Organizing Counter-Conduct

  • Suzan Langenberg


Is the ability to start and stay in dialogue a hard or a soft skill? Is it a courageous risk to stay in dialogue within an organization? Or is dialogue, interaction, the building block of organizing, and does its neglect lead to disorganizing? Organizations in their broadened context, riveted at state regulations, technology and environmental contingencies, are changing. Under the influence of far-reaching digitalization processes and redesign, management layers disappear in favor of personal responsibility. But are we, as human beings, ready to take up high-risk and ultimate responsibilities? After all, not everyone is a whizz kid with extraordinary qualities. Moreover, can we deal with an economy that is no longer in need of traditionally skilled employees? An economy running out of paid labor because of—among other things—the growing amount of light, fast and IT-steered production processes? Societal issues that cannot be solved from one single point of view, the so-called boundary objects, need a lot of debate and dialogue with many stakeholders involved before a clear direction can appear. What, then, does dialogue actually mean, how can we implement it and what can it create and bring about in an organization? Can it manage the gap between system-oriented control and coercive power on the one hand and a growing fragmentation of high-skilled expertise and creativity on the other? Organizing randomly provokes and neglects resistance at the same time, but how does this dynamic work? In this chapter, the above questions will be addressed and the concept of criticism as ‘counter-conduct’ linked to dialogue as the turntable of organizing will be introduced.


Counter-conduct Resistance Dis-organizing De- & re-contextualizing Boundary objects Othering Answering 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzan Langenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Campus GelbergenHoeledenBelgium

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