Organizational Research Methods: Storytelling in Action

David M. Boje

Book being prepared for Routledge, due March 2018

To cite this document: Boje, David M. (2018) "Organizational Resarch Methods: Storytelling In Action", (March 15), URL = <>


STREAM 9 - True Storytelling Praxis


What is true Storytelling?

What are the different ways the progragonist scholars in the book have dialectical or materialistic orientations? How does each approach 'true' storytelling?

What is true Storytelling?

What is true STORYTELLING ONTOLOGY dialectics and multiplicities? By David Boje w/ JENS LARSEN, LENA BRUUN looking at work of SØREN BRIER (Peirce + Luhmann), DELEUZE, HEIDEGGER, BARAD, ŽIŽEK, HENRI SAVALL, MARY PARKER FOLLETT, & ROY BHASKAR study guides at


Since the book begins with the pragmatism of John Dewey and Charles Sanders Peirces, it is only fair that we conclude with the pragmatism of William James.True Storytelling is uncovering the ontological and pre-ontological 'real' of 'resistance' from the pervasive practices of micro-physics and macro-politics of power, and its many surveillance and disciplinary technologies of observation and sensemaking in three directions of temporality.

Three faces of sensemaking observing in different directions all at once © D. M. Boje 2017

Figure 1: Three Observers of Sensemaking – Retrospective, Scientific, & Pragmatist (drawing by D. M. Boje, 2017)

The three observers of sensemaking are looking in different direction. The retrospective sensemaker is observing the past, by looking backwards, and is stuck in the narrative-past. The scientific sensemaker is looking down, observing the present, stuck measuring the now. The pragmatist sensemaker is looking forward at all the many antenarrative futures, observing one in particular, and forecaring for its arrival.  These three observers are each affecting the quantum storytelling, changing what is ‘true’ storytelling.
William James (1907: 147) says it is the pragmatist who “faces forward to the future” in its multiple potentialities of experience, while the rationalist faces “backward to a past eternity”.  The rationalist and intellectualist suffer the “sentimentalist fallacy” of retrospective sensemaking that can only look backwards (James, 1907: 149).  The scientist critical sensemaker’s ‘true’ storytelling is verification of the senses by scientific method, logic, and mathematical truth of selecting the simplest (least complicated) formula of what is true of the present.

Each observer starts a different verification-process of ‘true’ storytelling that is completed in a different observation of temporality.  Retrospective sensemaking want a true storytelling that is a copy of past reality. Scientific ‘critical thinking’ demands its ‘true’ storytelling be verified by experiment, fulfill logic, and be measurable. Pragmatic ‘critical thinking’ s a storytelling about praxis, how action based on some great idea makes a concrete difference in an “actual life” (James, 1907: 133). Pragmatic ‘true’ storytelling is the “truth’s cash-value in experiential terms” (IBID.).  Pragmatist critical thinking means to “validate, corroborate, and verify” storytelling that “becomes true” and “is made true by events” futurally (IBID).

STEP ONE: Read this essay, my colleagues are using 'True Storytelling' in a praxis approach: your implementation’, working paper. Please check it out. We have seen in the 13 PRO's that many of them seek true storytelling.

Boje and Jens Larsen and Lena Bruun

What is True Storytelling (2017) by David M. Boje, Jens Larsen and Lena Bruun, partners Old Friends Industries

Old Friends ture Storytelling Model

Figure 1: The Old Friends 'true' Storytelling Model (source)


"This article introduces a special approach to storytelling, called True Storytelling, that bridges the gap between call for efficiency and change and longing for meaning among employees, thereby facilitating the implementation of changes and furthering innovation. The method is also useful as an analytic tool for organizations, and provides a link between the individual and the collective that strengthens developments. In a case-study, a Danish municipality seeks to implement a new educational approach that will support children’s learning and well-being. The purpose of the article is to provide some new hypotheses and observations on how to succeed in such processes."

Excerpt: "For implementing professional tools such as Professional Learning Communities, an approach, known as True Storytelling, can be applied. This approach is inspired by Professor David Boje’s work on Quantum Storytelling[4] and the leadership approach called Protreptics, rooted in the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who founded a leadership academy in ancient Greece. The access prototype is later developed by Professor Ole Fogh Kirkeby[5]. Protrepo means turning the individual towards what is essential, which is relevant to True Storytelling. In addition, meaning and value is being developed through reflections on stories and concepts. In connection with our work on Quantum Storytelling and True Storytelling[6], the essence is addressed by working with space/room and so-called antenarratives, or: pre-stories."

What is Quantum Storytelling? We are not separate from Nature.

1. We are grounded in existing patterns of mind-independent reality, in materialism of the quantum.
2. We are grounded in observer specific biological and epistemologically constituted history and interpretive social practices (e.g. Luhmann second-order cybernetics).  

Our bodies are ecosystems of billions of living cells embedded in the ecosystems we live in. From our quantum embodiment we live in the world and the world lives within us. We are energetic beings made of praticles billions of years old that form planets and stars. Our quantumness is made of star-stuff. Our energetic Being-ness has attunements with Nature, in quantum sensemaking beyond our five senses. We exist in what Barad (2007) calls spacetimemattering inseparability. Since we are quantum energetic beings, we affect and are affected by waves of potentiality, that we collapse into singularity, into Being-ness everytime we make an observation, are part of an organizational systems of observational apparatuses. We exist in waves of potential futures, and collapse them into one we pursue. To learn more attend annual Quantum Storytelling conference. See ”Being Quantum – Ontological Storytelling in the Age of Antenarratives”, David M. Boje, Tonya L. Henderson, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014

This book on Organizational Research Methods I am preparing for Routledge is about ‘storytelling in action’  Most people who teach ORM would be embarrassed if they tried to explain it. Yet collectively we teach methods to hundreds of thousands of students each year. What is storytelling?

What is Storytelling?

Figure 2: What is Storytelling (image by Marita Svane)

Antenarratively, True Storytelling is "pre-ontological" in all kinds of fore processes, ante to ontological constellate the fore-having (before), fore-conception (beneath), fore-structuring (between), fore-sight (bets on the future), and fore-caring for our own liberatory praxis (Boje, 2014; see work with Marita Svane, and articles with Haley and with Saylors). In short True Storying to quote Heidegger is "the meaning of the Being of care" (Heidegger, 1962: # 317), that is pre-ontological in space, in time.

Thank you doctoral students of Cabrini University and NMSU for helping me sort out the original chapters into a more simplified framework of Nine STREAMS of 'Ontological-Organizational Research Methods' (O-ORM).

Figure 2: Chart of Exemplars of Dialectical and Multiplicity approaches to Ontological-Organizational Research Methods (O-ORM) (© D. M. Boje, 2017)


Then Begin Swimming in each of the 10 Streams of O-ORM.


(© D. M. Boje, 2017)





DEWEY (American Pragmatism)



SØREN BRIER (<-Peirce + Luhmann)



GILLES DELEUZE (<-Nietzsche & Freud)



MARTIN HEIDEGGER (<-Hegel & Nietzsche)



KAREN BARAD (<-Bruno Latour & Neils Bohr)



SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK (<-Hegel & Lacan)



HENRI SAVALL (<-Hegel & Plato)



MARY PARKER FOLLETT (<-Hegel & Whitehead)



ROY BHASKAR (<-Hegel & Heidegger)



DAVID BOJE, JENS LARSEN, LENA BRUUN (<-Plato, Ole Kirkeby, & Walter Benjamin)



These of historical influences of the 9 streams I am writing about in the book for Routledge on Organizational Storytelling Methods: Storytelling In Action (due March 2018)

Figure 3: 9 Streams of Ontological-Organizational Research Methods (O-ORM) [original drawing began at Cabrini University 2017 and continued to be refined in NMSU Mgt 655 doctoral seminar Fall 2017, © D. M. Boje, and I added Dewey to make 10 streams) 

What is 'true' Storytelling by Streams of O-ORM

Figure 4: What is 'true storytelling' within each of 10 Streams of Ontological-Organizational Research Methods (O-ORM) (Drawing © D. Boje 2017).

Above is my summary of the approach to 'truth' and true storytelling of the ten streams.

Nine Streams (each a chapter) in the 'Organizational Research Methods: Storytelling in Action' book trace their complicity in nine streams in he quest for the flame of truth and 'true' storytelling.

Flame of Truth (image by D. Boje, 2017)

These are presented in the paradigm map. Each has a different answer to what is 'true' storytelling-in-action, the theme of my new book for Routledge, coming due March 2018.

This is a summary of the approach to TRUE STORYTELLING in the nine streams of O-ORM:

STREAM 1. MULTIPLICITY (series of Triads, multiple Autopoieses) TRUE STORYTELLING = Multiple interactive logics  with Triple Evolutions (Chance, Habituated, & Love); Without Agape, Greed capitalism takes over!


STREAM 2. MULTIPLICITY (early work is  + semiotic; later work w/Guattari  = rhizomatic) TRUE STORYTELLING = Phantasms arising from abyss have quasi-effects; Nietzschean Eternal Return of same constellation of Characters


STREAM 3. DIALECTIC (Disclosing Authentic Being-in-the-world by changing Hegel’s duration-time to primordial time) TRUE STORYTELLING = uncovering authentic potential-for-Being-Whole in space & time in-the-world


STREAM 4. MULTIPLICITY (Entangled Assemblage) TRUE STORYTELLING =  Agential Realism materiality with discourse; ethico-onto-epistem-ology of quantum physics; Observational apparatus does agential cuts on what is true



STREAM 5. DIALECIC (Hegelian Negation of Negation for 21st century) TRUE STORYTELLING = wants to revise agential realism to become dialectical social-materiality


STREAM 6. TRILECTIC Qualimetric Scientific Method TRUE STORYTELLING = interplay of Social, Economic, Technological & Quality System using experimentation, hypothesis testing, Intervenor-Researcher of Change Management


STREAM 7. DIALECTIC (Hegelian Synthesis) TRUE STORYTELLING = Unifying Differences in conflict resolution;  Spiritual; Empowerment means growing own power; democratic teams networked,  Science that is anti-Taylorism; THE FORGOTTEN MOTHER OF SYSTEMS THEORY


STREAM 8. DIALECTIC= Scalable Stratified Open System TRUE STORYTELLING = multiple ontologies from micro to ecological to spiritual, with fractal scalability; against epistemic fallacy of Inductive Logic


STREAM 9. MULTIPLICITY & DIALECTIC TRUE STORYTELLING = Continues Plato’s Greek Square (True, Just,  Good & Beautiful)= Freedom, But with Multiplicity Series focus of Living Story Webs & Antenarrative Fore-Caring


True Storytelling is possible in consciousness raising boot camps of self-transformation and critical reflexive inquiry into our own habituated thoughts and actions within microphysics systems, and embedded macro-political systems of power.  It is possible to recover our humane agency of resistance to normalization under the detailed disciplinary technologies of the institutions we work in.  

For help in True Storytelling, besides Foucault's technologies of the self and his critiques of governmentality of Neoliberalism, we can turn to Roy Bhaskar's (1993) dialectical critical realism (DCR). A True Storytelling would not be the correspondence theory of logical positivism, nor the consensus theory of social constructivism, but rather an "existential realism" (Bhaskar, 1993: 225) where "dialectics is at the heart of every learning process" (Bhaskar, 1993: 43). 

For more help in True Storytelling we can turn to Heidegger (1963). For Heidegger it’s the "uncoveredness" (# 220), Being-in-the-world that is "grounded in the world's disclosedness" (# 221) where care is "ahead of itself" and is in "being already in the world" (# 221). Heidegger does not abide just and kind of storytelling.  Our reading of Heidegger is that True Storytelling is "not 'telling a story' ... defining entities by tracing them back to their origin in some other entities", which is much too ontical, something the consultants sell you as an elevator pitch or stump speech ( #7; also Boje, 2014).  Rather, True Storytelling would be a disclosedness of whole Being-in-the-world, authentically, and primordially (# 297). A True Storytelling as a learning dialectic (Bhaskar) would be a return from "Lostness in the 'they'" that allows our "ownmost potentiality-for-Being-its-self" (# 307) to become our authentic self in an authentic historiology (# 497) or "historicality" (# 411), not a shallow historicity of a biological (career) narrative.  Rather True Storytelling is always primordial locus of truth, "grounded in Dasein's uncovering" (# 226) of ontological possibilities, and potentiality-for-Being in-the-world as our "ontological ground" (#229).

Antenarratively, True Storytelling is "pre-ontological" in all kinds of fore processes, ante to ontological constellate the fore-having (before), fore-conception (beneath), fore-structuring (between), fore-sight (bets on the future), and fore-caring for our own liberatory praxis (Boje, 2014; see work with Marita Svane, and articles with Haley and with Saylors). In short True Storying to quote Heidegger is "the meaning of the Being of care" (Heidegger, 1962: # 317), that is pre-ontological in space, in time.

Søren Brier's work as a Peircean scholar who reaches out to combine insights from Luhmann, contributes greatly to our understanding of True Storytelling. Brier's contributions to bio-semiotics and cybersemiotics ground True Storytelling in Heisenberg and Bohr's (p. 717) quantum physics. Brier works with the triadic (dialectic) logic of Peirce, and the cybernetic complex adaptive systems theory of Luhmann. In Peircean pragmatist realism, we are doubly grounded (Brier, 2010: 700). 


Table 1: 4th Wave Relational Process Ontologies in Dialectical/Multiplicity Organizing Systems (Boje, 1 August, 2017)

Ontology Stream


Dialectical &/or Multiplicity

Type of Ontology

Process Standpoint

Relationality Standpoint


1. Cybersemiotic
Brier-->Peirce & Luhmann
Semiotic & Cybernetic
Triple Evolutionary

2. Spirals & Rhizomes

Nietzsche -> Deleuze (& Guattari)


Series in movement

Eternal Recurrences
Deterritorialization Reterritorialization



3. Authenticity

Nietzsche to Heidegger



Future in Arrival



4.  Sociomateriality

Nietzsche, Latour -> Barad


Agential realism

Agential Realism



Bring back Hegel

Plato, Kant,->Hegel -> Žižek


Negation of negation

Emergent becoming


Varies by antagonist

Socio-economic Trilectic Positivism

Plato & Hegel -> Savall




Democratic participation

Within socio-economic framework

Democratic Dialectics

Plato->Hegel ->Follett



Integration & harmonizing of differences

Spiritual & democratic

More social than material

8. Scalar Open Systems

Plato, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Heidegger to Bhaskar



Critical Realism

Multifractal Scalability


9. True Storytelling

Plato->Kirkeby-> Boje, Jens Larsen, Lena Bruun

Both Dialectical & Multiplicity

‘True’ storytelling


Answerability Ethics




STEP TWO: Dear doctoral cohort, please write out 'What is 'true', and 'truth' in 9 STEAMS of 'true' Storytelling for next class meeting 15 November, 2017

FROM NEW PREFACE OF BOOK (expected 2018): "Of the many kinds I will focus on just two that are ontological, rather than many that are epistemological. There are so many of those ‘organizational research methods’ (ORM) books already, why write another one?  First this is a book about dialectical ontologic methods, and there are so many kinds I could do an entire book on these characters (Plato, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Follett, Sartre, Bhaskar, Žižek, Savall, and oddly enough, Heidegger, to name a few), all having sway in ORM methodologists.  This book develops a number of ways to theorize and study storytelling dialectics. The aim is to get beyond the positivist ontology, and the social constructivist ontology, to a set of critical ontologies (critical realism, critical evaluation, agential realism, cybersemiotics, historical materialism, Actor-Network-Theory, Heidegger as well as Mary Parker Follett’s revisions to Hegelian dialectic, Žižek’s Hegelian dialectic revival, and so on).
            Second the multiplicity ontologic methods, and there are fewer of them (Deleuze, Peirce, Nietzsche, Latour, Barad) being applied to ORM, and many declare themselves to be against all dialectical methods (Deleuze, Peirce).  Barad, to be precise, is combinatorial, doing epistemic-ontologic, and is being applied by many to ORM.
            ‘Storytelling in action’ is ontological, and is also a methodology for research, and therefore can be either about dialectical storytelling methods, or multiplicity ontology methods. Not all storytelling is ontological. Certainly most narrative (& counternarrative) ORM is decidedly epistemological, so we will drag it along, though my purpose is ontologic. I have said that living stories, always told in the middle, often without beginning, certainly no end in sight, are ontological. And antenarratives (before-narratives, between living stories and narratives, beneath to precepts, and prospective bets on many possible futures) are definitely, ontological processes. Storytelling is defined as the combination of narratives and counternarratives, living stories and counter-stories, and a multiplicity of kinds of antenarrative processes" (Boje, in process, Preface). Here are the main protagonists in Ontological - Organizational Research Methods (O-ORM):

Types of Ontolgies in True Storytelling © D Boje 2017

Figure 5: Types of 'true' Storytelling in the Ontological-Organizational Research Methods (O-ORM)(Original figure © D. M. Boje, 2017)

What is Critical Thinking? There are important distinctions between epistemological and ontological approaches to 'true' storytelling. There are sequential (hierarchical) stage models of how college students progress in in their understanding of 'true' storytelling. These are problematic, and need critique.

Critical Thinking approaches often focus on logical sicentific reasoning method from premises to propositions (& hyptheses) to conclusions, using both deductive and inductive logic, in a stage by stage model of of problem solving Basseche (1980, 1984a, 1984b, 1989, 2005) arges that Critical Thinking can be understood as a model of dialectical reasoning that moves beyond 'closed-system' to 'open-system' problem solving. Formal systems of scientific reasoning as Roy Bhaskar asserts involved closed system experiments and controls, wherease the 'real' world is a stratified 'open-system' with high degrees of uncertainty, and ill-structured problems rather than structured problems. Further, Bhaskar argues that there are multiple ontologies, rather than monovalance or single logic in a 'real' world situation. In short, Bhaskar would say that Critical Thinking is monovalent, monological, and assumes a single positivist ontology. Charles Sanders Peirce argues that instead of scientific certainty, research and theory are fallibile (principe of fallibility or fallibilism).

Basseches (2005: 50) presents dialectical thinking as an ontology:

"Dialectical ontologies emphasize (1) that what is most fundamental in reality are some ongoing processes of change; (2) that in the course of these ongoing processes of change within existence as a whole, forms of organization emerge that have a coherence that cannot simply be accounted for by the nature of the parts that are organized within these forms (the forms are temporary and may disintegrate or give way to more complex forms of organization); (3) that everything that exists is in relationship to other things and that these relationships are internal to the nature of the things themselves-they are part of what makes the things what they are (and as a thing's internal relations change, its nature changes)."

Basseches, M. (1980). Dialectical schemata. Human Development23(6), 400-421.

Basseches, M. (1984a). Dialectical thinking. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Basseches, M. (1984b). Dialectical thinking as a metasystematic form of cognitive organization. Beyond formal operations: Late adolescent and adult cognitive development, 216-238.

Basseches, M. (1989). Toward a constructive-developmental understanding of the dialectics of individuality and irrationality. In Transformation in clinical and developmental psychology(pp. 188-209). Springer New York.

Basseches, M. (2005). The development of dialectical thinking as an approach to integration. Integral Review1(1), 47.

Four Kinds of Thinking and Reasoning Logics © D. M. Boje 2017

Figure 6: Four Kinds of Thinking and Reasoning Logics (drawing © D. M. Boje 2017)

There are four kinds of thinking and reasoning logics: Critical Thinking, Critical Theory (dialectic logic), Critical Pedagogy (dialogism of Freire), and Moral Development stages of reasoning (Kohlberg).

Critical Thinking There are multiple pathways that Critical Thinking movement has developed along.It would be fair to say Critical Thinking is a multiplicity series, movements that have their adovcates who beileve their approach is the right one. There is what Gephart (1988) called next stepping; our path is the next step and improves upon deficits in other movements (King and Kitchner, 1994).

Path 1 - Critical Thinking is defined as hypothetico-deductive scientific method involving induction and deduction logics (Salmon, 1989).

Path 2 - Critical Thinking is a problem solving process that of appeals to authority who knows the 'true' answer by applying general principles in steps (Ennis 1985).

Path 3 - Reflective thinking needed to evaluate arguments and epistemic assumptions, reliability of data, sources of information, and truth values (Dewey, 1933).

Path 4 - Reflective judgments change with age and social moorings, but still uses deductive logic to ascertain completeness, correctness, and certainty in structured problem solving within a single frame of reference that is monological in closed systems (see Paul, 1990 critique of monological methods of critical thinking).

Path 5 - Open system approaches to multilogical (many frames of reference), ill-structured and complexity problems with uncertain. Dialectical thinking about epistemic assumptions and ontological context that requires integration of several solutions or developing a general synthesis as 'truth value' (Basseche, 1984a, 1984b, 1989 2005).

Path 6 - Reflective judgements, with stages of cognitive development in ability to solve well-structured problems (Ennis & Mullman, 1971). Can include Kohlberg reflective moral judgment, in stages of cognitive development to address John Dewey's (1933, 1938) challenge of coping with uncertainty, and ill-structured problems with possible solutions that requires complexity thinking.

Cognitive structures are assumed to change over time in paths 4, 5, and 6, such as between freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate college work

King and Kitchner develop a stage by stage model of critical thinking that attempts to resolve problems with the other approaches.

Table 2: Stages of Reflective Judgment in Critical Thinking (adaptation of King and Kitchner, 1994 to 'true' storytelling)

Stage Reflective Judgment of 'true'
Knowing limited to single concrete observations: What a person observes is true
Two categories for knowing: right answers and wrong answers. Good authorities have knowledge of 'true' and bad authorities lack knowledge
In some areas, knowledge is certain and authorities have that knowledge. In other areas, knowledge is temporarily uncertain. Only personal beliefs can be known as 'true'
Two or more systems of representation can be constructed. Knowledge is unknown in several cases which leads to the abstract generalization that knowledge is uncertain
Knowledge is uncertain and must be understood with a context; thus justification for 'true' is context specific
Knowledge is uncertain but can be constructed by comparing evidence and opinion on different sides of an issue or across contexts
Knowledge is the outcome of a process of reasonable inquiry. This can be general principle that is consistent across domains.


It is often assumed in Critical Thinking that as a student moves through college they become able to develop critical reasoning and problem solving skills that involve progressively higher levels of discernment of truth, and even moral reasoning development.

Table 2: Kohlberg’s Levels and Stages of Moral Reasoning

PRE-MORAL LEVEL (survival of individual)

STAGE 1: Blind Egoism

Punishment-avoidance obedience; deference to power

Only the self is recognized for survival purposes

STAGE 2: Instrumental Egoism

Exchange of favors: ‘scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’

Conform or deviate from others’ norms

CONVENTIONAL LEVEL (group or system valued over individual)

STAGE 3: Social Relations

‘Good boy’ – ‘Good girl’; good behavior to please others

Recognize good and bad intentions

STAGE 4: Social System

Law and order to maintain the social system

Aware of abstract normative systems

PRINCIPLED LEVEL (beyond group norms)

STAGE 5: Contractual

Rules & standards of whole society necessary, but those agreements do change as needed

Contracts allow people to increase mutual welfare

STAGE 6: Mutual Respect

Self-chosen moral principles appeal to logic & universality justice & individual rights that transcends concrete situational rules or social concerns

Humans are fallible and frail, impacted by communication


There are a growing number of challenges to Kohlberg's model that applies as well to the stage-by-stage models of Critical Theory cognitive and skill development.

Table 3: Five Criticisms of Kohlberg’s Theory of Levels and Stages

1.  Flawed research methods

Model built on study of white, privileged, males, does not look beyond justice orientation

2. Ignores Women’s moral development

Kohlberg reduces moral value to justice and instrumentality, rather than ethics of care, compassion, and responsible community (Gilligan & Attanucci, 1996).

3. Western cultural Reductionism

Reduces all moral development to Western industrialized culture moral development; dismisses Eastern moral development; ignores differences between individualistic and collectivist cultures’ moral development

4. Invariant stages is problematic

In model, person cannot understand or comprehend a moral stage beyond the one they are in.  People do not progress in mass, but rather, move to higher ‘stage’ when their moral perspective no longer adequate to cope with Situation complexity, uncertainty, etc. of their moral dilemma. Stage by stage movement is therefore not automatic.

5. Ignores difference between knowing moral principle and actually doing moral behavior

In management studies this is Argyris and Schön’s (1997) difference between espoused theory and theory in use.


Argyris, C., & Schön, D. A. (1997). Organizational learning: A theory of action perspective. Reis, (77/78), 345-348.

Gilligan, C., & Attanucci, J. (1996). The moral principle of care. In Introducing psychological research (pp. 240-245). MacMillan Education UK.



STEP 3: Begin 'what is true' with Heidegger (1962) and please bring the book to next class

Heidegger (1962) has a project to revise Hegel's dialectic, by pointing out it continues the 'negation of a negation' of Plato dialectic, and has a duration of 'now' approach to time that is 'abstract' and does not resolve the 'Transcendental Dialectic' problems of Kant, nor does it resolve Kant's 'Copernican revolution' that places space and time outside in a priori to existence, to what Heidegger prefers as Being-in-the-world. Further Heidegger is critical of making spirit a naive realism in relation to Idealism (again a continuation of Plato through Hegel).

For next class, please read these sections from Heidegger (1962)

  1. (#215) Naive realism and neo-Kantian "definition of 'truth; and Kant's 'Copernican revolution". Heidegger is critical of truth being an agreement of knowledge with its Object, in the name of Truth. Kant's Transcendental Dialectic, truth and illusion are not in the Object, as it is intuited in what we now call sensemaking (Weick, 1995). Rather, there is a judgement of thought (supposedly without prejudice), that Heidegger believes is 'empty' in Kantian approach to dialectics.
  2. (#215-216) Heidegger refers to "relational totality" of "agreement of something to something" in "truth as a relation" such as how number 6 = 16 - 10 in math. But this is not the same as an intellectual agreement (thought) and is not of the same species as math. The subject-Object agreement is different knowledge by judging.
  3. (#218-219) Heidegger then asks, What is ontological meaning of relation between Real Thing and Ideal agreement? The Real thing, its physical project is judging by factical (that is all the facts of historicality, and not a shallow historicism or what I call shallow narrative of abstract history). The Ideal content of judgement, by contrast is judging by agreement. Heidegger proposed that "Being uncovers the entity" towards which it is in "Being-uncovering assertion" in conformation of selfsameness, "Meaning itself Being towards real entities". In other words, to assert "it is true" is Being-uncovered towards Real in Dasein primordial foundation of truth or Being-true [storytelling].
  4. (#-221-222) This for Heidegger is "authentic disclosedness" of the "truth of existence".
  5. (#227) Heidegger begins his new dialectical approach is a kind of uncovering in "'universal validity' of truth."
  6. (#431-432). From here to end of the book, Heidegger accused Hegel of having a duration or punctuality theory of time, as just the "now" that is 'monstrously privileged" there the present is, but the before and after, are not. Heidegger says this leaves Hegel no "dialectical grounds" for becoming and passing away, and is a notion of time in the "negation of a negation" reducing time to a sequence of nows in Hegel's "formal-dialectical conception of time".
  7. (#433-435) Hegel's spirt falls into time in "the negation of a negation" and is reduced to an "absolute negativity" in a "progression" [what I call progress narrative] of history that ends up being empty ground and "abstract negativity".
  8. (#436-437). This is the End of the Book. Dasein, by contract, is "'concretion' of factically thrown existence" that unveils "temporality temporalizing world-time" within the horizon of history, historicizing within time, and temporality as basis of meaning that is primordial and unlike Hegel, does not "reify consciousness. Dasein is existent Being-in-the-world comporting itself "towards entities" and is a "grounded temporality" unlike what I have critiques as Grounded Theory (GT) that is not grounded in Being-in-the-world.

Keep in mind that Hegel has two kinds of dialectics, the thesis-antithesis-synthesis that Follett works in and the "negation of a negation" that Zizek works in.

Now you are ready for Step 4.

STEP 4: Read the best essay on storytelling ever written, by Walter Benjamin, before his death (1892-1940).

Walter Benjamin uses the term 'true storytelling' in his classic essay:

Benjamin either committed suicide at border of France and Spain, or Stalin's hit man assassinated him. See film Who Killed Walter Benjamin?


Adorno, T. W. (1973). Negative dialectics (Vol. 1). A&C Black.

Benjamin, Walter (2007/1986). The Storyteller” Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov. Pp. 361-378 in Hannah Arendt (ed.) Illuminations. Translated from the German (1955) into English (1968) by Harry Zohn. NY: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc. Storyteller essay is available online 2007, pp. 83-110 with Preface by Leon Weiseltier

Benjamin, Walter. (1999/ 2002). The arcades project. 3rd printing 2002. Translated with introduction by Howard Eiland & Kevin McLaughlin. MASS: Harvard University Press.

I will venture a Benjaminian hypothesis: ‘true’ storytelling is coming to an end, and is not just dialectical historical materialism, but rather is also the Baudelairean “multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life” in the “shocks and conflicts of civilization: (Benjamin, 1999/2002: 443). This “unscrupulous multiplicity” is constructed in the foreground diorama of the material landscape (Benjamin, 1999: 531).  In short, Benjamin’s Arcade Project, by my reading, is an entanglement of dialectical historical materialism with “confirmed multiplicity” (Benjamin, 1999: 801) and testimony to the anguish of the “agonizing phantasmagoria at the heart of flânerie”, the act of strolling through the material ruins of history, and apprending dreams of tomorrow, today (Benjamin, 1999: 22).

I believe Benjamin was setting dialectical materialism in a new direction, what I call a ‘dialectical multiplicity’, the entanglement of Marxist dialectical materialism with an anticipation of Deleuzian multiplicity series. It was rooted in ‘true storytelling’ which Benjamin (2007/1986: 87) saw coming to an end:" The art of storytelling is reaching its end because the epic side of truth, wisdom, is dying out. This, however, is a process that has been going on for a long time."  Benjamin was a flâneur researcher, strolling through the wreckage of material history, seeing the work of art and fashion rather than material conditions of class struggle.  

The Paris arcades, those early shopping malls, stain glass encased restaurants and shoe stores, is an antenarrative fot becoming of mall-life of urban society, today. It was for Benjamin a dialectical fairyland, an antenarrative anticipation of the entertainment society, and the cathedral of consumption, in advance of the arrival of Disneyland and Las Vegas gamblers’ idleness.

Benjamin’s ontological method is the nexus of historical dialectic the multiplicity of fashion movements and the montage-fragments, meeting in phantasmagoria of a “thousand intersections and angles” in open teleology of material graphicness (xi) and the “commodification of things.”  I read in Benjamin a parallel to early Deleuzian writing on multiplicity series. Benjamin the flâneur, strolling through the ruble sees phantasmagoria diorama while Deleuze spies phantasm series, the surface effects of a culture that has lost its deep identity. 

Benjamin was forced to be a dialectical materialist, in order to win favor of the Critical theorists, Horkheimer and Adorno, and find passage to the US, to become part of the Frankfurt School fleeing Nazi Germany. Horkheimer and Adorno were not accepting of Benjamin’s take on Marxian dialectic. But Benjamin either committed suicide or was overtaken by a Stalin hit squad. Perhaps Stalin did not like Benjamin’s branding of historical materialism as fashion (Boje, 2014).

The interfusion of dialectical materialism with multiplicity, is a kind the fulfillment of Benjamin’s nostalgic quest for ‘true’ storytelling. His Arcade project, after Benjamin’s death in 1940 was hidden away in the Bibliothèque National de France by George Bataille, then recovered by the Critical Theorists and sent to New York in 1947 to become their philanstery.  

Adorno was no fan of Hegel, and did not believe in State achieving a synthesis, especially after the fascism just witnessed in WWII. Adorno’s () Negative Dialectics looked to concrete particulars of class struggle. “In 1937, when the author had completed his Metakritik der Erkenntnistheorie, the last chapter of that publication moved Walter Benjamin to remark that one had to “cross the frozen waste of abstraction to arrive at concise, concrete philosophizing” (xix, translator). Adorno (18) thought Benjamin’s approach was off the mark, “It was probably due to Benjamin’s acceptance of dialectical materialism as a weltanschauung, so to speak, with closed eyes.” Adorno (19) even though Benjamin undialectical, and had not achieve the scientific aims of Hegel:

“Benjamin’s defeatism about his own thought was conditioned by the undialectical positivity of which he carried a formally unchanged remnant from his theological phase into his materialistic phase. By comparison, Hegel’s equating negativity with the thought that keeps philosophy from both the positivity of science and the contingency of dilettantism has empirical substance.”

Even worse, Adorno (53, 157) made the accusation that Benjamin did “tend to an authoritarian concealment of their conceptuality” and had brought “As Hegel applied it, it was already what Benjamin would later call “’dialectics at a standstill,’ far advanced beyond whatever would appear as phenomenology a hundred years later.”  And Adorno (7) did not think much of Hegelian dialectical method “As Hegel applied it, it was already what Benjamin would later call “dialectics at a standstill,” far advanced beyond whatever would appear as phenomenology a hundred years later.”

Hannah Arendt in the introduction, says Benjamin did not really do dialectics: "Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer, were "dialectical materialists" and in their opinion Benjamin's thinking was "undialectic," moved in "materialistic categories, which by no means coincide with Marxist ones" (Arendt, 2007/1986: 10).

Walter Benjamin wrote the greatest essay on storytelling of all time. He is the founder of 'true' storytelling. He wanted to be dialectical, to retain his membership inf the Frankfurt School, but Adorno and Horkhiemer thorught Benjamin's notions of fairy tales being a true storytelling of dialectics, too unscientific. Benjamin looked back on the trash heap of history, and did not see much progress, and little that was dialectical.

What is 'true storytelling in Walter Benjamin?

" The art of storytelling is reaching its end because the epic side of truth, wisdom, is dying out. This, however, is a process that has been going on for a long time" (Benjamin, 2007/1986: 87).

What is true storytelling process? "But when afterwords he recognized one of his servants, an old, impoverished man, in the ranks of the prisoners, he beat his fists against his head and gave all the signs of deepest mourning. From this story it may be seen what the nature of true storytelling is. The value of information does not survive the moment in which it was new. It lives only at that moment; it has to surrender to it completely and explain itself to it without losing any time. A story is different. It does not expend itself. It preserves and concentrates its strength and is capable of releasing it even after a long time (pp 4-5, on line version of Benjamin, The Storyteller, bold italics, mine).

In other words, true storytelling is not like information narrative becuase ture storytelling is embodied and in the long time. But information systems and abstract narrative with linear construcitons of beginning, middle, and end emplotment have taken over, especially in the Internet world displacing the face-to-face together-telling of workers singing songs, playing story games, doing true storytelling in assemblages and ensembles of together-telling.

"With the appearance of these elements, storytelling began quite slowly to recede into the archaic; in many ways, it is true, it took hold of the new material, but it was not really determined by it" (p. 4, online version of Benjamin article).

Without the listening face-to-face, what Boje, in this essay, calls together-telling: "It is this consistency of truth that has been lost" (Benjamin, 2007/1986: 143).

What happened to 'true' storytelling?

We "sacrificed truth for the sake of clinging to its transmissibility" of narrative and information" (144).

"Wisdom has sometimes been defined as the epic side of truth. Such a definition stamps wisdom as inherent in tradition; it is truth in its haggadic consistency" (Benjamin, 2007/1986: 143).

"The first true storyteller is, and will continue to be, the teller of fairy tales. Whenever good counsel was at a premium, the fairy tale had it, and where the need was greatest, its aid was nearest. This need was the need created by the myth. The fairy tale tells us of the earliest arrangements that mankind made to shake off the nightmare which the myth had placed upon its chest. In the figure of the fool it shows us how mankind "acts dumb" toward the myth; in the figure of the youngest brother it shows us how one's chances increase as the mythical primitive times are left behind j in the figure of the man who sets out to learn what fear is it shows us that the things we are afraid of can be seen through; in the figure of the wiseacre it shows us that the questions posed by the myth are simple-minded, like the riddle of the Sphinx; in the shape of the animals which corne to the aid of the child in the fairy tale it shows that nature not only is subservient to the myth, but much prefers to. be aligned with man: "From this story it may be seen what the nature of true storytelling is. The value of information does not survive the moment in which it was new. It lives only at that moment; it has to surrender to it completely and explain itself to it without losing any time. A story is different. It does not expend itself. It preserves and concentrates its strength and is capable of releasing it even after a long time." (102).

Figure 7: Rendition of Savall's Scientific Method of 'true' storytelling done in his trilectic notion of interplay of financial, quantiatiative, and qualitative accounts (Drawing by Boje 2017)

My general theory is there is a positive (+) dialectics such as Savall's qualimetric science of trilectics, and Follett's thesis-antithesis-snythesis of unifying difference, and both Savall and Follett has a strong focus on democratic forms of governance and negotiation of conflict by focusing on the facts of the Situation, co-studied in teams. Roy Bhaskar, also has (+) dialectics, but develops his scalabilities and stratified open systems theory, which is different that the way Savall and Follett appraoch dialectics.

Next you are ready for Multiplicities series.


There are (+) multiplicity series, such as Latour's assemblage networks of actors and actants, and Barad, building on Latour's ANT (actor-network-theory), to develop a quantum scientific understanding of the duality of particle-wave, that is registered in 'agential realism' and in 'intra-activity' of materiality with discourse, and has unleashed the sociomateriality debates in OORM. Early on Deleuze is working with (+) multiplicity series, in a semiotics that can be related somethat to Charles Sanders Peirce's series of many tiradics. Late Deleuze, in his work with Guattari, turns to a (-) multiplicity series. This is work in rhizomatics, the body-without-organs (organizing that consumes and outsources, and downsizes the body, is quick example). A (-) multiplicity series of war machines, the capturing-machine, is what I believe applies to modern day slavery (more accurate to call it enslavement, since there are not raiding slave capturers in modern day, but there are forms of enslavement). Wage-theft, keeping people locked in trailers with armed guards, pistol whipping, and rape in the agriculutral fields, is a (-) multiplicities series of capture. To continue the example, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is using a combination of (+) dialectics (conflict resoution like Follett's dialectic) along with (+) multiplicity series of expanded contracts with corporaitons and building alliance networks with faith gorups and student groups, to effect a consumer movement, called the Fair Food Program, consider this quote 8 November 2017

"On January 18, 2018, faith leaders from around the country will join together for National Day of Fasting and Witness in protest of Wendy’s executives’ ongoing and unconscionable refusal to join the Fair Food Program.  Following what’s sure to be an exciting fall season in the Wendy’s campaign (with a major march to the New York City offices of Board Chair Nelson Peltz coming up on November 20!), this mobilization will galvanize faith communities nationwide into action – both in commemoration of the great strides that have been made over the course of our decades-long struggle for justice in the fields, and in advancement of the urgent campaign to bring Wendy’s into the Fair Food fold.  The fast will take place on the 20th anniversary of the breaking of the 30-day hunger strike undertaken by six workers in 1998, when the Coalition of Immokalee Workers was calling for a dialogue with growers to end poverty and violence in the fields" (CIW email to me, 8 November 2017

CIW uses a combination of positive dialectics and positive multiplicity series in their campaight to bring Wendy's into the "Fair Food fold" by continuing dialogue with groups to end poverty and enslavement in the fields, on the farms, by bringing in major corporate brands into Fair Food Program. It is amazing to behold the ways CIW is contining and monitoring institutionalized corporate and grower discrimination against migrant workers, and using the justice system to prosecute enslavers, thos coyotes that once where effective agents of voiolence.

"Concepts and functions thus appears as two types of multiplicities or varieties whose natures are different" (Deleuze and Guattari, 1991/1994: 127, What is Philosophy). In the above figure there are positive concepts and functions, and negative ones that are either multiplicities or dialectics. In other words, dialectics can be positive or negative (negations of negations). And, multiplicities can be positive concepts and functions, or ones that are negative. Deleze wanted to reverse what he saw as the negative (nagations) in both Plato and Hegel. He did this by developing a multiplicities approach. Early in his career it as positive multiplicities rooted in semiotits (1994, 1991). His later work with Guatatri (Deleze & GUattari, 1987; Deleuze & Guattari, 1991/1994) took a turn to the negative.

Multiplicity is a concept in the Descartes Cartesian split of subject and object, rational and irrational, and in the cogito.

"There must be at least two multipliciities, two types, from the outset. This is not because dualism is better than unity but because the multiplicity is preciesely what happens between the two. Henc,e the two types will certainly not be one above the other but rather one beside the other, against the other, face to face, or back to back" (Deleuze and Guattari, 1991/1994: 152, What is Philosophy).

The two types they theorize are functions and concepts, in actual state of affairs and in virutal events. These two types intersect. For Barad the materiality and the discursive intra-act, but are not conceived as interactional (like billiard balls, or other independent entities colliding). The cogito of Cartesian split, that agential cut, set off two multiplicies, two series. For Barad (2007) thare are many possible agential cuts, many splits in the multiplicities, and these intra-act or not. (Deleuze and Guattari, 1991/1994: 159, What is Philosophy) develop multiplicity differently than Bard: "The concept has a power of repetition that is distinct from the discursive power of a function." No such distinction occurs in Baradian intra-activity of materiality with discourse.

Descartes' 'I' is a concept of the 'self' split into doubting, thinking, and being. "I thnk therefore I am" and "I am a thinking thing" and (Deleuze and Guattari, 1991/1994: 24-25, What is Philosophy). "Objectivity here will assume a certainty of knowledge rather than presuppose a truth recognized as preexisting, or already there" (IBID., p. 27).For Plato Ideas (and concepts) are eternal and the negating of the concepts, allways the truth of the Idea to be revealed.

What is true storytelling in O-ORM?

Different protagonists in the book I am assembling, come at true storytelling differently. For Nietzsche and Deleuze, it’s the ‘will to truth’ rather than Peirce’s ‘love of truth’.  For Heidegger is a forecaring and concern for disclosing ‘authentic’ truth.

Harrington, Walt (2015). Artful Journalism: Essays in the Craft and Magic of True Storytelling. Copyright Walt Harrington (E-book).

True storytelling for Walt Harrington (2015: 15) is not about truth-telling, rather as a journalist, he says “It’s fine to change that particular event because the alteration is in service to the narrative—to the essence of the truth, I suppose.” Harrington (2015: 19, 21, 45) does not proposed true storytelling as the veracity of historian, documentarian, or ethnographer, nor any “literal truth”, but rather the “flesh-and-blood world” “writing as authentic, unvarnished, and truthful a story as possible rarely has anything to do with it.”

As in organizational research, a truthful story is and Ideal, “In the end, you’ll probably have to settle for structured time with your subject. Your conversations will be relatively formal, and you’ll rarely be able to establish intimacy. You’ll be forced to rely on interviews with sources. None of this, however, frees you from the responsibility to capture the human truth about your subject. If your subject gets in your way, you must work harder” (Harrington, 2015: 45).

Rosaldo, Renato. (1993). Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis. Boston, MASS.: Beacon Press.

“Neither ethnographers nor their subjects hold a monopoly on the truth” (Rosaldo, 1993: xix). This applies to organisational research where diverse groups negotiate and renegotiate truth under conditions of inequity of power. Organizational empiricism seeking objective truth, organizational ethnography, organizational expose journalism, and transcendental universalists producing timeless truth, all have different monopoly on truth. What emerges is pluralistic truth, a multitude of organizational realities, rather than the one (monovalent ontology, as Bhaskar, calls it).

“Processual analysis resists frameworks that claim a monopoly on truth” (Rosaldo, 1993: 93). “The point is to break objectivism’s monopoly on truth claims, not throw out the baby with the bathwater” (Rosaldo, 1993: 102).

“Attempts to blur the boundaries of ethnography create space for historically subordinated perspectives otherwise excluded or marginalised from official discourse”(Rosaldo, 1993: xviii). Living stories of falling in and out of love, purport their truth, and ethnographic narratives seek generality and locality in interplay. “At issue is not the real truth versus the ethnographic lie. After all, the pragmatic concerns of everyday life can diverge from those of disciplined inquiry” (Rosaldo, 1993: 50).

“… ethnography becomes as likely to reveal where objectivity lies as where it tells the truth” and that for me is ’true’ storytelling (Rosaldo, 1993: 60).

Organizational Research Methods in conjunction with storytelling in action is about living stories about “motives or goals of corporate executives in Japan, Zurich, or England. ‘Businessmen and bankers today’ Bruner says, ‘(like men of affairs of all ages) guide their decisions by just such stories—even when a workable theory is available. These narratives, once acted out, ‘make’ events and ‘make’ history. They contribute to the reality of their participants. For an economist (or an economic historian) to ignore them, even one rounds that ‘general economic forces’ shape the world of economics, would be to don blinders” (Jerome Bruner as cited in Rosaldo, 1993: 129).

University disciplines play out paradigm diversity and conflict “objectivists” against “relativists,” “Prestists” against “historicists,” and “foundationalists” against “interpretivists” (Rosaldo, 1993: 219). Coalitions form across departments and colleges. Different decades implement conservative or more liberal agendas. The 1980s onward has been conservative, with different consequences for STEM disciplines, social sciences, and humanities. Increasingly social sciences of organizational research favour timeless eternal principles ((Rosaldo, 1993: 219, paraphrase). Each regime of truth excludes other ways of thinking and being in the world.

Fassin, Didier. (2017). If Truth be Told: The Politics of Pubic Ethnography. Duke University.

Fassin (2017: 8) says, “What is therefore at stake in the project of a public ethnography is the sort of truth that is produced, established, and, in the end, told.”

Public ethnography has the “objective of communicating a certain truth, or perhaps better said, a conception of the truth grounded in [ethnographers’] empirical and theoretical work against prejudices, interests, powers, and sometimes simply common sense” (Fassin, 2017: 9). In short there is not an absolute or definitive truth, since a public ethnography will be disputed, and there are always untold stories, and what Foucault terms, regimes of truth, that are not true, so “ethnographers uncover uncomfortable truths about sensitive issues” (Fassin, 2017: 13).

Ethnographers may oppose the regime of truth that journalists deploy, and seek truth told in from a participant observer understanding. Journalist and ethnographer, can have different definitions of truth, facticity, objectivity, and ways to speak truth to power (including anti-colonial politics, an imaginary conversation with oppressors, and how exploited can empower themselves (Have, 2017: p.58).

There is what is a stand in for truth, and is more than fictional, its deceptive, yet the currency of sensemaking, that covers over much oppression and exploitation.”Truth production is tied to forms of political rationality that depend on slippage of scale between individual and collective, the person and the public, where claims for the broader collective are defended at the expense of the individuals who actually compose it, obscuring unexpected grassroots politics around workable infrastructures while shoring up state politics-as-usual” (Biehl, 2017: 280).

Biehl, Joao. (2017). Ethnography prosecuted: Facing the fabulation of power. Pp. 261-286 in Fassin, Didier. (ed.). If Truth be Told: The Politics of Pubic Ethnography. Duke University.

In sum, political ethnography has a different enactment for truthfulness, and gets tempered further in the process of pulicization for an imagined audience (333). The effect of political ethnography ‘true’ storytelling goes deeper than fact, to what is behind the scene, off-stage, that matters.

Fassin, Didier. (2017). Epilogue: The public afterlife of ethnography. Pp. 311-344 in Fassin, Didier. (ed.). If Truth be Told: The Politics of Pubic Ethnography. Duke University.

Often I am activist, trying to speak truth to power. My acts of carnivalesque resistance, theater for social change on veterans issues, anti-sweatshop, and so on.

The scientific truth, through quantitative, financial, and also qualitative, produces truths that vary in conflicting groups of an organization, many of these do not have the standard speaking-truth-to-power approach(Hage, 2017).

Hage, Ghassan (2017). What is a public intervention? Speaking truth to the oppressed. Pp. 47-68 in Fassin, Didier (ed.) If Truth be Told: The Politics of Pubic Ethnography. Duke University.

Blaustein, Jarrett. (2015). Speaking Truths to Power: Policy Ethnography and Police Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Clarendon Studies in Criminology). UK: Oxford University Press.

Speaking truths to power describes an agenda for promoting discursive empowerment and representation through criminological research and engagement. It rejects the notion that the power politics of contact zones can or show be reduced to a single truth, be it empiricist or critical” Blaustein, 2015: 213). Nor is there a single truth waiting to be discovered, or disclosed in a Heideggerian sense, or spoken to the hegemonic elite. Rather the aim is to achieve ethical and empirical research within policy communities (p 207).

In short, there are many approaches to 'true storytelling. Next we look at the more empirical and philosophical ontologic approaches to true storytelling.

Charles Sanders Peirce (1940/1955: 19), Philosophical Writings of Peirce) says,

“The Hegelian system recognizes every natural tendency of thought as logical, although it can be certain to be abolished by counter-tendencies.” In other words, Hegel’s metaphysics counteracted his quest for dialectical spirit manifesting scientific reason led. Peirce made the case for scientific method being against the method of authority. 1st wave Grounded Theory is inductive inference without scientific method of experiment or investigation to falsify or even verify, inductive theory. 2nd and 3rd waves of Grounded Theory add to 1st wave, the method of authority, citing past theory, and the laborious content analysis procedures, but neither one is the same as scientific method.

Peirce also contrasted the practical side of logic of business, the logic of artistic feelings, and the dangerous reasoning of state power, with scientific reason and method that led to Law of truth for truth’s sake.  It is this later that we call ‘true storytelling.’ Peircean ‘true storytelling’ is an inquiry into “the reason of things” (Peirce, 1940/1950: 42).  Organizational Research Methods (ORM), its ‘true storytelling” is about the “love of learning” and “embodies all that is best worth knowing” by “investigating the truth of some question” about organizations (IBID. p. 43). In short, the true storytelling of ORM scientists wants to know the actual truth about an organizational question. For Peirce, dialectics does not supply an “inkling of the truth” because “the scientific imagination dreams of explanations and laws” in a “love of truth” (IBID. p. 44). 

An exaggerated regard for business profit, efficiency of power, is not the same as ‘true storytelling’ that promotes scientific progress. Profit, efficiency, and power, are means to any end (instrumental or utilitarian ethics).  Turning a public university into a business is bad for science because the business end of football and golf athletic programs is not coextensive with good scientific conduct.  The result is the folklore of scientific conduct masks the instruments of money for athletics, State budget gamesmanship, and administrative power politics, and all combine to overtake university life, “inquiring spirit must languish” (Peirce, 1940/1950: 45). 

ORM does inquire into the “truth of existence” develops propositions (or postulates) and acts to “deduce consequences of unsupported assumptions” (Peirce, 1940/1950: 45).  Our university master plan is full of assumptions unsupported by scientific methods of any sort of “real inquiry” (Peirce, 1940/1950: 46).   My diagrammatic double-spirals of university evolution deduce propositions about ‘true storytelling’ and invite testing in “positive inquiries” (Peirce, 1940/1950: 46).   My propositions: the public university is being run like a business, managed like a corporation, patenting faculty intellectual property, and making bets on the future of big football and pro golf courses revenues, enough to finance science and art, is not working out. Scientific spirit has become demoralized because the university is run like a business, concerning less with science or truth, and in particular, “inductive science is brought to a standstill” and there is widespread “frightful demoralization” (Peirce, 1940/1950: 47).  The weekly administrative narratives are retrospective rationalizations: “a sort of make believe reasoning which deceives itself in regard to its real character” (IBID.).  True storytelling has left campus. In its place is a “sham reasoning” without any experimental inquiry, just shamming downsizing after downsizing, or sacrificing Peter to pay Paul (Peirce, 1940/1950: 47).   The result I witness is “a rapid deterioration of intellectual vigor, very perceptible from one generation to the next” from one faculty and student generation to the next ((Peirce, 1940/1950: 48): “This is just what is taking place among us before our eyes.” A death spiral of budget decisions as public university comes to a “despicable end” due to bad bets on TV revenues for big football and belief that 27-hole golf course, shopping mall, and hotel will increase enrollment among the new generation of students (IBID.).

This “evolution of history”, and the “evolution of its science”, the transformation to the business model of running university, is blatant Social Darwinism, and not a “movement toward the truth” (Peirce, 1940/1950: 51).   There are more an more known facts and new observational resources where money is going, and not going, all testifying to ways the “process of scientific evolution” is no long love of reason and is being overwhelmed by “gospel of greed” (Buchler, 1940/1950: xiv) and bureaupathology (what Savall calls, TFW virus).   My fundamental hypothesis from retroductive inference (IBID. p. 56): The stratagem is cutting off scientific inquiry.

Peirce Multiplicity

“Freedom can only manifest itself in unlimited and uncontrolled variety and multiplicity; and thus the first becomes predominant in the ideas of measureless variety and multiplicity; It is the leading idea of Kant’s ‘manifold of sense’” (Peirce, p. 79).

Peirce says “introduction of imaginaries into geometry, as a false science…” (p. 136).

Peirce’s Rules of Multiplaction of Probabilities that are separate or independent (174).

For Peirce its about the “multiplication of instances: a case can confirm in probable deduction (p. 201).

“Multiple reiterated behaviour of the same kind, under similar combinations of percepts and fancies, produces a tendency —the habit—actually to behave in a similar way under similar circumstances in the future” (p. 284).

Multiplication in the age of reproduction (363)

“These different systems are distinguished by having different motives, ideas, or functions” (p. 28).

p. 118


“Since the time of Descartes, the defect in the conception of truth has been less apparent. Still, it will sometimes strike a scientific man that the philosophers have been less intent on finding out what the facts are, than on inquiring what belief is most in harmony with their system… The opinion which ifs fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate, is what we mean by the truth, and the object represented in this opinion is the real” (p. 38).

However, the infallibly true (p. 2) and to “give a true conclusion from true premisses, and not otherwise” (p.7).

“First, we never can be absolutely certain that any given deliverance really is inspired; for that can only be established by reasoning. We cannot even prove it with any very high degree of probability” (p. 57).

“All this is true of direct experience at its first presentation. But when it comes up to be criticized it is past, itself, and is represented by memory. Now the deceptions and inexactitude of memory are proverbial” (p. 58).

“Mathematics studies what is and what is not logically possible, without making itself responsible for its actual existence. Philosophy is a positive science, in the sense of discovering what really is true’ but it limits itself to so much of truth as can be inferred from common experience” (p. 60).


It is important to distinguish between forms of ontology, and quite different ways of ‘realism.’ Gergen (1988: 147) “opens a recent essay with the words: ‘In important respects, the drama of social constructionism has born of its opposition to a form of realism embodied in the dominant order of positivist/empiricist science.’ Unfortunately, however, not only does the rest of the essay fail to distinguish between forms of realism, but the usual conflation of realism and positivism or empiricism is evident” (Fleetwood, 2004: 31). Gergen dualizes realism with ‘social’ constructionism’ and sets ‘realism’ including critical realism, aside.


We would like to develop a summary of the 13 RPO's and how they approach 'true storytelling'.

Plato by negation:

Certainly this is true of Plato who gets at 'true storytelling' in a dialectic to negate false concepts. Kirkeby (2009: 50) includes "the true" as a core value of The Greek Square, along with the good,,the just, and the beautiful, in order to reach 'freedom.'

Figure 8: The Greek Square (adapted from Kirkeby, 2009: p. 50)

The protreptic guide, "must be the mirror for the other person" (Kirkeby, 2009: 61). In the Alcibaiades dialogue, pLote writes about the eye of one person viewing another;s eye, see itslef and that which "the virture of an eye is found to occur" and the "soul too - wisdom at any other port of a sould which resembles this" (as cited IBID., p. 51). The protreptic guide in dialectic conversation searches for the core values of The Greek Square (among others) to bring the person to sense of health and well-being, not to unmask them or do expose journalism (IBID, p. 75,p. 85). It is not about the guide defeating a dialectic opponent because the guide ia partner with the other. It is not about developing a narrative geneaology. Rather "protreptic only wants to follow the concept-analytical path, because narratives always create indirect approaches to values, noten not incorporating them, but blurring and distorting them by personal strategies of misconstruction" (IBID., p. 82-83).

"It is important that the protreptic dialogue aims at discovering the reasons why a misconception of a concept, and hencie probably of the denoted value, exists" (Kirkeby, 2009: 83).

What is ‘true’ storytelling

Big T History

Big T stands for Truth of history (HT), that is evidence-based, and some final narrative of history. I don’t think Big HT ever happens (Mallory, 2017: 6).

Historicality refers to what actually happened in the past, including all the events that occurred, all the who’s, when’s, where’s, and why’s involved. That history is unchanging, over, already happened, and future events have no impact at all. Historians don’t observe the past the way that participant observers or experimental psychologists, observe. In this sense, history Big T is impossible to see, and only dasein sees all.

Little ’s’ history is the ‘study’ of the past (Hs). It’s detective work, archaeology, gaining new facts of the past, for new interpretation of how and why such facts are relevant. We may find a variety of differs Hs versions of history (little truths), polyphonic, polylogical, polysemous. Some may come close to Big (HT), but with a plethora of evidence, its difficult to determine.

Ironically nothing about what actually happened in the past, has changed, but our Hs (little truths) have changed as artefacts, archives, diaries, and so are collected.

Much of ORM studies the key informants, particularly the leaders, CEOs, generals, captains of industry, chancellors of universities, etc., the artefacts of the rich and famous (their paintings, ornate costumes, biographies, autobiographies, annual reports, films, and so on) and this leaves everyone else, the workers, the middle managers, assistants, faculty, students, the suppliers, and so on, left out of history. Microstoria (Boje, 2001) tries to remedy this by using archives and so on to put Little ’s’ (Hs) together for how the little people, went against the grain of the dominant class.

As ORM improves, the focus on just the key informants changes and the auxiliary assumptions (a1 & a2 sets) expanded, to include a wider variety of storytellers, their living stories, from their standpoint, and a wider set of audiences (young, popular, academic, varied disciplines of social science, and so on). This results in what I call ‘together-telling’ more an ensemble of folks storytelling an organization.

Historical materialism, assumes the conditions of work, their organization, produce the necessities of life. Hs changes and so did our Marxist conclusions.

Big T Truths in Hegelian dialectical methods come form Spirit manifesting in the world, or from God. But if we do together-telling then a multiplicity of people (and many spirits) make up lots of studies of History (Hs). When people assume they have found Big T (Truth), its something to be skeptical about. It may be one more small truth (Hs) in a variety of them.

The different Streams of organizational research methods (ORM) posit different approaches to ‘true storytelling’ be it Big Truth History (HT) of little truth history studies (Hs).

“Neils Bohr is reputed to have observed that the opposite of a small truth is an error, but the opposite of a big truth is another big truth. In any event, there are few “ (Dumont, 2010; 70).

“The frustration of philosophers and novelists who turned to history to know the truth emanated from the polarity they recognised between the way of the hedgehog and the way of the fox. Like Tolstoy, they wished to know the one big truth and found themselves forced to know many. The frustration of scientists who turned to history to know the truth emanated from the insistence upon forging precise links of Cause and Effect… The too, sought the one big truth and found many”(Handlin, 1980: p. 110) 

What is Big Truth and ‘little truth’ in Plato?

The Greek square: good, true, just, and beautiful

In Plato’s Republic, “a true argument is the representation of a human life in a State perfected by justice, and governed according to the idea of good” (p. 10). Truth is mentioned 285 times in the Republic. the dialectical method proceeds “by making mutual admissions of the truth to one another” (Introduction 20).

“… books professing to be written by Musaeus and Orpheus, and carry away the minds of whole cities, and promise to "get souls out of purgatory;"and if we refuse to listen to them, no one knows what will happen to us. When a lively-minded ingenuous youth hears all this, what will be his conclusion? "Will he,"in the language of Pindar, "make justice his high tower, or fortify himself with crooked deceit?"Justice, he reflects, without the appearance of justice, is misery and ruin; injustice has the promise of a glorious life. Appearance is master of truth and lord of happiness. To appearance then I will turn,–I will put on the show of virtue and trail behind me the fox of Archilochus. I hear some one saying that "wickedness is not easily concealed,"to which I reply that "nothing great is easy."Union and force and rhetoric will do much; and if men say that they cannot prevail over the gods, still how do we know that there are gods?” (Introduction pp. 24-25).

“We know that all human actions are imperfect; but we do not therefore attribute them to the worse rather than to the better motive or principle. Such a philosophy is both foolish and false, like that opinion of the clever rogue who assumes all other men to be like himself. And theories of this sort do not represent the real nature of the State, which is based on a vague sense of right gradually corrected and enlarged by custom and law (although capable also of perversion), any more than they describe the origin of society, which is to be sought in the family and in the social and religious feelings of man. Nor do they represent the average character of individuals, which cannot be explained simply on a theory of evil, but has always a counteracting element of good. And as men become better such theories appear more and more untruthful to them, because they are more conscious of their own disinterestedness. A little experience may make a man a cynic; a great deal will bring him back to a truer and kindlier view of the mixed nature of himself and his fellow men” (Introduction 26).

“I mean that children hear stories before they learn gymnastics, and that the stories are either untrue, or have at most one or two grains of truth in a bushel of falsehood” (Introduction 30).

“Plato rather startles us by affirming that a child must be trained in falsehood first and in truth afterwards” (Introduction 30).

“And why, when we are seeking for justice, a thing more precious than many pieces of gold, do you say that we are weakly yielding to one another and not doing our utmost to get at the truth? Nay, my good friend, we are most willing and anxious to do so, but the fact is that we cannot. And if so, you people who know all things should pity us and not be angry with us” (Plato Book I: 188).

“With these words I was thinking that I had made an end of the discussion; but the end, in truth, proved to be only a beginning. For Glaucon, who is always the most pugnacious of men, was dissatisfied at Thrasymachus’ retirement; he wanted to have the battle out. So he said to me: Socrates, do you wish really to persuade us, or only to seem to have persuaded us, that to be just is always better than to be unjust?” (Plato Book II: 211).

“For what men say is that, if I am really just and am not also thought just profit there is none, but the pain and loss on the other hand are unmistakeable. But if, though unjust, I acquire the reputation of justice, a heavenly life is promised to me. Since then, as philosophers prove, appearance tyrannizes over truth and is lord of happiness, to appearance I must devote myself” (Plato Book II: 217).

“On what principle, then, shall we any longer choose justice rather than the worst injustice? when, if we only unite the latter with a deceitful regard to appearances, we shall fare to our mind both with gods and men, in life and after death, as the most numerous and the highest authorities tell us. Knowing all this, Socrates, how can a man who has any superiority of mind or person or rank or wealth, be willing to honour justice; or indeed to refrain from laughing when he hears justice praised? And even if there should be some one who is able to disprove the truth of my words, and who is satisfied that justice is best, still he is not angry with the unjust, but is very ready to forgive them, because he also knows that men are not just of their own free will; unless, peradventure, there be some one whom the divinity within him may have inspired with a hatred of injustice, or who has attained knowledge of the truth–but no other man. He only blames injustice who, owing to cowardice or age or some weakness, has not the power of being unjust. And this is proved by the fact that when he obtains the power, he immediately becomes unjust as far as he can be” (Plato Book II: 218).

“At present, I said, the students of philosophy are quite young; beginning when they are hardly past childhood, they devote only the time saved from moneymaking and housekeeping to such pursuits; and even those of them who are reputed to have most of the philosophic spirit, when they come within sight of the great difficulty of the subject, I mean dialectic, take themselves off. In after life when invited by some one else, they may, perhaps, go and hear a lecture, and about this they make much ado, for philosophy is not considered by them to be their proper business: at last, when they grow old, in most cases they are extinguished more truly than Heracleitus’ sun, inasmuch as they never light up again. (Heraclitus said that the sun was extinguished every evening and relighted every morning” (Book VI: 357).

“And when I speak of the other division of the intelligible, you will understand me to speak of that other sort of knowledge which reason herself attains by the power of dialectic, using the hypotheses not as first principles, but only as hypotheses–that is to say, as steps and points of departure into a world which is above hypotheses, in order that she may soar beyond them to the first principle of the whole; and clinging to this and then to that which depends on this, by successive steps she descends again without the aid of any sensible object, from ideas, through ideas, and in ideas she ends.

I understand you, he replied; not perfectly, for you seem to me to be describing a task which is really tremendous; but, at any rate, I understand you to say that knowledge and being, which the science of dialectic contemplates, are clearer than the notions of the arts, as they are termed, which proceed from hypotheses only: these are also contemplated by the understanding, and not by the senses: yet, because they start from hypotheses and do not ascend to a principle, those who contemplate them appear to you not to exercise the higher reason upon them, although when a first principle is added to them they are cognizable by the higher reason. And the habit which is concerned with geometry and the cognate sciences I suppose that you would term understanding and not reason, as being intermediate between opinion and reason.” (Book VII: 372-373).

“And so, Glaucon, I said, we have at last arrived at the hymn of dialectic. This is that strain which is of the intellect only, but which the faculty of sight will nevertheless be found to imitate; for sight, as you may remember, was imagined by us after a while to behold the real animals and stars, and last of all the sun himself. And so with dialectic; when a person starts on the discovery of the absolute by the light of reason only, and without any assistance of sense, and perseveres until by pure intelligence he arrives at the perception of the absolute good, he at last finds himself at the end of the intellectual world, as in the case of sight at the end of the visible” (Book VII: 391).


“Then dialectic, and dialectic alone, goes directly to the first principle and is the only science which does away with hypotheses in order to make her ground IDPH 393 secure; the eye of the soul, which is literally buried in an outlandish slough, is by her gentle aid lifted upwards; and she uses as handmaids and helpers in the work of conversion, the sciences which we have been discussing. Custom terms them sciences, but they ought to have some other name, implying greater clearness than opinion and less clearness than science: and this, in our previous sketch, was called understanding. But why should we dispute about names when we have realities of such importance to consider? (Book VI: 392-393).

“And do you also agree, I said, in describing the dialectician as one who attains a conception of the essence of each thing? And he who does not possess and is therefore unable to impart this conception, in whatever degree he fails, may in that degree also be said to fail in intelligence? Will you admit so much?” (Book VI: 393).

“Dialectic, then, as you will agree, is the coping-stone of the sciences, and is set over them; no other science can be placed higher–the nature of knowledge can no further go?” (Book VI: 394).


“And are we assured, after looking at the matter from many points of view, that absolute being is or may be absolutely known, but that the utterly non-existent is utterly unknown?

Nothing can be more certain.

Good. But if there be anything which is of such a nature as to be and not to be, that will have a place intermediate between pure being and the absolute negation of being?

Yes, between them. And, as knowledge corresponded to being and ignorance of necessity to not being, for that intermediate between being and not-being there has to be discovered a corresponding intermediate between ignorance and knowledge, if there be such?

Certainly” (Book V: 337).

“Then what will you do with them? I said. Can they have a better place than between being and not-being? For they are clearly not in greater darkness or negation than not-being, or more full of light and existence than being” (Book V: 340).


Dumont, Frank (2010.) A History of Personality Psychology: Theory, Science, and Research from HELLENISM TO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURRY. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS.

Handlin, Oscar. (198). Truth History. New Brunswick, NJ and London UK: Transaction Publishers.

Mallory, Frank. (2017). What is history? The Veteran (Vietnam Veterans Against the War). Fall. Vol. 47 (# 2): p. 6.


Hegel by negation (note some protagonist authos apply negation, others apply snytheses, e.g. Savall and Follett):

What is 'true storytelling' in Hegelian dialectic? With the 'negation of the negation' the long historical development is the abstract spirit begins to materialize in the world, achieving reason and science, the 'true' 'crown of the spirit'

Marx by negation:

Feuerbach "To remove this disturbance, he must take refuge in a double perception, a profane one which only perceives the "flatly obvious" and a higher, philosophical, one which perceives the "true essence" of things. He does not see how the sensuous world around him is, not a thing given direct from all eternity, remaining ever the same, but the product of industry and of the state of society; and, indeed, in the sense that it is an historical product, the result of the activity of a whole succession of generations, each standing on the shoulders of the preceding one, developing its industry and its intercourse, modifying its social system according to the changed needs" (Marx, Critique of The German Ideology).

"The reality, which communism is creating, is precisely the true basis for rendering it impossible that anything should exist independently of individuals, insofar as reality is only a product of the preceding intercourse of individuals themselves" (IBID.).

"... in a way peculiar to Hegelian dialectic. For to the theological critic it seems quite natural that everything has to be done by philosophy, so that he can chatter away about purity, resoluteness, and quite critical criticism; and he fancies himself the true conqueror of philosophy whenever he happens to feel some element [4] in Hegel to be lacking in Feuerbach – for however much he practises the spiritual idolatry of “self-consciousness” and “mind” the theological critic does not get beyond feeling to consciousness.)" (Preface to Economic Phiosophical Manuscripts of 1844).

Follett by positive dialectics:

By her Law of the Situation, the situation is the 'invisible leader' and by co-inquiry into the facts of the situation, people arrive at convergence on a unity of their differences, so that conflicts over truth are resolved, and a common direction is possible.

Heidegger by positive dialectics:

Ontically, Heidegger (1962: #12) "Science in general may be defined as the totality established through an
interconnection of true propositions. This definition is not complete, nor does it reach the meaning of science. As ways in which man behaves, sciences have the manner of Being which this entity-man himself- possesses.This entity we denote by the term 'Dasein'"

"Here "Being-ontological" is not yet tantamount to "developing an ontology". So if we should reserve the term "ontology" for that theoretical inquiry which is explicitly devoted to the meaning of entities, then what we have had in mind in speaking of Dasein's "Being-ontological" is to be designated as something "pre-ontological". It does not signify simply"being-ontical", however, but rather "being in such a way that one has an understanding of Being"" (Heidegger, 1962: #12).

Heidegger wants to destroy to older dialectic traditions (Plato, Aristotle, etc.): "The question of Being does not achieve its true concreteness until we have carried through the process of destroying the ontological tradition" (Heidegger, 1962: #26-27).

Dialectic-synthesis is not construed as consensus nor is it representation of psychic inside opposed by physical outside: "Furthermore, because the is a letting-something-be-seen, it can therefore be true or false. But here everything depends on our steering clear of any conception of truth which is construed in the sense of 'agreement'... Here "synthesis" does not mean a binding and linking together of representations, a manipulation of psychical occurrences where the 'problem'... arises of how these bindings, as something inside, agree with something' physical outside" (# 33).

True storytelling would include revealing, taking entity out of its hiddenness: "The 'Being-true' of the ,,, means that in ... as..., the entities of which one is ... must be taken out of their hiddenness ; one must let them be seen as something unbidden" (#33).

Deseverance gets at true storytelling: "The circumspective de-severing of Dasein' s everydayness reveals the Being-in-itself of the 'true world'-of that entity which Dasein, as something existing, is already alongside" (#107).

"When does truth become phenomenally explicit in knowledge itself? It does so when such knowing demonstrates itself as true. By demonstrating itself it is assured of its truth. Thus in the phenomenal
context of demonstration, the relationship of agreement must become visible" (#217).

Being-in-the-world: "True storytelling is letting the entity be seen in its uncoveredness (unhidden) in 'Being-uncovering": "To say that an assertion "is true" signifies that it uncovers the entity as it is in itself... Being-true as Being-uncovering, is in turn ontologically possible only on the basis of Being-in-the-world" (#219).

Directionality: "The adequacy of holding-for-true is measured according to the truth claim to which it belongs. Such a claim gets its justification from the kinof Being of the end tity to be disclosed, and from the direction of the disclosure... Holding something for true is adequate as a way of maintaining oneself in the truth, if it is grounded in the uncovered entity itself, and if, as Being towards the entity so uncovered, it has become transparent to itself as regards its appropriateness to that entity" (#256).

Being-certain of true storytelling. "The primordial truth of existence demands an equiprimordial Being-certain, in which one maintains oneself in what resoluteness discloses. lt1 gives itself the current factical Situation, and brings itself into that Situation. The Situation cannot be calculated in advance or presented like something present-at-hand which is waiting for someone to grasp it" (#307-308).

Heidegger gets at true storytelling in historicality of history rather than shall historicity that passes for storytelling, especially in the hustle and bustle of organizations, with no spacetime for reflection. Heidegger gets at true storytelling with Daisen's authentic Being-in-the-world. Merleau-Ponty (The Visible and the Invisible, p. 94, as cited in Kirkeby, 2009: 43-44) develops the notion of 'hyper-dialectic' that is useful for our exploration of true storytelling:

"What we call hyper-dialectic is a thought that, on the contrary is capable of reaching truth because it envisages without restriction the plurality of the relationships and what has been called ambiguity. The bad dialectic is that which thinks it recomposes being by a thetic thought, bu and assemblage of statements, by thesis, antithesis, and synthesis; the good dialectic is that which is conscious of the fact that every thesis is an idealization, tha Being is not made up of idealizations or of things said... but of bound wholes where signifcation never is except in tendency" (Kirkeby, 2009: 43-44).

I like how Merleau-Ponty rejects the classic thesis-antithesis-synthesis model of dialectic. In most of Hegel, my read, is he too rejects it, but has a progressive telology in which the spiritual begins often in abstract, gains manifestation, and reason is worked out in experiment after experiment, rejecting deadends, until some sense of truth remains (for a while). For Bhaskar, the real is greater than the empirics of sensemaking, and the actual event-ness, aiming at something more universal, more spiritual and enchanted, and non-dualistic, which is what Hegel had wanted to achieve.

"disturbing our epistemological habits with a sufficient level of agitation to enable us to begin to recognize our immanent, relational and inherently open-ended condition; of being a system set within wider systems without end" (Chia & Holt, 2009, p. 90)

Chia, R., & Holt, R. (2009). Strategy Without Design: The silent efficacy of indirect action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Latour: by positive multiplicity assemblage of actors and actants

Barad: by positive multiplicity agential realism

Bhaskar (positive dialectics of stratified open systems and fractal scales)

Zizek: by negation dialectics

Brier->Peirce and ->Luhmann - positive multiplicity

Deleuze -> early career is positive multiplicities in order to reverse the negative of Plato and Hegel' Later career writing with Guattari is negative multiplicites (in use of psychoanalytic and schizophrenic ontological methods).





The Oxford Dictionary has declared 'post-truth' the new word of 2016. They define post-truth as "an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief" (source).

My narrative and my living story existence are necessarily false in the post-truth era of multiple narratives and their counternarratives. Post-truth is not new! We have not just entered the post-truth era, because the political pundits were surprised by the election of Donald Trump, or aghast that his follows apparently do not care if the facts of Trumps speeches and Tweets are oftentimes, not factual. We live in a era of multiple narrativesand people no longer expect or claim a common truth. Post-truth is not new. We have always in the US lived in a nation of multiple narratives, one for the Native American community, another for the white community, another for the black community, another for Hispanic community, another for each gender, and another for every immigrant community, and so on. With the popularity of relativistic social constructivism, post-truth becomes multiple narratives in search of a common ground that does not exist. In George Orwellian society where in modern times, many people get their knowledge from the 'University of Google' and in "Wag the Dog, Barry Levinson’s movie satire of 1997, which describes the 'pageant' of a fictional war invented to distract attention from a presidential sex scandal":

"Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else ….Whatever the Party holds to be truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. ...  You must get rid of those nineteenth-century ideas about the laws of Nature. We make the laws of Nature” (Mathew d'Ancona, Guardian, May 2017).

Organizational research is in crisis in the post-truth world In organizational research, if we compose our inquiry with like-minded Anglo folks, then they will produce a monological narrative of the organization that is different from the narrative of a group of non-Anglo folks.Each group of like minded folks finds the facts to support their narrative, or hires a researcher to sell them the facts they need. In short, Anglo narrative is not the only narrative. In an inter-inquiry-group research meeting, it is unlikely these various monologic narratives will agree upon 'reality.' Can there be substantial agreement in a multi-narrative world on a singlar narrative. More likely there is narrative and counter-narrative dialectic in our multiple narrative. People go to the source of media to confirm what they already beleive rather than challenging thier own reality.

"Our problem is not primarily with what truth means but how and by whom truth is established. Truth used to seem simple because it was easy to assume that most of what we thought to be true really was true, that things were as they seemed, that the wisdom passed down the generations was timeless... To rebuild belief in the power and value of truth, we can’t dodge its complexity. Truths can be and often are difficult to understand, discover, explain, verify. They are also disturbingly easy to hide, distort, abuse or twist. Often we cannot claim with any certainty to know the truth. We need to take stock of the various kinds of real and supposed truths out there and understand how to test their authenticity" (Julian Baggini, September 2017 Guardian)

Just the facts, does not take us out of the world of multiple narrative and the regimes of truth imposted by the powerful on the less powerful. Just the facts, would reduce organizational research to empiricism. Post-truth storytelling is a shift form fact-based to fiction-based storytelling, in order to be persuasive, add some drama, an emotional appeal. Going to ground, organizational storytelling researchrs can inquire into the deeped storytelling, the beneath and below, where a publicly-unknown storyteller is framing and coaching the leader's storytelling.

"So why is a post-truth, evidence-rejecting public so beguiling? Because, I’m afraid, it flatters timidity and easy populism. Big decisions are hard. Policymaking is not straightforward. There are always trade-offs, mitigating factors and politics to contend with and these are difficult to communicate. Facts and evidence are disruptive too. They don’t always fit easily with scoring points or appealing to prejudices in debates about immigration, drugs or prison sentences. Sometimes they’re just hard work to explain. The idea of a post-truth public is an excuse to run from all this" (Tracey Brown, Guardian, 2016).

Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, then Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair, and now Donald Trump, had their favorite hidden storyteller, behind the veil, and it was none other than Friedrich August von Hayek. Hayek's heroic narrative of ruthless Titan-entrepreneurs who would be unrestricted and unregulated by government, and provide the little people with 'trickle-down' 'free market, 'economic dividends' --- had great appeal to these political leaders. It was the socio-economic montra of Joseph Schumpeter's model of entrepreneurship fo creative-destruction, as well as, Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism, survival of the economically-fittest, long before. Hayek assumed that customers were rational, optimizers of market efficiency. Now President Trump is the selfish savior storyteller, the embodiment of heroic entrepreneur reaping creative destruction on government, in order to crate free-market competition. The invisible storytellers, behind to visible leader, run the world.

There are of course many counterstories and counternarratives. Cutthroat competition brings about its own inefficiency, despite Schumpeter's preference for monopoloy capitalism. I work in a public university notorious for spectacular bureaucratic competition that is at the same time outsourcing, downsizing, and reengineering to become leaner and meaner competitor. Without regulation, universities, are able to rationalize giving tuition assistant to the least needy, in order to raise their ranking in academic achievement. Governors in Illinois and here, who have cut state funding to public educaiton have weaked the market infrastrcuture, as less students from their state attain higher education, and become the sought-after entrepreneurs of creative destruction. The selfishness of business process reengineering applied to public universities (& private) hinders democratic governance, and democratic participation in solutions to unleash human potential to de-bureaucratize and de-layer administrative gloat of universities (see chapter on Savall socio-economic democracy, and Follett's chapter on socio-economic capitalism). Very few universities make any money by Regents investing in football and basketball, in lucrative TV deals. Most go into debt attempting to boost enrollment by boosting athleticts for TV. Few intellectual property entreprenur incubator centers are able to transfer enough faculty and student intellectual propoerty fo sale to coprate bidders, to pay for the costs of their infrastructure and administrative personnel. Few investments in golf course, shopping mall, and hotel complexes on a campus pay the bills. The reason why there is downsizing and reengineering can be, but certainly not here, to save money in faculty salaries to have more money to manage the non-academic enterprises of the campus (and its intrastructure of facilities, grounds, maintenance, buildings, etc.).

In the post-truth era we canot trust leaders self-serving storytelling about heroic entrepreneurship. The Hayek-entrepreneurial storytelling has diminished 'real storytelling's' important connection to democracy. Not the once-every-four-years voting, for pre-selected lobby-sanctioned candidates, who can afford to run. Rather, following Follett, creating direct democracy of local citizen groups, and direct democracy of workers and managers both involved in democratic-governance of capitalist enterprises.For Follett direct democracy, as we have seen, is a network of groups, accountable, trained, and involved in governance.

Today's storytelling ecosystem has tilted in favor of multiple narratives, and the kind of enterpreneur-heroes of individualism, where, according to former President Obama, in the new media (facebook, Twitter, etc.) "everything is true and nothing is true" (source).

University presidents, chancellors, provosts, and boards of regents are being schooled in Hayek unrestricted enterpreneurship as a heroic business model, called academic capitalism ('the university is a business, so run it like one, with market efficiency outcomes for the rational-consumer-student').

In organization storytelling, we can initiate a beginner's inquiry, being skeptical about the surface narrative ever matching the deeper narrative of non-leaders' living story life. We as organizational researchers can miss the story. Leaders are going over the head of their collective stakeholders to fashion a singular narrative.

Given the socioeconomic death spiral, the crisis of the 1970s oil embargo, the 2008 mortgage banking crisis, the recent 2015-2017 collapse of public education budgets in the US and worldwide --- leaders of many institutions are tempted to engage in post-truth storytelling, to put a positive cover, a spin on their encounter with the abyss.

There is something naive about calling for 'facts' as the basis of 'true storytelling.'




There are multiple ontologies, and one adding to esisting ones. These multiple relational processontologies are interacting in organizations.

David Boje - Storytelling Process Model blog post

Figure 9: Process Model of Organizational Storytelling Systems

Unlike Kant's a priori universal and transcendental space and time, I am focused on spacetimemattering (Barad, 2007), and on how in Heidegger (1962) the future arrives into the present, and the past arrives into the present, and the present keeps changing our rendering of the past and the future. And time is not separable from space, nor from mattering, thus the term spacetimemattering.