The political event : impossibilities of repositioning organisation theory
In this thesis I outline a political problem of positioning organisation theory. I maintain that there are projects of positioning, depositioning and repositioning, which articulate organisation in different political ways. To dialectically critique the politics of these projects I discuss the way philosophers of destruction, deconstruction and impossibility conceptualise the political event. I argue that these speculative philosophies share a political belief in the need to question and show the limits of the ways social reality is positioned in the realms of modernity, capitalism and `Empire', and explore possibilities of how the world might look different. I maintain that the politics of the positioning project is to turn organisation into the hegemony of management, which I show by engaging with the particular discourse of knowledge management. The politics of the depositioning project is to resist the hegemony of management in multiple ways; I discuss particularly how organisation theorists emphasise the precariousness, plurality and locality of processes of organising. Although the political resistances by the depositioning project are of great importance, I argue that there is a tendency to not link their politics to questions of hegemony, which I show to have certain depoliticising effects. In response to these failures, the politics of the repositioning project aims to repoliticise organisation theory by speculating about a new hegemony of social organisation. My engagement with the so-called 'anticapitalist movement' and questions of its organisation and politics shows, however, that such an attempt of repositioning is itself an impossible or undecidable event. Nevertheless, I argue that it is precisely this political event of impossibility that calls for a speculative decision to be made; a decision, however, which will always fail to fully represent social organisation.