Imagination and alternative organization: thinking organization through the Seven Beauties of Science Fiction

Thomas Calvard, Christopher Baird

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Abstract

In this article we build on and extend work on the mutually beneficial relationships between organization studies and fiction. We focus on science fiction as a genre with relevance to organizational innovation and change. Drawing on science fiction studies and Istvan Csicsery-Ronay’s Seven Beauties of Science Fiction, we outline how science fiction is cognitively attractive to authors, scholars and organizational actors in supporting the imaginative construction of alternative futures. We consider the ‘seven beauties’ of science fiction as underpinning potential and existing inspirational relationships between science-fiction and organizational topics, showing how they involve imagining organizational and societal futures in different, alternative ways. We conclude with critical reflections for an organization studies research agenda on the more nuanced aspects of attempts to pragmatically make sense of and give sense to future innovations and organizational visions via utopian and dystopian discourses, science fiction, and logics of late capitalism.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Alternative Organizing
  • Science Fiction
  • Organisation Studies
  • Innovation
  • Organisation Theory

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