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Jabri M. Deleuze meets Bakhtin: Promoting Multiplicity of Organizational Identities. 2010.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/10858
Deleuze meets Bakhtin: Promoting Multiplicity of Organizational Identities
Organizational identity is a concept generally used to describe members' views of what is central to their organization and what distinguishes it from other organizations. Our conception of organizational identity remains constrained by attributes arranged to produce a territory of one (and only one) organizational identity (Jabri, 2004). Given the speed of 'changing' and the unprecedented challenges facing the on-going process of configuring entities, this paper argues that it is time for organization studies to consider multiplicity and variety - an assortment of organizational identities. Multiplicity of identities is about more than one territory - having overlapping boundaries that are subject to contestation and discursivity (Jabri, 2004). An identity will have its own set of attributes. Rather than dwelling on one (and only one) organizational identity, we affirm the difference for each (and every pair) of identities. The difference for each pair will have its own concept (singularity), hence a source for repetition and creativity. How do we go about criss-crossing differences? I draw on Bakhtin (1981) and his theory on dialogized heteroglossia. Deleuze cites Bakhtin as a primary source (1987: 77-78). Both thinkers reject Saussure's (1983) separation of language (langue) from speech (parole). Both reject the social institution of the word. Both emphasize process as unfinalizable. Both valorize direct as well as indirect discourse. A contribution of the paper involves highlighting that the Deleuzian conception of multiplicity is a fair analogue to the Bakhtinian notion of dialogized heteroglossia (Jabri, Adrian and Boje, 2008). Deleuze came very close to Bakhtin's heteroglossia. He showed that all concepts are connected to problems (challenges) organizations face. Without problems, these concepts have no meaning. Conceptual creation of identities is therefore never-ending-unfinalizable.