Challenging Organisations and Society . reflective hybrids® is designed to initiate discourse and provide orientation that will increase activity toward value-oriented development of organizations and society. The line of attack is to direct our attention to differentiations, borders, possibilities and conflict zones, critically highlighting them and pointing out their characteristics and dynamics. This is a process of formulating, of bringing into conformity challenges, paradoxes, critical questions and possible answers for organizations in interplay with society.
Global, diverse and outside the box
This journal is intended as a global platform. Its authors speak from various perspectives; it follows neither fashion nor the mainstream, but questions both. My wish is that this journal may provide an appreciative and critical home for those who fit neither the norms of their disciplines nor the norms of different theories and practices, for those who like to look behind the scenes of routines and standards, for those who dare to act and reflect, for those who dare to fail and learn from it.
Language, thinking and experience are inextricably linked. English is widely acknowledged as the world language for business and science in intercultural contexts. Different first languages and contexts create a separate global, diverse form of English that connects ‘local and global’, resulting in English as a lingua franca. This global form of English allows movement from international to local English and back again. English measured in accordance with native-speakers’ norms is not always the main requisite to work on a global level. English as a lingua franca is common property and serves interdisciplinary and intercultural communication.
This construction also embraces content. Challenging Organisations and Society . reflective hybrids® does not aim to follow the mainstream. Out of the ordinary, a fit and a misfit in the academic world and in practice, it does not desire to follow one scientific or one writing style. Instead it provides a framework for diversity in dealing with the scientific approach, quotations, literature use, examples, etc. It is meant over time to create its own “globalish” culture for our discourses in hard copy and online. The collaboration within this journal might challenge our cultural mind-sets. It might push us out of our comfort zones in order to get rid of rigid thinking loops and lead us to embrace different learning perspectives.
The goal is to make the journal interesting and readable for reflective hybrids, people and organizations who act as practitioners in the field and the academic world, and thus to provide alternative perspectives and new questions for reflection in the form of:
- A contradictory diversity which can provide orientation for perception and action and which questions embedded thinking patterns;
- An upright but unquestioned, brashly courageous, seriously profound and humorously light-footed glance behind outmoded scenes;
- A glance which throws open curtains without any moralistic, condescending finger-pointing, instead struggling with perspectives and solutions, knowing all the while that there is no one perfect solution.
My hypothesis is that this shift of perspectives and approaches irritates and challenges us to forge ahead with our learning experience. This call to awareness of learning challenges requires an increased ability to reflect on our roles as both individuals and as members of social systems (teams, organizations, society). This awakening to awareness is an essential condition for the attainment of the ability to learn and act as an active form of participation in the social formation of contradictions in the sense of an inter-independent and human coexistence. Through this increased ability to reflect and criticise, we break open unquestioned norms.
Thus the long-term perspective of Challenging Organisations and Society . reflective hybrids® is to embrace the following questions:
- What are the future challenges in the interplay between organizations and society?
- How can we think and move forward along the borders of conflict between organization and society, sustainability and democratisation?
- How do internationality and interculturalism influence organizations in their relationship with society? Which approaches support perception and collaboration to cope with this challenge?
- Which theoretical concepts and leadership actions are needed in order for us to grasp the relationship between organization and society as a unit with all its differences?
- How can we explain dilemmas that affect individual, organizational and societal development? Which organizational and meta-concepts support or hinder our grasp of the interplay of individuals, organizations and society?
- What demands does collaboration place on organizations and institutions of politics, economics, science, (higher) education, NPOs, etc. in order for them to act in terms of a societal whole?
- What can we achieve with buzzwords like sustainability? What should be sustained? Why? Or corporate social responsibility, resilience, transformation, etc. for organizations and society? Who has an advantage? Where are the limits? What are the wins and losses, and for whom?
- How can we lead our various disciplines, concepts, methodological approaches and mind-sets in an interdisciplinary fashion so that the organizations of our global society can serve the development of humanity and ecologisation?
- How can we better understand the change of perspective in connection with learning? How can we change our own thinking and acting through these evolving perceptions and invite each other to do likewise?
- Which designs, procedures and methods are helpful in cultivating perspectives and abilities that conform to our complex and contradictory challenges?
- In practice, which methods and approaches for development that have grown out of experience have showed which form of learning motives and possibilities?
- Which learning and development concepts and practical models cultivate thinking and joyful acting which can include the collaborative learning of organizations, leadership systems and society?
- How can we interweave theory and practise in terms of reflective, future-oriented acting (action research) for a sustainable and reciprocal cooperation between organization and society?
Multidimensional, profound, appealing for theory and practise
My thesis is that this multi-layered topic requires a multidimensional approach which is, on the one hand, interdisciplinary and, on the other hand, linked to theory and practise, making the various truths and perspectives mutually useful: the use of practical and scientific knowledge to research immanent questions in as integrated a fashion as possible. The result is the generation of an interwoven knowledge that is easily accessible for theory and practise and, in its turn, generates profound, integrated questions and creative answers.
Based on practical questions and problems, practical knowledge and scientific knowledge will be linked. This starting point within practise can provide both practise and theory with orientation toward themselves and each other. Through multidimensional, critical questioning, light can be brought into shadowy, neglected areas, light for the development of the expansion of action for people and systems. By generating multidisciplinary knowledge, we can comprehend ‘life-worlds’ in their connections and contradictions.
This multi-perspectivity has high methodological demands; we want to give space and time to the mutual development of our specific learning culture so that the journal can:
- Make the knowledge easily accessible for the individual people (authors and readers),
- Permit profound insights,
- Lend impact to linked observations,
- Be inviting, ingeniously witty, way-out, creatively playful and full of relish.
Reflective hybrids as editors, authors and readers
As Editor in Chief it is important to me that the Editorial Board members, the Authors and Readers can build bridges for themselves between the journal and their own identities and backgrounds. Only in this way can the journal succeed in creating a critical-reflective momentum for change in the direction of more awareness of society, organizations, leadership systems and individuals as living and complex systems.
Target Group Editorial Board: The criterion of diversity was important in the selection of the members of the Editorial Board. They have all moved outside their “home” disciplines and achieved insights by interweaving various disciplines from theoretical and practical perspectives. They have different backgrounds – science, consulting and management – and they have worked professionally in at least two of these fields, and they come from different countries, continents and cultures.
Target Group Authors: These are people who regularly move in an interdisciplinary fashion between theory and practise, authors who search for integrated solutions along their clients´ organizational and societal needs; who develop theory for practise and who refine their practise so that it is of scientific interest for both the scientific community and other practitioners in similar situations, and also further afield.
Target Group Readers: As is appropriate to our distinctiveness, our focus is on hybrids: managers, consultants and scientists who (want to) move beyond their limits to search for longterm and integrated solutions for the interplay between organizations and society, and who want to find these solutions together with us. The readers should not be thought of as pure consumers (objects) but as co-producers, participants in a discourse in which they potentially might also take the role of authors and editors.
Feel free to become a part of our movement. Follow what happens in hard copy and online.
A huge thank-you to all who helped to launch this journal and risked a leap into the unknown to grow and learn with us!
Founding Editor in Chief