Organizational Futurity: Being and Knowing in the Engagement with What Is Yet to Come

  • Seelan Naidoo


Taking organization as always underway—as temporally stretched out—entails a relation with what is yet to come. Orthodox strategy theory, despite its inner diversity, may be read wholly as responsive to the problematics of understanding and explaining this crucial relation. And organizational sensemaking theory, although it flows from a critique of orthodox strategy theory, may be read as responsive to the same problematics. These prominent perspectives not only share a problematics but are also thoroughly committed to organizational knowing as the basis for approaching it. However, the primacy of this commitment has itself become doubly problematic in an age of higher-order contingency. Organizational knowing can no longer be taken for granted as the sole, or even the most fundamental, basis for effecting and sustaining the organizational engagement with what is yet to come. If knowing is always an attenuated means for effecting and sustaining this engagement, what gives rise to it as crucial? If not solely in knowing, where else might its sustenance be found? In response to this line of questioning the notion of organizational futurity is offered as a speculative opening.



I acknowledge the generous and valuable commentary on earlier drafts of this chapter by an anonymous reviewer, the editors of this collection, my colleagues Michael Festl and Emmanual Aloha, and Prof. Premesh Lalu (UWC-CHR). I acknowledge the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) for funding my PhD studies.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Seelan Naidoo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of St. Gallen (HSG)St. GallenSwitzerland

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