Imagination Lab
 
Working Papers
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2001-2006 Imagination Lab Foundation published a Working Paper series. These papers should be considered preliminary in nature and subject to subsequent revision. However, many of these papers have subsequently been published in international academic journals, including Sloan Management Review, Long-Range Planning, Journal of Management Inquiry, British Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Culture and Organization, Human Relations, Organisation Studies, Social Epistemology, International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, European Management Review and European Management Journal.

2006 WP 74 Deep Impact: Boosting Action Learning
  WP 73 Transformative Management Education
  WP 72 On Spontaneity
  WP 71 Practical Wisdom: A Philosophical and Practical Basis for Dealing Ethically with Unexpected Change
  WP 70 Practical Wisdom and Serious Play
   
2005 WP 69 Developing Practically Wise Leaders through Serious Play
WP 68 Practical Wisdom and the Normativity of Strategy Practices
WP 67 Performing Strategy: Analogical Reasoning as a Strategic Practice
WP 66 Practical Wisdom: Integrating Ethics and Effectiveness in Organizations
WP 64 Kurt Lewin on Re-Education: Foundations for Action Research 
WP 63 Re-framing Strategic Preparedness: An Essay on Practical Wisdom
WP 62 Strategy as Practical Wisdom
WP 61 Organizational Identity as a Strategic Practice
WP 60 Generating Responsible Commitment
WP 59 Evoking Metis: Questioning the Logics of Change, Responsiveness, Meaning and Action in           Organizations
   
2004
WP 58 Play and the Creative Arts: A Review of Concepts and Techniques in the Psychotherapeutic Tradition
WP 57 Constructing Shared Understanding: The Role of Embodied Metaphors in Organization Development
WP 56 Sound from Silence: On Listening in Organizational Learning
WP 55 Developing Guiding Principles Through Dialogue
WP 54 Towards a Technology of Foolishness: Developing Scenarios through Serious Play
WP 53 The Fragile Beauty of Work Well Done
WP 52 Constructing Organizational Identity
WP 51 From Metaphor to Practice: In the Crafting of Strategy
WP 50 Analogical Reasoning as a Practice of Strategy
WP 49 Créativité et Identité Organisationnnelle
WP 48 Sparking Strategic Imagination
WP 47 Decision Making in High Velocity Environments: The Importance of Guiding Principles
WP 46 Playing Seriously with Science Strategy
WP 45 Answers for Questions to Come: Reflective Dialogue as an Enabler of Strategic Innovation
WP 44 I Matter: Remaining the First Person in Strategy Research
WP 43 Strategy Creation as Serious Play
WP 42 Playing Seriously with Strategy
WP 41 The Role of Listening in Organizational Learning
 
2003 WP 40 Constructing Organizational Identity
WP 39 The Fragile Beauty of Work Well Done
WP 38 Illustrating the Need for Practical Wisdom
WP 37 Decision Making in High Velocity Environments: The Importance of Guiding Principles
WP 36 From Metaphor to Practice
WP 35 Developing Guiding Principles through Dialogue
WP 34 Dealing with the unexpected. Critical incidents in the LEGO Mindstorms team
WP 33 Case study: modeling how their business really works prepares managers for sudden change
WP 32 Playing Seriously with Strategy
WP 31 Studying Organization Identity Empirically: A Review
WP 30 Organizational Identity and Strategy
WP 29 Organizational Responsiveness Through Dialogue
WP 28 Ambiguity at Work Scenario Development through Serious Play
WP 27 Collective Virtuosity: An Aesthetic Experience in Groups
WP 26 Decision Making in High Velocity Environments: The Importance of Guiding Principles
WP 25 Dear Prudence: An Essay on Practical Wisdom in Strategy Making
WP 24 Framing Strategy Processes as Serious Play
WP 23 Active Responsiveness through Adaptive Play: Casting New Light on Strategy Genesis
 
2002 WP 22 From Metaphor to Practice in the Crafting of Strategy
WP 21 Dealing with the Unexpected: Critical Incidents in the LEGO Mindstorms Team
WP 20 LEGO Speaks
WP 19 Images of Strategy
WP 18 A Place to Play: Innovating the Practice of Strategy Research
WP 17 Ain't Misbehavin': Taking Play Seriously in Organizations
WP 16 Images of Strategy
WP 15 Committing to Strategy
WP 14 Organizational Identitiy, Imagination and Strategy
WP 13 Organizational Heuristics: More than Simple Rules
WP 12 Collective Virtuosity: Reclaiming Aesthetic Experience in Teams
WP 11 A Place to Play, Re-defining Strategy Research
 
2001 WP 10 Dealing with Surprises: Collaborating in an Alliance Team
WP 09 From Metaphor to Practice In the Crafting of Strategy
WP 08 Leadership as Collective Virtuosity
WP 07 Building Coherence in a Self-Managed Team: The Development of LEGO Mindstorms
WP 06 Naturally Identifiable: Totemism and Organizational Identity
WP 05 Managerial Intentionality in Strategy Making
WP 04 The 'Self' in Self-Organization
WP 03 Glissement: From Gaming to Playing
WP 02 Play in Organizations
WP 01 Playing with Strategy
 
2006
 
WP 74 Deep Impact: Boosting Action Learning
WP 74
Action learning is an integral part of many management programs, especially in executive education. Action dedication to the task at hand, collective activities and deep free questioning of basic assumptions of practice have been put forward as common denominators for action learning. In this essay we add the method of active imagination within a state of spontaneity to achieve deep impact in a short time span, as illustrated by action learning sessions based a constructionistic and dramatic learning process.
 
WP 73 Transformative Management Education
WP 73
Educational experiences may become transformative when they boost participants’ capacity to intuit and improvise with imagination, which can be done by combining the benefits of playful construction work with spontaneous drama. In this chapter I ground this claim in humanistic theories and illustrate its practice with two executive education sessions designed for this purpose. Finally, I reflect on these sessions in light of the previous discussion and offer a few simple guiding principles for educators who want to move in this direction.
 
WP 72 On Spontaneity
WP 72
Although people often use it to describe an intuitive familiar experience, Ospontaneity remains an ambiguous and theoretically ill-defined concept. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the ontological, epistemological and ethical status of spontaneity, and to relate it to theories of decision-making. We define spontaneity as an emergent, psychological state of heightened attention to the environment combined with increased self-awareness of thought and feelings, during which people are ready to immediately decide to act (or not to act) responsibly. From this definition we distinguish spontaneity from related ones (instinct, impulsivity, improvisation, and intuition) and briefly discuss its implications for decision-making theory. Finally, we draw a handful of conclusions about the nature of the concept of spontaneity as discussed in this paper.
 
WP 71 Practical Wisdom:
A Philosophical and Practical Basis for Dealing Ethically with Unexpected Change
WP 71
This paper deliberates about the preparedness of organizations. If we assume a stable world (with islands of instability), preparedness becomes an outcome of knowledge and prediction. If we assume an instable world (with islands of stability), preparedness becomes an ongoing practice to sustain the organization in the face of unexpected change. If we assume that the level of threat from unexpected change is infinite and that there are limits to how much resource we can use to prepare ourselves to meet such threats, decisions to act (and not to act) are inevitably based on value judgments, which suggest and inherent ethical dimension of preparedness. The Aristotelian concept of practical wisdom helps us frame and understand both how to think about preparedness and the practical wisdom associated with it. These deliberations result in questions about both leadership and strategy practice.
 
WP 70 Practical Wisdom and Serious Play
WP 70
While ancient Greek philosophers saw scientific understanding and practical wisdom as distinct, yet complementary forms of knowledge, contemporary management theory has focused almost exclusively on the discovery of abstract, scientific laws and principles. This essay shows however that the ethical normativity, aesthetic judgment and embodied experience associated with practical wisdom are becoming increasingly relevant to management theory, and it identifies serious play as an experiential process that can contribute to the development of practical wisdom in organizations. 
 
 
2005
   
WP 69 Developing Practically Wise Leaders through Serious Play
WP 69

The contemporary challenge of leadership has been framed in terms of dealing authentically, ethically and effectively with the complexity and uncertainty of organizational life.  In this paper, we draw on research in the fields of psychology and philosophy to introduce practical wisdom as a new way to conceptualize optimal leadership practice.  We go on to propose that practically wise leaders can be effectively developed using serious play techniques.  We present empirical data to illustrate this proposition and we close by outlining several implications for the field of consulting psychology.

 
WP 68 Practical Wisdom and the Normativity of Strategy Practices
WP 68
The strategy-as-practice research literature has sought to develop greater understanding of what strategists actually do in organizations (cf. Johnson et al, 2003).  However the normativity of practice has not yet been adequately conceptualized by strategy scholars.  In this paper, we introduce practical wisdom as a conceptual framework that enables both description of, and deliberation about the normativity of strategy practices.  We present a case illustration involving strategy practices among the senior HR executives in a Fortune 500 multinational firm.  We then discuss the case in reference to our framework and close by considering the implications for future strategy-as-practice research.
 
WP 67

Performing Strategy Analogical Reasoning as Strategic Practice

WP 67
Analogical reasoning refers to the successful transfer of structural similarities from a source to a target domain. In strategic management research, this concept has materialized in approaches such as strategic mapping. Yet, the concept and its application seem to have emphasized primarily the cognitive aspects of analogical reasoning. Bourdieu's concept of practice allows us to explore analogical reasoning in a more integral manner, i.e., by presenting embodied aspects of analogical reasoning as complementary, equally relevant for such processes. Thus, we conceptualize analogical reasoning as a practice of strategy and illustrate this concept with an empirical case.
 
WP 66 Practical Wisdom: Integrating Ethics and Effectiveness in Organizations
WP 66
This paper responds to Margolis and Walsh’s (2003) call for organizational theory that acknowledges the conflict between normativity and effectiveness and yet still facilitates action.  We address this issue at the level of the individual, and we focus on the Aristotelian concept of ‘practical wisdom’ (phronêsis) as a way to describe individual decision-making practices that are both ethical and effective.  We then present a interpretative framework that differentiates decision-making practices based on the extent to which they successfully integrate ethics and effectiveness.  We conclude by outlining the implications of this framework for future theoretical and empirical research on practical wisdom in organizations.
 
WP 64 Kurt Lewin on Re-Education: Foundations for Action Research
 
In the acknowledgements of Lewin's place as the father of action research, his work on re-education is rarely cited. Yet it is clear that much of what he understood to be central to the complex process of re-education is critical to the process of change and underlies the philosophical principles and practice of action research. This article presents Lewin's generally neglected paper on re-education in order to enable action researchers to build on and use this important paper of Lewin.
This article can be obtained from:  http://jab.sagepub.com.
 
WP 63 Re-framing Strategic Preparedness: An Essay on Practical Wisdom
WP 63
The strategic challenge of how organizations can become more prepared for unexpected events has risen in importance in recent years.  It has become increasingly clear that organizational leaders require not only knowledge and skills but also ethical values as they make preparations in response to potentially overwhelming risks.  In this theoretical essay, we explore the concept of practical wisdom  within the growing stream of research that focused on the practices of strategy-making.  In view of philosophical, psychological and organizational research, we develop an interpretative model of practical wisdom to guide future empirical research that describes and deliberates about preparedness-related practices that are both effective and ethical.
 
WP 62 Strategy as Practical Wisdom
WP 62
This essay raises a pragmatic question:  what strategy practices exemplify practical wisdom in organizations?  Working within the emerging tradition of phronetic social science (cf. Flyvbjerg, 2001), we begin by describing strategy practices in a large firm that we have observed and engaged with as action researchers.  We then refer to the 'balance theory of wisdom' (Sternberg, 1999) and deliberate about the extent to which certain strategy practices exemplify practical wisdom.  In the course of these deliberations, we extend the balance theory by adding two further considerations about how practical wisdom emerges in organizational contexts, namely the mode of intentionality and the medium of communication (following Roos et al., 2004).  Finally, as a contribution to the field of research that views strategy as a practice (cf. Johnson, Melin & Whittington, 2003), we draw a series of normative conclusions about the practical wisdom of specific strategic practices in the organization we studied.
 
WP 61
Organizational Identity as a Strategic Practice
WP 61
A growing number of scholars have pointed to the mutually shaping relationship between organizational identity and strategy. This paper adopts a practice perspective to shed light on key social processes by which organizational identity and organizational strategies are mutually constructed.  We adopt this approach because strategic practices within organizations frequently involve the construction of identity claims, and identity-related practices therefore often have immediate strategy implications. Our propositions are illustrated through three short case studies of interventions we conducted with strategy-development teams of the core business divisions of a specialty chemical company we call Chemalot.  These case studies focus on intersubjective processes of meaning creation that lie at the root of identity formation, and they show organizational members using metaphorical or analogical imagery as they characterize their organizations' identities.  In turn, the case studies also show that this practice has a direct impact on the essentially strategic challenge of selecting and applying resources.  While there are methodological limitations to our illustrative case study, this paper supports the contention that organizational identity and strategy practices can be mutually constitutive.
 
WP 60 Generating Responsible Commitment
WP 60
Theories of commitment in organizations usually assume a purely self-interested individual: people commit when there is something in it for them - more shares, more money, more fun, more of a say. We propose to dissociate commitment from self-interest and re-frame it in terms of individual responsibility. We further propose that play as a mode of strategizing can unlock the dynamics that are inherent in the formation of commitment. Three detailled case studies show how managers collectively embody themselves in the strategy content, make themselves mutually vulnerable by doing so and pass a point at which they cannot disown the strategy anymore.
 
WP 59 Evoking Metis: Questioning the Logics of Change, Responsiveness, Meaning and Action in Organizations
 
This paper introduces the concept of 'metis' or 'cunning intelligence' in the context of organizational theory.  It begins with a genealogy of the concept in classical Greek and contemporary theoretical sources, focusing on the juxtaposition between cunning intelligence and scientific rationality.  It continues by evoking the experience of metis with a rhetorical analysis of organizational change, meaning-making, and responsiveness.  Finally, it raises a series of questions concerning the ethical value of metis for organizational theory and practice.  The overall purpose of this theory-building effort is to produce a greater understanding of the innovative and tactical power of metis, as well as to provoke further research concerning the ethical significance of the cunning form of intelligence that enables people in organizations to 'disguise or transform themselves in order to survive.' (de Certeau, 1984: xi)

This article can be obtained from http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/14759551.asp (Culture and Organization)
   
2004
   
WP 58 Play and the Creative Arts: A review of Concepts and Techniques in the Psychotherapeutic Tradition
WP 58
The purpose of this paper is to explore how play and creative arts have been applied in psychotherapy. Toward this end, we conduct a review of academic and practitioner-oriented literature. We find that play and the creative arts typically occur within the psychoanalytic and humanistic paradigms of psychology, and only to a limited extent within the behaviorist paradigm. Whereas play therapies have traditionally been used with children, creative arts therapies have traditionally been used mostly with adults. However, we find that play and the creative arts frequently (though not always) have similar functions: as a means of gaining access to inner resources, and as healing processes in themselves. We also find that the psychotherapeutic field is evolving in such a way as increasingly to blend concepts and techniques from different traditions, and to employ creative methods both for children and adults. We close by briefly considering the implication of these trends for organizational research.
 
WP 57 Constructing Shared Understanding: The Role of Embodied Metaphors in Organization Development
WP 57

We present a novel metaphorical approach to organization development, the use of embodied metaphors, and in doing so we extend current understandings and uses of metaphor. ln terms of understandings of metaphor, we go beyond the dominant semantic-cognitive dimension to address the spatial and embodied dimensions. ln terms of uses of metaphor, we discuss an intervention technology based on embodied metaphors, which emphasizes induced rather than naturally occurring metaphors, builds on a developed theoretical base of collaborative diagnostic technologies, and can be employed in a targeted manner for issue diagnosis and intervention. Implications for the use of embodied metaphors are discussed.

 
WP 56 Sound from Silence: On Listening in Organizational Learning

One of the central challenges for organizational learning at an intersubjective level has been suggested in terms of developing a shared language as a prerequisite for shared understanding in a community. In this respect, social learning theory suggests communities of practice as loci, and discourse as the medium of such learning. Rather than knowledge acquisition, social learning refers to identity formation through competent participation in a discursive practice. Listening as a central, yet so far neglected, element of discursive practice involves the constitution of a relational basis that allows for intersubjective meaning generation. We suggest listening as a condition for the possibility of social learning and illustrate our suggestion with an empirical case. Finally, we discuss the implications of our argument for organizational and social learning as well as its broader relevance.

This article can be obtained from : http://hum.sagepub.com/

 
WP 55 Developing Guiding Principles Through Dialogue
WP 55

ln complex business environments, management teams often draw on knowledge structures when making decisions. More specifically, it has been proposed that management teams respond to critical incidents through the use of guiding principles as heuristic devices that draw on emotionally grounded narratives. Because of their importance in guiding managerial decision-making, a more in-depth exploration of the process qualities of how guiding principles may be developed is needed. Based on a theoretical examination of a similar knowledge structure-the mental model-we propose that such development processes will be more effective if they involve dialogue. More precisely, we argue that guiding principles can be actively developed in a conversational process of dialogue involving inquiry, divergence and convergence. We illustrate our theoretical suggestion with an indicative case study of two management team workshops in a European-based telecommunications firm.

 
WP 54 Towards a Technology of Foolishness: Developing Scenarios through Serious Play
WP 54
Scenario planning has been advocated as a means for strategists to review and shift their mental models of strategic phenomena. While the process itself has traditionally involved the rational analysis of coherent narratives, there have been recent calls to consider scenario development approaches that involve more creativity and intuition. ln response to this debate, we recall March's distinction between the 'technology of reason' and the 'technology of foolishness,' and pursue his suggestion to conceive of play as an archetype of foolishness. We then consider recent organizational and strategy research that develops the concept of serious play, and we explore normative implications of this concept for scenario planning in practice. Finally, we present an empirical illustration of a strategy workshop involving serious play in a large European telecommunications service provider.
 
WP 53 The Fragile Beauty of Work Well Done
WP 53

This paper addresses the leadership of peak performance in groups. We present findings from an empirical study in a symphony orchestra exploring the relationship between the conductor, the musicians and music in the creation of peak performance. These findings include the importance of aesthetic perception, responsive presence and a catalyst. The authors further present an integrative model that portrays group peak performance as a recursive process whereby the group has a shared aesthetic experience of its own performance. Such beautiful performance is difficult to sustain and is extremely fragile.

 
WP 52 Constructing Organizational Identity
WP 52
Although the field of organizational identity has generated a great deal of interest among organizational theorists in recent years, many of the empirical studies conducted to date share some important methodological limitations. Specifically, many such studies use textual descriptions from single informants to derive simplistic lists of identity "attributes", which can inevitably provide only a limited understanding of what has been claimed to be a manifold and fluid concept residing in the heads and hearts of organizational members. ln this paper, we moved beyond verbal and textual data to consider how senior managers in three separate organizations expressed the identities of their organizations, when invited to do so using a 3D building technique. Our study of these three interventions led us to make three key findings related to this alternative process of identity expression. First, we found that participants generated organizational identity descriptions that were grounded in rich, narrative-based, metaphoric imagery. Second, hidden thoughts about organizational identity that had not previously been discussed became part of the discussion. And finally, the object-mediated inquiry mode of discussion enabled emotions to be surfaced in a safe manner.
 
WP 51 From Metaphor to Practice: In the Crafting of Strategy

This article explores how the link between the hand and the mind might be exploited in the making of strategy. Using Mintzberg's image of a potter undergoing iterative and recursive learning and knowledge-building processes as a point of departure, the authors develop a three-level theoretical schema, progressing from the physiological to the psychological to the social to trace the consequences of the hand-mind link. To illustrate the authors' theoretical schema, the authors present an illustration case of managers from a large telecommunications firm experimenting with a process for strategy making in which they actively use their hands to construct representations of their organization and its environment. The authors conclude that new and potent forms of strategy making might be attained if the fundamental human experience of using one's hands is put in the service of all kinds of organizational learning.

This article can be obtained from : http://jmi.sagepub.com

 
WP 50 Analogical Reasoning as a Practice of Strategy

Analogical reasoning as proposed by cognitive scientists in general, and by organization scholars in particular, refers to the successful transfer of structural similarities from a source to a target domain. In strategic management, this concept has materialized in approaches such as strategic mapping. Yet, the concept and its application seem to have emphasized primarily the cognitive aspects of analogical reasoning. Bourdieu's concept of practice allows us to explore analogical reasoning in a more integral manner, i.e. presenting embodied aspects of analogical reasoning as complementary, equally relevant for such processes. Thus, we propose analogical reasoning as a practice of strategy and illustrate our claim with an empirical case.

This working paper has been integrated into WP67

 
WP 49 Créativité et Identité Organisationnnelle
WP 49

L’identité organisationnelle fournit un cadre qui organise le sens et la motivation ; ce cadre peut faciliter ou inhiber la créativité des membres d’une organisation. Comprendre la nature de l’identité organisationnelle reste cependant problématique : beaucoup d’études empiriques menées à ce jour sont limitées en raison de l’importance accordée aux données verbales et textuelles. Cet article étudie comment les "senior managers" de trois entreprises différentes définissent l’identité de leur organisation, quand ils y sont invités par le biais d’un jeu de construction en trois dimensions. L’étude de ces trois interventions nous permet d’aboutir à trois résultats. Nous constatons que les métaphores favorisent la construction de sens autour de l’identité organisationnelle ; de plus amples discussions autour de ces métaphores permettent de révéler certaines pensées préalablement cachées, et le recours aux matériaux de construction en 3 D favorise la création d’un environnement dans lequel les facteurs émotionnels peuvent se manifester avec certitude. Grâce à l’approche multidimensionnelle de l’identité organisationnelle, les managers formulent des descriptions de l’identité, surprenantes, chargées d’émotions, plus riches et donc plus favorables à la créativité organisationnelle.

 
WP 48 Sparking Strategic Imagination

This article claims that for the development and communication of strategy to become the inspired and inspiring process it must be, it is up to company leaders to alter their strategizing practices in three crucial, perhaps counterintuitive ways: (i) be more subjective and less generic: (ii) explore new ways to stimulate insights and communication; (iii) Recognize that context matters.

This article can be obtained from :  www.sloanreview.mit.edu

 
WP 47 Decision Making in High Velocity Environments: The Importance of Guiding Principles
WP 47

This paper presents a field study of decision-making processes at two organizations operating in high velocity environments. It reviews existing literature on managerial knowledge structures and decision-making, and identifies methodological and conceptual limitations with these approaches with respect to organizations in high velocity environments. The authors develop two interpretive cases that focus on the articulated and social methods management teams used to make decisions. They found that both organizations used rules of thumb or heuristic reasoning in their decision-making, that these rules of thumb functioned as headlines of deeper organizational narratives, and that these narratives were grounded in emotional as well as purely rational considerations. We suggest that the term "guiding principle" usefully integrates our three findings into a second-order concept that may be further explored in future research of both a descriptive and prescriptive nature.

 
WP 46 Playing Seriously with Science Strategy
WP 46

Imagination and play are often described as key ingredients in the process of scientific discovery. Yet these ingredients are rarely apparent when scientists meet to discuss strategic issues, such as planning new projects. François Grey and Johan Roos describe how the process of playing seriously with LEGO bricks has helped a variety of researchers, students and science managers to tackle a range of strategic challenges over the last few years, with some eye-opening results.

 
WP 45 Answers for Questions to Come: Reflective Dialogue as an Enabler of Strategic Innovation

"Strategy researchers seem to have struggled to develop a theory of strategy creation. We believe this difficulty might be eased somewhat if the field had a notion of intentionality that allowed us to acknowledge emergent change. We here present serious play as a descriptive framework for activities through which the conditions of the possibility of emergence may be intentionally created. In this sense, the purpose of this chapter is to consider strategy creation as a kind of serious play."

This article can be obtained from : http://www.blackwellpublishing.com

 
WP 44 I Matter: Remaining the First Person in Strategy Research

In this chapter Johan Roos argues that because our field is about humans, and humans interacting, strategy researchers should remain in the first person, rather than escaping into the convention of "third person anonymity". Two anecdotes illustrate Johan's own struggle to remain outside his work. To support his wish to remain the narrator, he draws on the Aristotelian ideal of phronesis. For the practice of strategy research, phronesis: (i) enhances our self-awareness as scholars: (ii) helps us understand more about what is going on:(iii) forces us to take a moral stance: (iv) calls for additional experiments with methodologies: and (v) changes the discourse in our field. Roos also suggests that phronesis may be significant to how managers approach the practice of strategy.

This book chapter can be obtained from : http://www.blackwellpublishing.com

 
WP 43 Strategy Creation as Serious Play
WP 43

Strategy researchers have struggled to develop a theory of strategy creation. We believe this difficulty might be eased somewhat if the field had a notion of intentionality that allowed us to acknowledge emergent change. We present serious play as a descriptive framework for activities through which the conditions of the possibility of emergence may be intentionally created. ln this sense, the purpose of this paper is to consider strategy creation as a kind of serious play.

 
WP 42 Playing Seriously with Strategy

This article details two cycles of interventions and reflection in various executive development contexts led by the authors as facilitator/consultants. Their hunch that changing the constraints of strategy processes would also change the content generated was tested by changing the typical mode of work to that of 'serious play' and modifying the usual medium from verbal, computer and two-dimensional text and graphic by the introduction of 3-D media (LEGO bricks). The authors examine the potential for using serious play in the particular organizational challenge of making strategy, and highlight the capacity of 'action research' to contribute simultaneously to both academic understanding and practical value.

This article can be obtained from : www.Lrpjournal.com

 
WP 41
The Role of Listening in Organizational Learning
WP 41
To listen means to learn. Ever since the Socratic dialogues, the search for answers to challenging questions has been related to the concept of listening and its generative potential. In terms of dealing with challenging questions, organizational learning might be considered a search for new answers to challenges within and around an organization that - if successful - leads to a change in an organization> '> s response repertoire (Sitkin, Sutcliffe, & Weick, 1998). Social learning is mediated through conversations (e.g. Crossan, Lane, & White, 1999; Ford & Ford, 1995). While these approaches acknowledge the relevance of verbal interaction, they seem to privilege speech over listening. In contrast, the phenomenological philosophy of Levin (1989) and Waldenfels (1994) reminds us of the inherently relational nature of listening. Listening manifests a relational quality that precedes the speech act of answering. More than a functional silence between two speech acts, listening can be thought of as a form of initial answering (Waldenfels, 1994).
 
2003
 
WP 40 Constructing Organizational Identity
WP 40
Although the field of organizational identity has generated a great deal of interest among organizational theorists in recent years, many of the empirical studies conducted to date share some important methodological limitations. Specifically, many such studies use textual descriptions from single informants to derive simplistic lists of identity "attributes", which can inevitably provide only a limited understanding of what has been claimed to be a manifold and fluid concept residing in the heads and hearts of organizational members. In this paper, we moved beyond verbal and textual data to consider how senior managers in three separate organizations expressed the identities of their organizations, when invited to do so using a 3D building technique. Our study of these three interventions led us to make three key findings related to this alternative process of identity expression. First, we found that participants generated organizational identity descriptions that were grounded in rich, narrative-based, metaphoric imagery. Second, hidden thoughts about organizational identity that had not previously been discussed became part of the discussion. And finally, the object-mediated inquiry mode of discussion enabled emotions to be surfaced in a safe manner.
 
WP 39 The Fragile Beauty of Work Well Done
 
This paper addresses the leadership of peak performance in groups.  We present findings from an empirical study in a symphony orchestra exploring the relationship between the conductor, the musicians and music in the creation of peak performance.  These findings include the importance of aesthetic perception, responsive presence and a catalyst. The authors further present an integrative model that portrays group peak performance as a recursive process whereby the group has a shared aesthetic experience of its own performance.  Such beautiful performance is difficult to sustain and is extremely fragile.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 53
 
WP 38 Illustrating the Need for Practical Wisdom
WP 38

In this paper we present an interpretative case study focused on the Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response (CCPR). In particular, we focus on the ambiguities being handled by CCPR executive staff as they develop new knowledge and new practices in the emerging field of catastrophe preparedness. Our case data describe patterns of activity that include storytelling, dialogue with diverse groups of people, and embodied experience. We present a series of first-order findings based on our interpretation of these data, then reflect on those findings both in light of recent research in strategic management studies as well as in light of recent research in adjacent fields that address the concept of practical wisdom. We then present the second order finding that the case of CCPR illustrates a need for practical wisdom that exists currently in the field of catastrophe preparedness and more generally in among strategic management practitioners. We close by outlining what we see as the implications of this need for strategic management theory and practice.

 
WP 37 Decision Making in High Velocity Environments: The Importance of Guiding Principles
 
This paper presents a field study of decision-making processes at two organizations operating in high velocity environments. It reviews existing literature on managerial knowledge structures and decision-making, and identifies methodological and conceptual limitations with these approaches with respect to organizations in high velocity environments. The authors develop interpretive case studies of the two organizations, which focus on the articulated and social methods management teams used to make decisions. They found that both organizations used rules of thumb or heuristic reasoning in their decision-making, that these rules of thumb functioned as headlines of deeper organizational narratives, and that these narratives were grounded in emotional as well as purely rational considerations. We suggest that the term "guiding principle" usefully integrates our three findings into a second-order concept that may be further explored in future research of both a descriptive and prescriptive nature.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 47.
 
WP 36 From Metaphor to Practice
 

This article explores how the link between the hand and the mind might be exploited in the making of strategy. Using Mintzberg's image of a potter and undergoing iterative and recursive learning and knowledge-building processes as a point of departure, the authors develop a three-level theoretical schema, progressing from the physiological to the psychological to the social to trace the consequences of the hand-mind link. To illustrate their theoretical schema, the authors present an illustration case of managers from a large telecommunications firm experimenting with a process for strategy making in which they actively use their hands to construct representations of their organization and its environment. The authors conclude that new and potent forms of strategy making might be attained if the fundamental human experience of using one's hands is put in the service of all kinds of organizational learning.

This article can be obtained from : http://jmi.sagepub.com

 
WP 35 Developing Guiding Principles through Dialogue

In complex business environments, management teams often draw on knowledge structures when making decisions. More specifically, it has been proposed that management teams respond to critical incidents through the use of guiding principles as heuristic devices that draw on emotionally grounded narratives. Because of their importance in guiding managerial decision-making, a more in-depth exploration of the process qualities of how guiding principles may be developed is needed. Based on a theoretical examination of a similar knowledge structure—the mental model—we propose that such development processes will be more effective if they involve dialogue. More precisely, we argue that guiding principles can be actively developed in a conversational process of dialogue involving inquiry, divergence and convergence. We illustrate our theoretical suggestion with an indicative case study of two management team workshops in a European-based telecommunications firm.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 55

 
WP 34 Dealing with the unexpected. Critical incidents in the LEGO Mindstorms team
 

This article addresses the relative lack of empirical studies of how self-managed teams in high velocity environments handle unexpected critical incidents. It presents an interpretive case study of the LEGO Mindstorms project team, and focuses in particular on how this team responded to three critical incidents. Our study results in three core findings concerning how this team responded to the unexpected in its high velocity environment. These include: the importance of increasing presence; creating a context for a shared and emotionally grounded identity: and developing a shared set of guilding principles for action, behaviour, and decision making. The authors further describe interconnections among these three core findings, proposing a higher- level 'virtuous circle' that illustrates how this team responded effectively to critical incidents.

This article can be obtained from: www.sagepublications.com

 
WP 33
Case study: modeling how their business really works prepares managers for sudden change
 
This case study presents a successful strategy development session undertaken by three divisions of "Chemcor," a real but disguised firm, which is seeking to balance its highly "planned" approach to strategy with a more innovative and adaptive one.  It describes their experience with a strategy-making process called "Real Time Strategy" that is designed to facilitated conversations among managers about how their business systems work.  The article concludes that when managers engage in this continuous strategizing process, they are more flexible and pragmatic when faced with abrupt, emergent changes that have not been foreseen in a strategic plan. 

This article can be obtained from : www.emeraldinsight.com
 
WP 32 Playing Seriously with Strategy
 

This paper addresses the relationship between strategy content and strategy process in general, and on the relationship between process constraints and content outcomes in particular.  By > "> process> ">  we mean the sequence of events and activities that describes how conversations about strategy in firms unfolded over the time of the study.  By > "> constraints> ">  we mean the implicit and explicit restrictions on, and frame around these conversations. Our basic hunch, firmly grounded in our experience in teaching and coaching managers on strategy-making, researching strategic management processes, and engaging in the practice of strategy-making ourselves, is that if the constraints of strategy processes are changed, the content generated also changes. The purpose of this paper is to explore, and further develop this hunch.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 42

 
WP 31 Studying Organization Identity Empirically: A Review
WP 31
The growing conceptual interest in organizational identity has only slowly translated into scholarly empirical work on the subject in the management literature. This paper reviews and identifies patterns in the empirical work that has been completed, focusing particularly on the methodological approaches that have been adopted. It finds that relatively little empirical work to date has focused on company examples, it largely relies on individual informants, textual descriptions, and simplistic attribute lists to describe organization identity, and tends to assume organization identity as static and unified. Based on our understanding of the existing literature, we propose that future empirical work on organizational identity should draw on principles of careful mesotheorizing, multiple intelligences, narrative forms of understanding, account for multiple identities, and draw on emotional as well as cognitive considerations.
 
WP 30 Organizational Identity and Strategy
 
Working with the resource-based view of strategy framework, this paper proposes that expressing the character of an organization's identity affects how other firm resources are evaluated as potential sources of competitive advantage.  We work within a social constructionist point of view that emphasizes metaphorical and symbolic constructs, proposing that specific metaphorical imagery about organizational identity can be a key variable mediating strategic concerns.  In addition to presenting a theoretical argument about this relationship between organizational identity and strategy, we present three small case studies to illuminate our theoretical proposition with detailed examples drawn from real life.  By highlighting their role in defining organizational resources, we conclude that metaphorical imagery of an organization's identity can play an important role in the formulation of strategy.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 61
 
WP 29 Organizational Responsiveness Through Dialogue
WP 29
Conceiving of strategy as a response to challenges put to the organisation through communicative acts by its stakeholders, we propose that organisational responsiveness provides a conceptual lens at the macro level to reflect on strategy and organisation development. At the micro-level of responsive practices, we further suggest that dialogue as a reflective form of conversation allows for processes through which such responses can be collaboratively developed – literally in the process of answering. In reviewing strategy and organisational learning literature, we identified a behaviorist stimulus-response model being inherent to most concepts. In an interpretive case study through which we investigated the characteristics of a more active notion of responsiveness, we found that responsiveness as a macro phenomenon is grounded in the communicative acts that drive and shape the individual’s perception of the organisation. Our typology captures these differences in responsiveness in a prototypical way, we conclude by reflecting on the challenges of organisational ‘answerability’.
 
WP 28 Ambiguity at Work Scenario Development through Serious Play
WP 28
The challenge facing scenario planning has been conceptualized in terms of uncertainty in the external environment. From a social constructionist viewpoint, this challenge can be re-framed in terms of ambiguity at the level of different, even contradictory interpretations of the organization itself. In this light, the activity of scenario planning appears as a process of enactment in which the organization and its environment are constructed through the discursive, social interactions of participants. We propose that such processes of enactment may be enabled through serious play, and we present a case focused on a strategy team from a major European telecommunications firm to illustrate this claim.
 
WP 27 Collective Virtuosity: The Aesthetic Experience in Groups
WP 27
Collective virtuosity is the aesthetic experience in a group that is transformed by its own performance. The aesthetic experience is the highly emotional and intellectual encounter with beauty, as is often the case with art. People typically report feelings of timelessness and flow, and are passionately engaged in the art object. We argue that group members are transformed not only by their task, but also by each other’s highly skilled and authentic performance of that task, that is, virtuosity. In certain groups, everyone is simultaneously performer and audience, thus virtuosity becomes collective. Collective virtuosity sheds light on the aesthetic and ethical aspects of social interaction in groups, extending notions of timelessness beyond the individual level. In this paper we will explore factors that encourage and discourage the emergence of collective virtuosity in groups. We conclude with managerial implications and directions for further research.
 
WP 26 Decision Making in High Velocity Environments: The Importance of Guiding Principles
 
This paper presents a field study of decision-making processes in management teams in two organizations. It reviews existing literature on managerial knowledge structures and decision-making, and identifies methodological and conceptual limitations with these approaches. The authors then develop interpretive case studies of two management teams, which focus on the articulated and social methods used to make decisions. They found that both organizations used rules of thumb or heuristic reasoning in their decision-making, that these rules of thumb functioned as headlines of deeper organizational narratives, and that these narratives were grounded in emotional as well as purely rational considerations. We suggest that the term "guiding principle" usefully integrates our three findings into a descriptive concept that may be further explored in future research of both a descriptive and prescriptive nature.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 34 and WP 47.
 
WP 25 Dear Prudence: An Essay on Practical Wisdom in Strategy Making
WP 25

If we presume an organizational ontology of emergence, then what role remains for strategic intent? If managerial action is said to consist of adaptive responsiveness, then what are the foundations of value on the basis of which principled decisions can be made? In this essay, we respond to these questions and extend the existing strategy process literature by turning to the Aristotelian concept of prudence, or practical wisdom. According to Aristotle, practical wisdom involves the virtuous capacity to make decisions and take actions that promote the 'good life' for the 'polis'. We explore contemporary interpretations of this concept in literature streams adjacent to strategy and determine that practical wisdom can be developed by engaging in interpretative dialogue and aesthetically-rich experience. With these elements in view, we re-frame strategy processes as occasions to develop the human capacity for practical wisdom.

 
WP 24 Framing Strategy Processes as Serious Play
 
This paper addresses the issue of innovation as it has been formulated and discussed in recent years in the strategy process literature.  Our purpose is to provide a reflective account of our attempts to explore the theoretical and practical implications of play in the context of strategy-making.  We advance the existing literature that links play to strategy by contributing our finding that play-based strategy processes can lead to improved participation (Wenger 1998) while encouraging the exploration (March 1991) of new ideas and possibilities for action.  Additionally, we present evidence that when strategy-makers engage in play, they discover potentially new content categories and questions.  Finally, we raise a series of questions for future research pertaining to strategy framed as > '> serious play> '> .

This working paper has been integrated into WP 42
 
WP 23 Active Responsiveness through Adaptive Play: Casting New Light on Strategy Genesis
WP 23
Hamel (1997) has pointed out what he calls strategy’s dirty little secret: we do not know how it is created. In response to this assertion, we review the prescriptive schools of strategy formation and reflect critically on the simple, behaviorist notion of how organizations respond to the environmental challenges. We then seek to develop a more adaptive notion of responsiveness, and we suggest (following Weick, 1995) that strategy-making should be considered as a process of responding to ambiguity. We show furthermore that adaptively responsive strategy-making requires conversational contexts that allow for reflective modes of conversation. We then consider theories that suggest that the activity of play might be the best way to enhance human adaptive potential. Finally, we argue that the cognitive, social and emotional impacts of play can contribute in practice to the development of adaptive strategy creation processes.
   
2002
 
WP 22 From Metaphor to Practice In the Crafting of Strategy
 
This article explores how the link between the hand and the mind might be exploited in the making of strategy. Using Mintzberg's image of a potter and undergoing iterative and recursive learning and knowledge-building processes as a point of departure, the authors develop a three-level theoretical schema, progressing from the physiological to the psychological to the social to trace the consequences of the hand-mind link. To illustrate their theoretical schema, the authors present an illustration case of managers from a large telecommunications firm experimenting with a process for strategy making in which they actively use their hands to construct representations of their organization and its environment. The authors conclude that new and potent forms of strategy making might be attained if the fundamental human experience of using one's hands is put in the service of all kinds of organizational learning.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 36
 
WP 21 Dealing with the Unexpected: Critical Incidents in the LEGO Mindstorms Team
This paper explores the collaboration processes of the self-managed LEGO Mindstorms team, and in particular, on how the team handled “critical incidents”--surprising and potentially threatening events that could lead to the outright success or failure of the team’s effort. We found that in the face of the unexpected, teams should 1) increase their face-to-face co-presence, 2) revisit their identity as a team, and 3) develop and use a set of simple guiding principles for action that are distinct from traditional value statements or specific rules.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 34
 
WP 20 LEGO Speaks
WP 20
This paper explores the proposition that the LEGO building system is a “language in itself”. First, we use semiotic theory to advance the idea that LEGO is a visual medium that constitutes a system of signs with strong communicative potential. In particular, it appears to convey both strong cognitive as well as emotionally-charged information. Second, we evaluate the idea that several factors converge to create this particularly significant affective potency, beginning with the modularity of the LEGO materials, and including the attributes of repeatability, reversibility, and connectivity which characterize any particular construction project in which they are used. While we conclude that LEGO is not formally a true language, we nonetheless find it to be a medium that gives rise to new forms of communication, and that may yet contribute to the development of new languages in the future.
 
WP 19 Images of Strategy
 
Strategy making typically involves the use of abstract models of abstract forces.  This legacy of objectivist science ill serves strategy-makers, since these simplistic, unimodal, visual abstractions reduce life's great complexity rather than capturing it. In this paper we explore the proposition that strategy-making might be improved by giving strategy-makers multimodal, analogical experiences of the reality they strive to understand. Using data from a workshop that integrates verbal/narrative, visual/imagistic, and kinaesthetic/haptic modes of experience, we suggest that strategic insight can arise when one deepens rather than reduces the information that strategists have about reality.

This article can be obtained from www.elsevier.com
 
WP 18 A Place to Play: Innovating the Practice of Strategy Research
WP 18
This paper responds to the repeated call for innovation in the practice of strategy research. We begin by suggesting that the capacity of strategy researchers to create innovative knowledge depends on the requisite variety of the concepts and methods available to the field.  We go on to identify the recent elaboration of an 'organic' perspective (Farjoun, 2002) as a positive step toward increased variety, and we extend the epistemological power of this critique.  In the interest of developing research practices that are adaptively responsive to change, we introduce 'play' both a) as a concept that has been shown to increase human adaptive variability, and b) as a research method that has been deployed extensively in disciplines adjacent to management studies.  We go on to present an overview of our own, play-based strategy research program, as well as two case stories that demonstrate the power of play to yield innovative concepts and methods for strategy research. 
 
WP 17 Ain't Misbehavin': Taking Play Seriously in Organizations (June 2002)
WP 17
Given the dominant logic that characterizes play as frivolous and only marginally relevant, this paper develops a theoretical framework for play in organizations. The concept of serious play is introduced to refer to organizational behaviors that are imaginative, ethical and autotelic.
 
WP 16 Images of Strategy
The use of abstract models in strategy making – a legacy of objectivist science – may ill serve the makers of strategy, since much of the imagery relating to strategy and strategy process in organizational life tends to be simplistic, unimodal, visual abstractions. In this paper we explore the proposition that strategy-making might be improved by giving strategy-makers multimodal experiences of the metaphorical imagery for the reality they strive to understand. Using data from a workshop that integrates verbal/narrative, visual/imagistic, and kinaesthetic/haptic modes of experience, we suggest that strategic insight can arise when one deepens rather than reduces the information such organizational members have about reality.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 19
 
WP 15 Committing to Strategy
WP 15
Personalization of strategy content might be an antecedent of commitment to strategy. We found that, in personalized strategizing, managers embody themselves in the strategy content, make themselves vulnerable by doing so and pass a point at which they cannot disown the strategy anymore.
 
WP 14 Organizational Identity, Imagination and Strategy 
WP 14 The link between organizational identity and strategy is important not only in a crisis situation. We also propose that imagining organizational identity can improve strategy. As a result, this research is the first to discern a close relationship among organizational identity, imagination and strategy.
 
WP 13 Organizational Heuristics: More than Simple Rules
WP 13
Organizations often use rules of thumb or "heuristics" to help make decisions when it is impossible to weigh all relevant factors. We studied the heuristics used in two organizations and found them to vary along four dimensions: scope, focus, development and depth. We propose that effective heuristics should be general not specific, focus on internal and external considerations, be developed in a "cyclical" top-down and bottom-up manner, and be grounded in emotion as well as pure rationality.
   
 
WP 12 Collective Virtuosity: Reclaiming Aesthetic Experience in Teams
This paper explores connections between the self-managed teams literature and social psychology research on groups and highlights their focus on the cognitive group task. We introduce the notion of virtuosity as the transformative capacity individuals and show how aesthetic knowledge of others' virtuosity can lead to a deepened sense of group identity.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 27
 
WP 11 A Place to Play, Re-defining Strategy Research
 
We propose that if strategy research is re-defined in accordance with the formal characteristics of play, it can respond more effectively to the call for innovation.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 18
   
2001
 
WP 10 Dealing with Surprises: Collaborating in an Alliance Team
 
This paper presents an interpretive case study of the collaboration processes of one team embedded in a larger network of alliance partners. The team operated in a complex environment characterized by frequent surprising and potentially threatening events. In facing each of three critical incidents the team appeared to become more coherent, which improved its subsequent ability to act quickly and effectively. By examining the team's actions, the authors derive three interrelated propositions that appear to lead to coherence, which in turn improved the team's ability to build trust and develop knowledge. These propositions relate to identity, presence, and guiding principles.

This book chapter can be obtained from: http://www.elsevier.com.
 
WP 09 From Metaphor to Practice In the Crafting of Strategy
WP 9
This article explores how the link between the hand and the mind might be exploited in the making of strategy. Using Mintzberg's image of a potter and undergoing iterative and recursive learning and knowledge-building processes as a point of departure, the authors develop a three-level theoretical schema, progressing from the physiological to the psychological to the social to trace the consequences of the hand-mind link. To illustrate their theoretical schema, the authors present an illustration case of managers from a large telecommunications firm experimenting with a process for strategy making in which they actively use their hands to construct representations of their organization and its environment. The authors conclude that new and potent forms of strategy making might be attained if the fundamental human experience of using one's hands is put in the service of all kinds of organizational learning.
 
WP 08 Leadership as Collective Virtuosity
WP 8
To extend the literature on transformational leaderships, we introduce the concept of collective virtuosity, the emergent expression of extreme aesthetic skill. The three main properties of collective virtuosity are that it can be invoked by anyone, not just the appointed leader, it is a shared process, not an individual trait, and it does not embody intentions for the future.
 
WP 07 Building Coherence in a Self-Managed Team: The Development of LEGO Mindstorms
 
This study attempts to understand how members of a self-managed team made sense of their complex environment, characterized by frequent surprising and potentially threatening events. The authors develop an interpretive case study that draws on narrative and metaphor analysis in order to understand how the LEGO Mindstorms development team responded to critical and surprising incidents during its existence. In facing each of three critical incidents the team appeared to become more coherent, which improved its subsequent ability to act quickly and effectively in its complex environment. By examining the team’s actions, the authors derive three interrelated propositions that appear to lead to coherence in times of crisis: develop a shared sense of the team’s changing identity, come together face to face, and develop and follow simple guiding principles.

This working paper has been integrated into WP21 and WP34.
 
WP 06

Naturally Identifiable: Totemism and Organizational Identity

WP 6
Organizations in post-industrial society constantly need new ways to understand their identity. Working within the metaphorical and organizational culture tradition, we propose using Lévi-Strauss’ ideas of “totemic systems of thought” as a compelling metaphor for the ways in which organizations, as sub-groups within society, develop a self-concept by referencing a putatively “natural” order of differences. Unlike previous concepts of “totemism” which focused on the properties of the specific animal that was totemized, we believe Lévi-Strauss’ structuralist approach to totemic systems of thought permits an underlying order of differences and analogies to be discerned in the ways that organizations conceive of themselves. We propose understanding organizational identity as a “totemic system of thought” by which classification schemes of “society” (organizations) and “nature” (the economy) analogize each other. Conceiving of “the economy” as “nature” allows us to see how organizations index their identity with reference to selected natural elements.
 
WP 05 Managerial Intentionality in Strategy Making
WP 5
The purpose of this paper is to explore how strategy makers think about strategy making. The focus is on how individuals come up with new ideas, how they are sharing their ideas, and how they become emotionally engaged to make these ideas happen.  By using case-studies of nine Internet banks in Spain, we extend the model of strategy making as serious play suggested by Roos and Victor (1999).
 
WP 04 The 'Self' in Self-Organization
WP 4

What is the role of ‘self’ in self-organization? From Ilya Prigogine has come the assertion of spontaneous self-organization occurring in far from equilibrium circumstances wherein the role of individual behavior or of specific circumstance can play an important role. (Prigogine & Stengers, 1984). From Stuart Kauffman has come ‘order for free’ or the hypothesis of self-organization wherein if there is sufficient complexity, life is a to be an expected emergent property of matter and energy. (Kauffman, 1995) From Niklas Luhmann (Luhmann, 1997) comes the claim that social systems are alive and are able to reproduce themselves out of their own products. All three theoreticians assert that ‘life’ could be an emergent property of natural complexity and that the ‘living’ --- and thereby what evolution has produced --- could be a product of emerging natural phenomena. Thus ‘life’ and human existence, have evolved without a metaphysical first cause or a telos external to nature. At once, this is a radically humanist assertion --- life is its own first cause, and a radically naturalist one --- there is nothing outside of the existent. In this paper we examine the significance for organization of ‘self-organization’. If social systems are self-reflexive, what role does ‘consciousness’ play in their self-constitution? If social order is self-organizing, if human material systems create themselves, if collective action constitutes itself; what role is left for the individual ‘self’? The case material used to explore this theme is the film ‘the matrix’.

 
WP 03 Glissement - From Gaming to Playing
WP 3
Meanings, events and organizations ‘slide’ or move about. Structurally pre-defined, seemingly rigid action, does not necessarily lead to stasis. How do we understand this combination of the game’s closed structure and its ability to change itself? Glissement is a way to describe interaction between the logic-of-the-game and the events of change and activity. Glisssment can be understood as an issue of identity (Robbe-Grillet), as a characteristic of gaming, as a subversive logic (Deleuze) and as an aspect of the ebbs and flows of signification/identity (Lacan). These definitions are explored before the film ‘the matrix’ is examined in terms of glissement. Because the film can be understood: as a description of organization, as an animated computer game and as a study of the hyper-real culture of simulacra, it provided the sort of material for conceptual exploration that we sought. In the end we oppose the matrix’s gaming with our own play; two senses of glissement that are fairly irreconcilable.
 
WP 02 Play in Organizations
WP 2
This paper explores the value of play in organizations and proposes a new concept - "serious play" - for both describing critical organizational processes and ultimately actively enhancing a source of managerial effectiveness in 21st century organizations. We begin by reviewing the many perspectives and definitions of play found in the literature. We then consider the value of play for adults in and around organizations. Finally we propose some research questions that we hope can fuel the actual discourse in organizational studies.
 
WP 01 Playing with Strategy
This paper reflects on the authors' experience of experimenting with a playful approach to think of, and develop strategy in three firms.

This working paper has been integrated into WP 24