Crossing Chronotopes in the Polyphonic Organisation: Adventures in Experience
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KeywordsPolyphonic organisation; Chronotope; Dialogue; Bakhtin
Permissions© 2015 TAMARA: vol 13 issue 1-2, website: http://tamarajournal.com/ : reproduced with permission from the publisher.
The ‘Polyphonic Organisation’ is an emerging root-metaphor for the multiple voices that constitute an organisation. In this article, we explore the narrative concept of the ‘chronotope’ as a feature of the ‘polyphonic organisation’. The ‘chronotope’, in a general sense, refers to the matrix of time-space-value in organisations. We argue that the chronotope is important because it introduces boundaries between voices within organisations and helps to explain the difficulties in getting to dialogue with voices in different spaces in the ‘Polyphonic Organisation’. More particularly, there are multiple kinds of chronotopes which lead to different kinds of time-spaces matrices within the polyphonic organisation. Our aim is to examine chronotope crossings within polyphonic organisations as part of the work of being heard. This is a theoretical argument drawing significantly from Bakhtin’s work on chronotope. To examine the argument in practice we draw on original fieldwork within the comedy industry. Here we found three kinds of chronotopes: 1) The comedy-offense boundary; 2) The commissioning landscape 3) Platform spaces. We also found that moving within and between these involved a variety of adventures in experience (such as hope and disappointment), which also have their own specific chronotopes. Overall, we argue that the polyphonic organisation is significantly enhanced as an organisational concept through a turn to the role of chronotope. This is because chronotope helpfully describes the barriers and porous boundaries between voices