Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2021

4 Creating by communicating

Philippe Lorino

Abstract

Due to the limits of the control paradigm, static and monological, this chapter suggests that the pragmatist paradigm of “trans-actional inquiry” provides a processual and communicational alternative to study organizations in complex and uncertain situations, characterized by an unintelligible aggregate of unrelated elements; the trans-actional inquiry aims at rebuilding intelligibility and actionability, or even completely re-define the situation, through creative dialogues that involve not only verbal exchanges, but also socially meaningful acts. This framework can be applied to the “organizing” of field operations as well as organizational governance. It could be used in the future to connect organization research with political research about participative democracy. The chapter narrates two complex situations and shows the limits of the control paradigm to understand them; it presents the pragmatist concept of “trans-actional inquiry”, applies it to the two narrated situations and shows how it may lead to a complete redefinition of situations; it concludes with methodological, theoretical and managerial implications.

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