Capturing the experience of living forward from within the flow: Fusing a “withness” approach and pragmatist inquiry

Frithjof E. Wegener, Philippe Lorino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific

Abstract

In this chapter, we explore a methodology for “process as withness” (Fachin and Langley, 2018). The goal is to study the experience of “living forward” by creating “narratives of prospect” (Weick, 1999). The chapter builds on Shotter’s work (2006; 2009) on a withness approach, which helps in understanding the struggles of living forward experienced by practitioners and researchers alike. Withness until now has remained philosophical with a few vignettes by Shotter (2006; 2009). We operationalize withness through embedding it within pragmatist inquiry (Farjoun, Ansell, and Boin, 2015; Lorino et al., 2011; Martela, 2015). For this, we propose to build on the existing links between a withness approach and pragmatist inquiry in the work of James, Dewey, and Mead, but to extend these to fuse a withness approach and pragmatist inquiry into “pragmatist withness inquiry.” We end with a call for other researchers to learn from, criticize, and build on our attempts to develop “pragmatist withness inquiry.” The challenges are dialogue, access to doubtful situations, and creating “narratives of prospect.”.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTime, Temporality, and History in Process Organization Studies
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages138-168
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9780198870715
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Inquiry
  • Organizing
  • Pragmatism
  • Process methodology
  • Withness

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