'What’s the story?' ? Organizing as a Mode of Existence.

'What’s the story?' ? Organizing as a Mode of Existence. application/pdf icon

A paper for the reception of a doctorate honoris causa granted by the University of Montreal, Montréal, May 21st (see video): « What’s organizing ? A Meditation on the Bust of Emilio Bootme »,  (unpublished).
Published in a modified form Passoth, Jan-Hendrik, Birgit Peuker and Michael Schillmeier, Agency without Actors? New Approaches to Collective Action. London: Routlegde, 2012, pp. 164-177.


Although theories of organizations have analyzed many formal and informal types of organizations, they often fail to follow the specificity of the organizational mode of existence because they suppose the very existence of macro-actors instead of looking at how organizations attempt to solve practically this problem. This essay in organization theory reviews some of the difficulties in tracing the specific path of organizing (taken as a gerund). Using some fresh experience of the author in administration, the paper focuses on the specificity of the organizing script and attempts at isolating this specificity from what sociologists and political scientists have made of it. It shows that it is only once the sociological fallacy of a macro-actor has been put aside, that it is possible to detect the "flip-flopping" that is so peculiar with those scripts the circulation of which generates organizations in their wake without ever relying on macro-actors.


Reprinted in Daniel Robichaud and François Cooren (editors) Organization and Organizing. Materiality, Agency and Discourse, Routledge, London, pp. 37-51, 2013.