This article raises the doubt as to whether philosophy – as well as epistemology and social theory – are really important for understanding organizational life. This doubt has a provocative value, since my writings are fully immersed in philosophical debates, and is expressed with an ironie serieuse. The provocative value of this article consists primarily in encouraging organizational scholars to “play with” philosophy rather than simply refer to it or to merely resume philosophical research in their studies.
What do I mean by “playing with”? I will illustrate and discuss this research choice by intertwining the language of written words with the visual language of photography and by grounding my arguments in the evocative process of knowing. Accordingly, I will translate my doubtful and critical considerations on the relevance of philosophy in the study of organization in the photographic image of the selfie. In this light, in the article I will first expose some considerations regarding the connections in-action between organizational aesthetics research and aesthetic philosophy, social aesthetic theory, criticism and the history of art. That is, on the research areas in organization studies and philosophy and social sciences I am particularly familiar with. Thus, I will slightly move my point of view to focus on whether the theoretical and research paths of organization studies, on the one hand, and philosophy, on the other, intersect and combine, and to consider whether there are crucial similarities between these two different bodies of knowledge that can be grasped.
This plurality of points of view shows that my doubt on the importance of philosophy in the construction of the organizational discourse does not have an ideological character because it does not lead towards a univocal experience and a unique vision. On the contrary, according to the neo-phenomenological aesthetics of Vilém Flusser, my interrogative is a phenomenological doubt which poses the issue of freedom and playfulness in doing aesthetic research in organizational contexts.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.