Conspiracy Theorists and Organization Studies

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    Abstract

    This essay proposes an experiment in workplace emancipation by letting go of the assumption of who knows best in the domain of knowledge and suspending ‘social closure’ (Weber) as a mechanism of exclusion. Specifically, I experiment with a stance I adopt from Jacques Rancière, which is to presuppose equality, in this case with conspiracy theorists, starting by listening to what they have to say, rather than seeking to silence them and dismissing them a priori. Listening to what conspiracy theorists have to say, I propose a reconfiguration and recalibration of our empirical awareness derived from their practices and their aesthetics. In particular, I seek to reclaim close attention to detail, regarded by Hofstadter as a core feature of the paranoid style, for a democratic style. The implication of my experiment is an invitation to rethink knowledge building in the form of cases, resulting by engaging intimately with the unaccounted for as part of a conversation among equals that encourages independent thinking.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1473-1488
    Number of pages16
    JournalOrganization Studies
    Volume39
    Issue number10
    Early online date23 Sep 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

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    Schreven, Stephanie

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