32 SES 14, Methodology of Organizational Education Research
From a process ontological perspective this paper explores how resonance may be a methodological lever in organizational education research. The paper presents specific examples of researcher making use of resonant experience in a) analyzing interview data and b) conducting action research.
The notion of resonance is developed from G. H. Mead’s Philosophy of the Present (1932) emphasizing ‘emergent events’ and the occurrence of novelty to drive the instantaneous re-organization of our past experience, enabling us to continue acting meaningfully in present situations whilst anticipating the future.
Organization researchers working from the process philosophies remind us “there is little distinction to be made between researcher and researched in a relationship that belongs to the world” (Helin, Hernes, Hjorth and Holt, 2014:11). Adopting a process orientation in our practice of research confronts us “with the task of evolving new ways of relatingourselves (bodily, i.e., sensitively and emotionally) to the others and othernesses around us” (Shotter, 2010, p.7). Shotter goes on to say, “A new ontological realm of inquiry would seem to be required, concerned (…) with developing our embodied sensitivities to previously unnoticed aspects of circumstances troubling us” (Shotter, 2015. p. 56).
A certain “work on ourselves”, Shotter argues, is thus required in this new realm of inquiry, as “all our usual representational methods - that place us over against the reality we are trying to understand – are all excluded by our primary assumption of being ourselves participant parts of a larger indivisible, unfolding, flowing unitary whole” (Shotter, 2010, p.7). Similarly, post-humanist qualitative researchers have troubled assumptions about the ‘always already subject’ researcher dealing with ‘always already object’-ified data arguing post-structuralist research entails working with and as “unstable subjects” (Jackson & Mazzei 2013, p.264): “If the ‘I’ of the participant is always becoming in the process of telling, so too the ‘I’ of the researcher is always becoming in the process of researching, listening, and writing” (Jackson & Mazzei, 2013, p. 266).
Daza and Gershon have recently described ‘sound methodologies’ as a means of considering ‘complex interrelations’, ‘echoes across time and contexts’, to open up ‘relationships within and between ecologies’ (Daza & Gershon, 2015). They argue that ‘overly sighted metaphors’ have governed our understanding of qualitative research with a highlight on visuals and texts at the expense of sound, reminding us that “sound as method/ology implicates the body differently” (Ibid., p. 640). “Why, in the case of the ear, is there withdrawal and turning inward, a making resonant, but, in the case of the eye, there is manifestation and display, a making evident? (Nancy & Mandell, 2007, p.3)
French Philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy writes on the phenomenology of listening that “our whole being is involved in listening, just as it is involved in interpreting what it hears” (Nancy & Mandell, 2007:xx). According to Nancy, listening is “an active process of opening oneself to the resonances of the other” (Davies, 2011:1). Drawing on Nancy’s phenomenology of listening, Davies describes listening as a ‘Deleuzian encounter’ characterized by “an ongoing emergence of oneself in relation to the other” (Davies, 2011, p. 2). “Being known through the other” (Davies, 2011, p.5) is key in the radical pedagogy and teaching practice described by Davies as ‘emergent listening’: “In the very moment of listening, the self forms itself in relation, in the ongoing dynamic process of being heard” (Davies, 2011, p.4). According to Davies, the act of listening entails transformation on behalf of the listener: “Allowing the resonance of the other to register in one’s body involves opening oneself to an ongoing process of Deleuzian differenciation, to become other, to a process of evolution that takes one beyond the already known” (Davies, 2011:1).
References Alvesson, M. & Kärreman, D. (2011). Qualitative Research and Theory Development. Mystery as Method. London: Sage. Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. duke university Press. Davies, B. (2011). Listening: a radical pedagogy. Challenging gender: Normalization and beyond, 1-17. Davies, B. (2016). Emergent Listening. Qualitative Inquiry Through a Critical Lens, 73. Daza, S., & Gershon, W. S. (2015). Beyond Ocular Inquiry Sound, Silence, and Sonification. Qualitative Inquiry, 1077800414566692. Jackson, A. Y., & Mazzei, L. A. (2013). Plugging One Text Into Another Thinking With Theory in Qualitative Research. Qualitative Inquiry, 19(4), 261-271. Mead, G. H. (1932). The Philosophy of the Present (this edition 2002). Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. (Originally published: Chicago: Open Court Pub). Nancy, J. L., & Mandell, C. (2007). Listening. Fordham Univ Press. Revsbæk, L. (2014). Adjusting to the Emergent. A process theory perspective on organizational socialization and newcomer innovation. (Doctoral thesis). Aalborg, DK: Aalborg University Press. Rosa, H. (2016). Resonaz - Eine Soziologie der Weltbeziehung. Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag. Shotter, J. (2010). Adopting a process orientation… in practice: Chiasmic relations, language, and embodiment in a living world. Process, sensemaking, and organizing, 1. Shotter, J. (2015). On “relational things”: A new realm of inquiry—pre-understandings and performative understandings of people’s meanings. The emergence of novelty in organizations, 56-79. St. Pierre, E.A. (2011). Post qualitative research: The critique and the coming after. In N.K. Denzin & Y.S. Lincoln (Eds), The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research, 4th ed. (pp. 611-625). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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