I am a qualitative researcher—working within a constructivist ontology and an interpretivist epistemology—engaged in building theory through organisational ethnography and developing methodological practice fit for colliding the online/offline world.
My research focuses on alternative organising and explores a range of approaches which reject mainstream markers of economic production and competitive individualism. Adopting an interpretive approach which finds greatest sympathy with the experiences of the organised, I see individuals as knowledgeable agents embedded in historical and institutional settings. My theorising is motivated by a desire to understand individual experiences of alternative organisational discourses and practices. Working with ethnographically-framed methodologies (often adapted for colliding the online/offline world) my research takes aim at new empirical realities, contemporary subjectivities, the co-transformative power that digital technologies have over how we experience life and work.
My doctoral research (2016-2019) focused on alternative organising and undertook a netnography of #AlteritOrg (a pseudonym), an online community of practice of organisational development theorists and practitioners.
The thesis interrogates “organising for alterity” and presents a critical analysis of #AlteritOrg, a community of practice whose members coalesce around the hope of “reinventing organisations” such that they better amplify human dignity. The community draws on the work of Frederic Laloux (2014) in which he proposes Teal Organising as a specific response to a changing social and organisational paradigm. Sitting towards the edge of the domain typically taken up by critical organisational scholarship, the thesis demonstrates the rich empirical data available in alternative sites and the opportunities for developing knowledge about organising for alterity in such contexts. It proposes eight qualitative markers (articulated as "alterious barèmes") which articulate the principles and practices of #AlteritOrg and, in so doing, help theorise organising for alterity.
My research strategy advances empirical research and methodological innovation. This has two practical foci.
(1) Establishing an “Alternative Organising Hub”, connecting researchers across research traditions and making a significant contribution to this field by building empirical and theoretical resources.
(2) Interrogating the ethnographic imperative of “being there”, premised on changing demands on researchers to engage with research sites that have no physical form and in a social context in which technological developments reshape human experience of the temporal dimensions of organisational discourses and practices.