Mercredi 24 février : Conférence “A Stupidity Based Theory of Organizations”

17.02.2010

Prochaine conférence DRM-IRISSO
Mercredi 24 Février de 17 h 00 à 19H00 en A 709

André Spicer,, Associate Professor, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

Sur le thème “A Stupidity Based Theory of Organizations”


Abstract : This paper challenges knowledge-based views of organizations. I will argue there is a tendency to exaggerate the smartness of organizations. I claim that stupidity is a vital part of organization. I claim that stupidity is not just a source of failure but also as an important resource. I see functional stupidity not as the negation or lack of intelligence or rationality, but as a denial of complexity and ambiguity. Stupidity is about the absence of reflexivity and the refusal to use intellectual capacities in other than myopic ways. This is stupidity that allows organizations to work and people to progress in their careers through repressing doubt about the meaning the work. I explore this in the context of four vital aspects of organizing: design and structure, authority relations, the interface of decision and action and institutionalization. I explain stupidity with reference to the paradoxical effects of current fashions in knowledge and information, as well as the nature of work in post-affluent society.
 
Biography : André Spicer is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Organization Studies at Warwick Business School, and a Visiting Research Fellow at Lund University, Sweden. He holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia. His research focuses on power and politics in and around organizations. His work has been extensively published in a wide range of journals and edited books. He has recently published a monograph entitled Contesting the Corporation (Cambridge) and Unmasking the Entrepreneur (Edward Elgar) and Understanding Corporate Life (Sage). He will publish Understanding Leadership in the Real World (Routledge) later this year. He is also an associate editor of Journal of Management Studies. This presentation is based on a paper he is working on with Mats Alvesson (Lund University).