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Multiplicity and reflexivity in organizational research : Towards a performative approach to the visual

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abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is, first, to assess the potential of the visual to enact multiplicity and reflexivity in organizational research, and second, to develop a performative approach to the visual, which offers aesthetic strategies for creating future research accounts in organization and management studies.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews existing visual research in organization and management studies and presents an in-depth analysis of two early, almost classical, and yet very different endeavors to create visual accounts based on ethnography: the multi-media enactments by Bruno Latour, Emilie Hermant, Susanna Shannon, and Patricia Reed, and the filmic and written work by Trinh T. Minh-ha and her collaborators.

Findings – The authors’ analysis of how the visual is performed in both cases identifies a repertoire of three distinct and paradoxical aesthetic strategies: de/synchronizing, de/centralizing, and dis/covering.

Originality/value – The authors analyze two rarely acknowledged but ground-breaking research presentations, identify aesthetic strategies to perform multiplicity and reflexivity in research accounts, and question the ways that research accounts are written and published in organization and management studies by acknowledging the consequences of a performative approach to the visual.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords Aesthetics, Bruno Latour, Management, Multiplicity, Organizations, Performative approach, Reflexivity, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Visual methods, Visualization
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 7-2012
journal Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal
publisher Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. (Bingley UK)
ISSN 1746-5648
DOI 10.1108/17465641211223456
volume of journal 7
number of issue 01/2012
page(s) 34-53
review double-blind review
   
citation Steyaert, C., Marti, L., & Michels, C. (2012). Multiplicity and reflexivity in organizational research: Towards a performative approach to the visual. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, 7(01/2012), 34-53, DOI:10.1108/17465641211223456.