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Journal Issue
Volume 10 Issue 1 / Jan 2012  pp1‑52

Editor: Ann Brown

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The Use of Narratives to Reveal the Secret Data of Organisational Life  pp1‑8

Andrew Armitage, Alan Thornton

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This paper considers the use of narrative exchanges in the form of letters and conversations as a legitimate research method when collecting “secret data” within organisational settings. It refers to narrative exchanges the authors’ undertook over a three‑month period, regarding their different perspectives on their University Staff Appraisal System. It explores personal tensions and anxieties that reside within the “secret data” of organisational life. It also reveals a concern regarding “professional commitments” with colleagues and the “managerial” edicts that dominate their work environment. From a “critical management” perspective, the paper initially provides an overview of the postmodern position and its impact upon organisational power relationships and knowledge, as individuals strive to attain and gain their authentic, personal voice within the domination of modernistic organisations. It then explains the methodological approach used for the narrative exchanges and describes the context and relationship of the two colleagues. Commencing from a discussion of organisational policy and postmodernist critiques the conversations increasingly developed into a dialogical meditation on the relationship between “self” and “other”. These narratives revealed, through their autographical, autobiographical and at times surreal discourses, messages that are often absent from conventional research data. The paper concludes with a perspective regarding critical management in which individual values, dignity, honesty and respect are upheld. Thus, narrative exchanges of this kind allow dialogical conversations in which statements are agreed, accepted, challenged or sometimes synthesised to be used as a means to explore and collect legitimate “secret data” of organisational life within an environment that respects the ethical and value systems of the participants engaged in narrative exchanges. 


Keywords: postmodern, surrealism, autography, autobiography, aesthetic, individual voice, critical turn


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Mixed Methods: Combining Expert Interviews, Cross‑Impact Analysis and Scenario Development  pp9‑21

Matthias Muskat, Deborah Blackman, Birgit Muskat.

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The Multidisciplinary Nature of Business Strategy: Suggesting a Rhizome Paradigm  pp22‑33

Eli Noy, Aim Deulle Luski

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The Effect of Misspecification of Reflective and Formative Constructs in Operations and Manufacturing Management Research  pp34‑52

Subhadip Roy, Monideepa Tarafdar, T.S. Ragu-Nathan, Erica Marsillac

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