Writing Culture and Anthropology as Cultural Critique (1986) drew attention to the 'crisis of representation' occurring in social and cultural anthropology by questioning the ways in which ethnographies are written and read, disrupting the fixities through which ethnographers view fieldwork, and reflexively critiquing their relationship with 'others'. Yet twenty years on, George Marcus observed that little has changed. Despite radical departures in some of the social sciences - variously termed textual, linguistic, reflexive, narrative, symbolic and aesthetic turns - functionalist methodologies still dominate, especially in management and organization studies. Whilst there has been some experimentation with novel methods, too often these have been incorporated into a heuristic kitbag and used to enhance rather than destabilize classical ways of theorizing and writing. Following Marcus, we think that the question of method can provide a pivot for reorienting and refocusing - reimagining - the disciplines that comprise the organization and management field.
This conference has two purposes. The first is to recognize the significance of the legacy of the work of George Marcus since the 80's, and revisit its contemporary relevance for the fields of organization studies and organizational communication. We are interested in exploring 'good ideas', ways of revitalizing knowledge, and different ways of 'seeing' organizations and management through a qualitative lens. The second is to carry forward the initiative of QRM 2008, to create a space where qualitative scholars doing research in, on and around organizations using a multiplicity of methods, voices and ways of writing, can exchange ideas and engage in critical discussion.