processes in my studies.

Rather than disconnecting Narrative and living story, I seek antenarrative process connections in pre-narrative and pre-story turns of how storytelling is conceived/theorized/studied.

Space-time-mattering are not having the same boundaries or extent in space, time, mattering, or meaning, yet they are inseparably entangled (Boje, 1995 Tamara-land of the storytelling-and-meaning that is entangled with spacetimemattering).

There are storytelling-leadership and storytelling-SEAM (or small business) practices. Storytelling is both discursively and materially entangled in ways that are dialogical (Boje, 2008) and dialectical (Boje, 2014, 2016a, 2018a in press).

Mumby raises the challenge to Alvesson and Kärreman that they have been arbitrary and captious in separating (differentiation) ‘little d’ (talk, text) and the material world (real things, entities, activities, performances) in ways that obscures politics by reducing sensemaking to an implicit epistemological position. My own move is to focus on relational process ontologies (RPOs) as existential ways of Being-in-the-world in the Being-ness of event-ness and re-configuring of material-discursive (sociomaterialism).

The conclusion I am drawing is that storytelling is not a representation of the world, nor is material and discourse existent independently of storytelling RPOs.


I am interested in how storytelling and discourse-as-constitutive-of-organization are relatable.

Material objects are not just discursively constructed and loaded with meaning, they are narrated, storied, and antenarratively constituted and loaded with meaning in the inseparability f ‘material-storytelling’ (as Strand, 2012) calls it. I use my own term, ‘quantum-storytelling’ to get the material-discursive RPOs since I view storytelling as an element (or component) of discourse. We both refer to Karen Barad’s (2003, 2007) work on agential realism, how materiality is intra-active with discourse in the material-discursive entanglement.

What is the entanglement of the material with storytelling, the material-discursive consumptive and production practices in post-Fordism, in late modern western capitalism, in leadership and in small business?

Organizations are storytellingly constituted in material-discursive practices of consumption and production ‘Big D’ Discourse and ‘little d’ discourse. There are many material-discursive configuration of storytelling in Fordist and post-Fordist capitalism. In its changing social, political, economic, and ecological environment, various storytelling Narratives and living stories, and antenarrative processes are aimed to make sense of an regulate the change from Fordism to post-Fordism. For example, Taylorism, Fayolism, and Weberian ‘Discourses’ have become entangled in leadership and in SEAM (small business) studies.

Leadership and small business are discursively constructed to navigate between competing conceptions of Taylor-Fayol-Weber in the relationship of science-modernity-organization that frame efficiency projects in scientific management, scalar chains, and bureaucratic hierarchy. TFW virus has become constitutive of modern organization consumption-production-distribution relations in the so-called ‘globalization’ transformation of leadership and (small/Big) business combine into a Grand Narrative (Big N) or progress, modernity, science, and so on.

The problem, however, is the various readings of pourers/consumers/distributors is conterminous and dialectic.

The interest from a storytelling paradigm (theory, method, & practice) is just how is storytelling constitutive of organization, and of leadership and the production-consumption-distribution relations within the 17 UN SDG’s? How is Narrative-story-antenarrative (storytelling) materialized and how material (economic, political, ideological, institutional, etc.) shapes everyday storytelling practices?

By questioning the linguistic turn in storytelling, I don’t want to fall into the opposite trap of making antenarrative a “decidedly pre-linguistic turn” reducing antenarrative to just an “epistemological standpoint” (Mumby, 2012: 1155). My approach is to develop RPO’s to deconstruct dualities between Narrative and living story, by focusing on constitutive antenarrative RPO’s that are material-discursive and spacetimemattering inseparabilities (Boje, 2018 in press).

Leadership and small business are performances positioned in and through larger Discourses, and Grander Narratives. These Discourses and Narratives position and identify leadership and small business in different ways in different social and cultural contexts. “It is never simply a material activity around which there is ‘talk’” (Mumby, 2012: 1155). There are always levels of meaning and significance constitutive of ‘storytelling organizations’ (Boje, 1991, 1995, 2008).

Storytelling is also constitutive of familial and class relationships in leadership and in small business, in those materially-discursively-constitutive acts.

It is problematic to do storytelling studies with a priori, and yet empirical, claims about the role of ‘Grand Narrative’(Big D) and ‘little story’ (little d) in their relationship to the material world. For example, in their relationship to the material world of 17 UN SDG’s. To do so reassess the pre-story, pre-Narrative (pre-linguistic) subject-object duality as the hidden yet guiding principle for analysis. And it make ‘storytelling as constitutive’ of organizing an empirical question rant that an epistemological or I would add, an ontological position. We do not want to reduce ontology to epistemology, a problem that Bhaskar, and others have made the focus of their scholarly attention.

Rather, it is time to unpack the dynamics of the Grand Narrative (Big N) and living story (little s) N/storytelling-material-discursive relationship in all its complexities, dialogism, and dialectic contradictions.

By reducing the question of storytelling as constitutive of organization to a merely empirical issues (i.e. is storytelling constitutive organizations, or merely facilitative?), we place ourselves in a position of arguing for either a transmission or a constitutive view of communication.

I raise two questions in relation to the course I teach: How can we adopt a genuinely post-linguistic turn of storytelling that avoids the psychologization of meaning in leadership? How do we adopt a genuinely post-linguistic turn of storytelling that avoids the econometrization of meaning in small business ( or SEAM) studies?

Storytelling and Meaning

Leadership and small business re enacted through the cultural qua meaning practices, text, talk, and storytelling (what Clifford Geertz 1973 calls ‘thick description’) in a post-lingiuistic turn.

“There is an Indian story – at least I heard it as an Indian story – about an Englishman who, having been told that the world rested on a platform which rested on the back of an elephant which rested on the back of a turtle, asked (perhaps he was an ethnographer; it is the way they behave), what did the turtle rest on? Another turtle. And that turtle? ‘Ah, Sahib, after that it is turtles all the way down’ (Geertz, 1973: 28–29)” (as cited in Mumby, 2012: 1156).

It is impossible to get to the ‘bottom’ of storytelling. Any interpretive analysis of storytelling will always be partial and incomplete. Storytelling organization systems of meaning are infinitely complex in ways that defy any analyst’s attempt to fully capture them (paraphrase, p. 1156). Meaning and material and storytelling are not separate foundations upon which meanings are built because they material-discursive-storytelling in its spacetimemattering is entangled inseparability.

It would be amazing to have NMSU sign onto the UN Sustainable Development Goals  project.

The UN has 17 sustainable development goals. We could place NMSU in the middle of them, and various colleges, departments, operations, researchers, curriculum, communities, and so on could begin to implement these goals. 

Figure 6: What if NMSU Leadership adopted the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's)?
Read more about each goals and subgoals 

The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), is a partnership of UN agencies and initiatives that have teamed up to to provide a platform for Higher Education Institutions to engage and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, enabling the exchange of best practices and educating future leaders on sustainable development.

All higher education institutions may join the network freely. Higher education institutions part of HESI commit to:

  1. Teach sustainable development across all disciplines of study,
  2. Encourage research and dissemination of sustainable development knowledge,
  3. Green campuses and support local sustainability efforts, and
  4. Engage and share information with international networks.

Join by filling in the online application under “Register Initiative” https:// partnerships/hesi 

There are more than 300 higher education institutions from all over the world that are members of HESI. NMSU could be #301, and #1 in New Mexico.

Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) for Academic Institutions

  • PRME is the largest voluntary engagement platform for academic institutions to transform their teaching, research, and thought leadership in support of universal values of sustainability, responsibility, and ethics.
  • Institutions distinguish themselves as leaders of responsible management education, and gain recognition for their efforts to address United Nations-supported values.
  • Faculty and administrators from PRME signatories gain access to dynamic local and global learning communities that collaborate on projects and events addressing the complex challenges facing business and society in the 21st century.
  • Students that are sensitized to sustainability values are in high demand among leading international businesses and organizations.
  • Communicate to your stakeholders — faculty, peers, students, businesses, and partners — about achievements through the Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) report.

The university as a whole or the particular colleges can submit a PRME application. Here for example is ASU 





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