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Sköld, David
Publications (10 of 32) Show all publications
Brewis, J., Meisenbach, R., Rippin, A., Risberg, A., Sayers, J. & Sköld, D. (2017). Professor Heather Höpfl, 1948-2014: Eine Gedenkschrift. Culture and Organization, 23(2), 81-84.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Professor Heather Höpfl, 1948-2014: Eine Gedenkschrift
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2017 (English)In: Culture and Organization, ISSN 1475-9551, E-ISSN 1477-2760, Vol. 23, no 2, 81-84 p.Article in journal, Editorial material (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2017
National Category
Economics and Business Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-321029 (URN)10.1080/14759551.2016.1257096 (DOI)000396838700001 ()
Available from: 2017-04-28 Created: 2017-04-28 Last updated: 2017-12-29Bibliographically approved
Lindahl, M., Sköld, D. & Fornstedt, H. (2015). STALLING INNOVATION ADOPTION THROUGH THE EMERGENCE OF NEOCONSERVATIVE MARKET STRUCTURES – OBSERVATIONS FROM THE ENERGY SECTOR. In: : . Paper presented at 22ND INNOVATION & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>STALLING INNOVATION ADOPTION THROUGH THE EMERGENCE OF NEOCONSERVATIVE MARKET STRUCTURES – OBSERVATIONS FROM THE ENERGY SECTOR
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Social Sciences Business Administration Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in industrial engineering and management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-269099 (URN)
Conference
22ND INNOVATION & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
Available from: 2015-12-14 Created: 2015-12-14 Last updated: 2015-12-15
Fornstedt, H., Lindahl, M. & Sköld, D. (2015). Stalling Innovation Adoption through the Emergence of Neoconservative Market Structures: Observations from the Energy Sector. In: : . Paper presented at 22ND Innovation & Product Development Management Conference. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stalling Innovation Adoption through the Emergence of Neoconservative Market Structures: Observations from the Energy Sector
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Objectives and theoretical and practical relevance: The expectations on industrial actors in the energy transmission sector to lead and facilitate the transition to renewable energy solutions are building up. When significant financial institutions (such as coalitions of pension funds) are taking serious action to drop investments in coal, oil and gas, to instead invest in sustainable technologies, energy transmission is identified as one of the most central areas, insofar as it sets the limits for how renewable energy sources may interact, and it stakes out the direction for what kind of renewable energy technologies are worth investing in. What remains a question, however, is where the innovative spirit needed to facilitate a transition to renewable energy solutions find its power. Components and subsystems for energy transmission are characterized by extremely high demands on reliability and long product life cycles. Consequently, investing in new technology within this realm is seen as a risky endeavor. And energy transmission has therefore been known to be a market marked by a conservative reflex – a reflex that has worked against radical technological developments within this realm.

Historically, this conservative reflex has been dealt with through strategic national development programs, through which daring and demanding customers have been integrated in the value-creating processes, for instance. As Fridlund (1999) has shown, this has driven development as well as diffusion/adoption of new products and technologies within this realm. However, the past decades have seen significant shifts in how energy markets are organized – how utility-customers interact with suppliers, and procure and otherwise relate to new technology. The aim of this paper is to explore structural changes within the energy transmission market that appear to be stalling innovation. More specifically, it looks into how changing business models amongst utilities and reorganized value chains in the procurement, construction, deployment, and maintenance of energy transmission infrastructure seem to have fed the conservative reflex integral to this market, and increased the reluctance to adopt new technology. With the analysis centering on how management ideologies and legal-political frameworks have spurred such changes, the paper highlights a set of conservative forces that are seldom mentioned in the debate around the transition to renewables, and that have been overseen in research on non-adoption of innovation – but which call for a re-consideration of dominating innovation and marketing strategies.

Brief literature mapping and key references: To discuss adoption of energy transmission components and subsystems, the paper draws on research indebted to Rogers’s (1995) work on how diffusion processes are impacted by the ways in which markets are constituted and customers relate to novel offerings (eg, Frambach & Schillewaert 2002, MacVaugh and Schiavone 2010). MacVaugh’s and Schiavone’s (2010) attempt to synthesize existent research on non-adoption of innovation is of particular concern here, with the present analysis dealing with aspects that largely fall outside the ‘integrative model of factors limiting innovation adoption’ they seek to establish, thus extending the understanding of non- adoption encountered there.

Method: The study builds on approximately 20 semi-structured interviews circling around the development, diffusion and adoption of new technology, around customer behavior and organization, and how these different aspects have changed over past decades. Directed towards product/system suppliers, intermediaries, customers/users and allied partners in the energy sector, the conservative theme and its associated dynamics emerged through the interpretative work following the interviews.

Research question and theoretical development: In contrast to MacVaugh and Schiavone’s (2010) integrative model – which outlines, in a rather static way, how factors pertaining to the technology, the social structures and the conditions for learning in the market (may) stand in relation to (non-)adoption on an individual, organizational level and industry/market level – the present study seeks an understanding of a dynamics governed by managerial- ideological and legal-political forces that is restructuring and reconstituting this market: giving rise to new actors, increasing the complexity of intra- and inter-organizational relationships, and fragmenting the interests of the actors involved in the market networks, ultimately making them more reluctant to adopt new technologies.

Findings: With the value chain of this industry spanning across public/private divides, and customers being characterized by increasing degrees of corporatization and privatization, energy markets have been subject to managerial-ideological and legal-political forces that have fragmented and extended the value chains in similar ways, by 1) preventing customers from being an integrative part of development processes, by 2) pushing customers to specialize and seek out business models that increase the dependence on various sub- contractors with limited innovation gain, and by 3) instituting new intermediaries in the procurement process (eg, centralized innovation purchasing units or Engineering Procurement Construction Companies).

Conclusion and contribution to the field: Consequently, the potential benefits of an innovation becomes diluted upon several actors with no joint responsibility. Limiting the innovators’ capacity to convince the market to adopt new technology, and stealing lead customers of progressive purchasing power, this severely inhibits development as well as diffusion of innovation. With respect to theoretical contributions, the study introduces fragmented/ dispersed value chains or value networks into the (non-)adoption discourse, and puts the focus on the dynamics driving such fragmentation and dispersion.

Managerial implications: These findings indicate that suppliers need refined innovation inception strategies that take new purchasing entities with narrow agendas into account, and customers may well have reason to re-assess or formulate specific innovation appropriation strategies. Organizations that have outsourced purchasing, construction and or operating services need to carefully secure systemic innovation need that sub-partners lack knowledge or incitements to attain. 

National Category
Economics and Business Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Business Studies; Engineering Science with specialization in industrial engineering and management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268319 (URN)
Conference
22ND Innovation & Product Development Management Conference
Available from: 2015-12-03 Created: 2015-12-03 Last updated: 2015-12-15
Sköld, D., Lindahl, M. & Fornstedt, H. (2015). The emergence of neoconservative market structures in the energy transmission industry: Rejecting innovation, in the ruins of mutual domestic development collaborations. In: : . Paper presented at Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The emergence of neoconservative market structures in the energy transmission industry: Rejecting innovation, in the ruins of mutual domestic development collaborations
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The expectations on industrial actors in the energy transmission sector to lead and facilitate the transition to renewable energy solutions are building up. When significant financial institutions (such as coalitions of pension funds) are taking serious action to drop investments in coal, oil and gas, to instead invest in sustainable technologies, energy transmission is identified as one of the most central areas, insofar as it sets the limits for how renewable energy sources may interact, and it stakes out the direction for what kind of renewable energy technologies are worth investing in. What remains a question, however, is where the innovative spirit needed to facilitate a transition to renewable energy solutions find its power. Components and subsystems for energy transmission are characterized by extremely high demands on reliability and long product life cycles. Consequently, investing in new technology within this realm is seen as a risky endeavor. And energy transmission has therefore been known to be a market marked by a conservative reflex – a reflex that has worked against radical technological developments within this realm.

Historically, this conservative reflex has been dealt with through strategic national development programs, through which daring and demanding customers – often state utilities in domestic markets – have been integrated in the value-creating processes, for instance. As Fridlund (1999) has shown, this has driven development as well as diffusion/ adoption of new products and technologies within this realm. However, the past decades have seen significant shifts in how energy markets are organized – how utility-customers interact with suppliers, and procure and otherwise relate to new technology.

The aim of this paper is to explore and discuss how structural changes within the energy industry have altered the conditions for diffusing new technological applications, made intimate collaborations in the ‘home’ market impossible, and mobilized a set of forces that appear to be stalling innovation adoption in important market segments. The analysis presented in the paper adds to a discussion of how free market ideology paired with managerial initiatives assumed to increase competition/competitiveness and innovation/ innovativeness within these industrial domains have lead to more complex modes of interaction, which appear to be threatening the perceived innovation gain in the adopting environment/client network. Whereas prior research into client–supplier relationships in the energy sector (see e.g., Berggren et al. 2001) has highlighted how increased complexity and organizational fragmentation (on part of both suppliers and clients) impacts the management of large scale projects and the incentives for implementing new innovative solutions during the execution of turn-key deliveries, the present analysis provides a more detailed account of how technology is perceived to be evaluated and procured within this industry, mainly from a supplier’s perspective. The article suggests that the increasingly market-based relations, paired with managerial strategies to increase competition and innovativeness within the utilities sector, have opened up the value chain to more disparate value creating logics, and entertained an industry/market dynamics that has diluted the incentives to adopt new technology; this by distributing the innovation utility over a broader range of actors, and institutional, organizational and business-related logics.

National Category
Economics and Business Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Business Studies; Engineering Science with specialization in industrial engineering and management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268320 (URN)
Conference
Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism
Available from: 2015-12-03 Created: 2015-12-03 Last updated: 2015-12-07
Fowler, N., Lindahl, M. & Sköld, D. (2015). The Projectification of University Research: A study of resistance and accommodation of projectmanagement tools & techniques. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, 8(1), 9-32.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Projectification of University Research: A study of resistance and accommodation of projectmanagement tools & techniques
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 8, no 1, 9-32 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to discuss and critically examine how formal project management (PM) tools and techniques affect the organization of university research.

Design/methodology/approach - The paper is empirically grounded and explores how university researchers respond to an increasing emphasis on formalized PM methods to manage research work conducted within the university. The empirical material consists of 20 interviews with research staff working with engineering, natural and medical sciences at Uppsala University, Sweden. Describing how PM techniques are increasingly imposed upon the researchers, the paper analyses different modes of relating to the formalized toolsets, and discusses their accommodation and resistance within academia.

Findings - One key finding is how the PM formalization is resisted by partial accommodation and containment. This can be described in terms of an enactment of a front-and a backstage of the research organization. At the front-stage, formal PM technology and terminology is used by specially appointed research managers as means of presenting to funding agencies and other external parties. At the backstage, researchers carry out work in more traditional forms.

Practical implications - The findings indicate a challenge for research to comply with increased PM formalization and secure on-going open-ended research. Second, the paper points toward a risk of young researchers being nudged out into "front-stage" administration with little chance of returning to "backstage" research.

Originality/value - This paper builds upon a growing area of the critical analysis of PM practice, offering insights into the tension between the values and norms of university research and an on-going formalization of PM in some organizational contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015
Keyword
Project management, Resistance, Accommodation, Front-stage-backstage, Management of university research, Project tools and techniques
National Category
Business Administration Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in industrial engineering and management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-240688 (URN)10.1108/IJMPB-10-2013-0059 (DOI)000355671400003 ()
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
Nina, F., Larsson, A. & Sköld, D. (2014). Occupying academic space – and a return of the useless university. In: : . Paper presented at Latin American and European Meeting on Organisation Studies. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Occupying academic space – and a return of the useless university
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Over the last decades, the conviction that the university needs to become more entrepreneurial, and learn to perform functions traditionally ascribed to the industrial sphere, has become somewhat of a commonplace. One might even claim that Clark’s notion of the ‘entrepreneurial university’ (1998) has taken on a hegemonic role in debates on innovation and technology transfer – one that is manifested through a broad range of programs and practices intended to enhance and disseminate the value creating activities taking place within the academic realm (see also Shattock, 2005; Williams et al., 2003). While this increasing emphasis on the economic usefulness of universities clearly makes out a central component in the neo-liberal movement that has swept Western capitalist societies over the past 30 years or so, it also makes out the point of departure and the object of analysis of this paper. This insofar as the present research project is conducted from a place within the university that is a direct effect of its ambitions to become more entrepreneurial, and this insofar as it takes an entrepreneurial venture lodged within the university as its starting point for contemplating and conceiving contemporary economic activities at the borderlands of academic and industrial realms.

The transition to a low-carbon economy is arguably one of the most pressing challenges of our time, with a lot of the renewable energy technologies envisioned by the European Strategic Energy Technology plan for 2011 still being under development, and yet having to prove themselves as technologically reliable and commercially viable alternatives. Ocean wave energy is one such technology, which is expected to play a pivotal role in this transition, with a forecasted electricity production potential of 150 to 240 TWh annually over the coming 15 year period – or approximately one per cent of the projected electricity con- sumption in Europe during the same period. The technologies developed and designed for wave energy conversion are still, however, in their infancy, with the most advanced systems iterating between prototyping and demonstration. So, moreover, is the market, which is still to be convinced of the technological reliability and economic viability of this kind of renewable energy system. Great challenges thus remain in order to reach the EU targets.

Judging by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7) on Co- operation efforts within the renewable energy sector, the policy makers at EU level expect university research to operate as a central node in such developments – to be both a central driver in the pursuit of the EU targets, and an administrative force, organising collaborative research, development, demonstration and diffusion efforts associated with the renewable technology (see FP7: Cooperation Work Programme: Energy – C(2011)5068). EU policy does, in other words, both presuppose and prompt the existence of the entrepreneurial university, expecting it to play a key role in ramping up the demonstration, further develop- ment and production of renewable technologies such as ocean wave energy conversion.

Much in line with national as well as European innovation policy, one potential system for renewable energy production off shore is currently being developed at Uppsala University, in collaboration with a spinoff company, a network of suppliers, as well as a utility company. After a decade of research and development – including numerous iterations of inventive engineering solutions, several stages of prototype testing, legal processes, political promotion, financial privation, and commercial initiatives to establish partnerships – this development project is currently moving into large scale pilot testing, with the technology being deployed in the world’s first pilot farm for wave energy. Begun in the late autumn 2013, this implementation is planned to materialise over a five year period.

On the face of it, this venture may well seem like a poster child for the innovating, entrepreneurial university, whose emergence Clark chronicled in 1998, and which since has grown into an ideal model for politicians, top administrators at universities, and funding bodies alike. A closer look at these attempts to involve the university in a process of technological innovation raises, however, a number of questions concerning how attempts to organise innovation at the borderlands of academic and commercial domains may in fact alter that institution which serves as a condition for this collaboration. Most fundamentally, it raises the question of how academic practices take on particular performative dimensions as a consequence of their involvement in an innovation project that gradually, and in an iterative manner, moves from basic research, development and assessment of singular prototypes, to industrial assembly and deployment of entire farms of wave energy converters – an innovation project that extends the scientific laboratory beyond the traditional academic confines of prototyping, into realms of large-scale demonstration, which is carried out in commercial collaborations.

With respect to such performative effects, the paper pays particular attention to a double movement, whereby 1) a particular form of being, on the one hand, gets incorporated into the realm of the university – an entrepreneurial being who has to adapt to both internal and external market spaces, where very different kinds of investments are being valued and exchanged; an entrepreneurial being engaged in endless competitive pursuits, driven by a range of different calculative and instrumental logics and interests; and 2) supplementing that, tugging in the opposite direction, a wasteful, excessive and non-useful outgrowth is creating a space of creative freedom at the peripheral borders of the entrepreneurial activities (cf. Styhre, 2013).

To theorize this movement, emerging in the wake of the foreign, neo-liberal (fantasy) object gushing into and occupying the academic realm, the paper turns to Deleuze and Guattari’s notions of the major and the minor (1972/1986), or molar and molecular (1973/1980), in an attempt to extend and move beyond theoretical discussions of the organizing effects of objects located in shared spaces, so called boundary objects (see, e.g., Star & Greisemer, 1989; Star, 2010). 

Keyword
entrepreneurial university, academia, research, space, occupation, value creation
National Category
Other Social Sciences Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265445 (URN)
Conference
Latin American and European Meeting on Organisation Studies
Available from: 2015-10-29 Created: 2015-10-29 Last updated: 2016-04-22
Sköld, D. (2013). Co-creation at the limit of im/possibility: Learning from Lacan about the logic of desire and the limits of Deleuze. In: Daniel Hjorth, Chris Steyaert, Gail Whiteman (Ed.), Processes of Organizational Creativity: Collective Entrepreneurship, Co-Creation and Collaborative Innovation. Paper presented at European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS), 2013: Bridging Continents, Cultures and Worldviews. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Co-creation at the limit of im/possibility: Learning from Lacan about the logic of desire and the limits of Deleuze
2013 (English)In: Processes of Organizational Creativity: Collective Entrepreneurship, Co-Creation and Collaborative Innovation / [ed] Daniel Hjorth, Chris Steyaert, Gail Whiteman, 2013Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Contemporary marketing and innovation strategies often turn on the notion of desire, seeking to address most individual concerns, provide thrills and enjoyment, and have customers lust for the next novelty by turning it into a compelling experience. In doing so, they often seek to mobilize customer movements that contribute to the value creating processes by exploring far out ideas, inventing novel concepts, and valorizing new aspects of the products, services, or experiences that are being promoted. Encouraging passionate engagement with the offering, and enrolling the customer as co-designer, co-creator, co-producer will, moreover, tighten the bond to the supplying party, stage an added value, unify and enhance the common interests of the parties involved. Judging, at least, by much contemporary innovation management and marketing literature, such is the dominating belief in many domains of post-industrial society, with its focus on customization and the co-creation of individualized, unique, singular experiences. [N:1] One of the central concerns of seminal works on co-creation, such as C.K. Prahalad and Venkat Ramaswamy’s (2004) The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value With Customers, is how to organize the customer interface to best handle this value creating locus – facilitate, but indeed also set limits to participation in the creation and production processes.

While such visionary and ultimately normative work exists in abundance, the outlook on how co-creation imperatives of this kind may operate with respect to unconscious desires, and how they may stand in relation to the creative input/output generated at this limit of (im)possibility, is however far less explored and theoretically underdeveloped. Put differently, little management, organization, or marketing research has paid any serious theoretical attention to the regulative and the creative powers of the fantasies and desires that are being staged, activated, and perhaps also directed through marketing schemes and PR efforts which emphasize individualized customer dialogues and the co-creation of unique and singular experiences. Little research has paid any serious theoretical attention to the structural or machinic workings of the creative forces that gain their momentum from seductive marketing fantasies, and thrive on desire; little research has paid any serious attention to the ethics and the politics involved also in the inadvertent consequences and (un)manageable off-shoots that these kinds of management and marketing strategies may ultimately generate (for a few exceptions, see, e.g., Cederström & Grassman, 2010; Sköld, 2009; 2010; Sköld & Olaison, 2012). The theoretical understanding of this inter-relational locus of value creation and innovation appears, therefore, to be insufficiently advanced, and makes out the main target of this paper.

As of late, a more critically minded foray of management studies has indeed begun to interrogate the value creating dynamics implied by such collaborative (corporate) schemes and strategies (for an overview of this work, see, e.g., Cova et al., 2011). In a series of publications, Adam Arvidsson (2005; 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2011) has for instance explored how the social production involved in brand consumption, which turns a multitude of consumers into a community that circles around a certain brand, is subject to a series of techniques that administrate it, and use it as a source for extracting surplus value. Cultivating what he terms an ethical social bond that turns on affect, shared fantasies and experiences, such schemes and such a logic makes brand consumption and to some extent also customer co-creation into an instance of immaterial labor, which is systematically exploited by the productive power of Capital, according to Arvidsson’s largely Marxist-Foucauldian analysis, which also draws on Italian autonomist thinkers such as Maurizio Lazzarato (1996), Paolo Virno (2004), and Christian Marazzi (2008) to understand how immaterial labor is subsumed by the capitalist machine.

Remaining within a theoretical matrix dominated by Karl Marx and Michel Foucault, but concentrating more exclusively on the political aspects of customer co-creation – more so than ethical ones – Detlev Zwick, Samuel Bonsu, and Aron Darmody (2008) have inquired, moreover, into how such strategies often seek to generate particular lifestyles and knowledge communities by working through the freedom of the user-customer, rather than through normative control measures, in both intentional and highly sophisticated ways. By means of various procedures and techniques that posit co-creation as something desirable, and an arena for autonomy and self-actualization (e.g., formal competitions and awards, or more informal reward systems), many corporate discourses circling around this phenomenon effectively encourage user-customers to generate know-how and creative input, which may be incorporated into value creating processes. Using a Foucauldian terminology, co-creation strategies thus make out a form of ‘marketing governmentality’ in Zwick et al.’s (2008: 163) analysis – a form of productive power regimes aimed at reconfiguring the social relations of production, and (investing life into the accumulation of capital, by) operating on and through the bodies of user-customers to generate a kind of subjects that are ‘at once free and controllable, creative and docile’. Subjecting us to what might – with a further Foucault-inflected terminology – be termed a bio-political power, the co-creation paradigm represent, in Zwick et al.’s analysis, a radicalized co-optation of user-customers’ creative and productive capacity that far exceeds the immaterial labor which Arvidsson concentrates on, and which industrial realms long have known to expropriate from counter-cultural movements (see, e.g., Bell, 1973; Frank, 1998). In this co-optation, capital indeed desires the autonomous creativity of the user-customers, extracting surplus value from it, and exploiting it as free labor.

In what appears to be a reaction to how such analyses see labor and exploitation in all things voluntary, fun, and playful that are staged through commercial, collaborative platforms – and doing so quite regardless of the particular rationales for participating, or the specific modes and consequences of doing so – the critical engagements with co-creation have also turned to exploring the nuances of such inter-relations, and the shifts involved in the power plays between consumers and producers. While indeed acknowledging that co-creation may involve elements of exploitation – even a double exploitation, insofar as customers’ individualizing work, which is uncompensated in the first place, also may motivate producers to charge a premium price when the produce is sold back to the them – Siwarit Pongsakornrungsilp and Jonathan Schroeder (2011) have focused attention on how the work put in by co-consuming communities may serve as a platform that also enables them, to some degree, to unite and negotiate dominating interests, and thereby gain power towards producers and brand owners. Such communities may for instance limit the possibilities of intervening in the cultural practices of the community, with the agency granted to the customers thus offering an avenue for ‘consumer empowerment’ in the midst of the double exploitation that is also going on.

Around the notion of co-creation, we can thus begin to discern (i) a visionary discourse, which draws inspiration from a number of different practices that are supposed to illustrate its dynamics, and (ii) a more critical-analytical discourse that engages with, or otherwise assumes the existence of co-creation practices, inquiring for instance into the ethics and the politics implied by such a value creation paradigm. While the first kind of discourse approaches the phenomenon from a management perspective, and supposedly exerts a performative power or normative influence over management practices through the powerful visions/fantasies it conveys, the second kind of discourse is one that raises a number of questions with respect to the phenomenon that this fantasy is supposed to represent, and seeks to understand and uncover its workings. More specifically, we see how this latter discourse offers an analysis that circles around various ethical and political aspects of the strategies implied by the co-creation paradigm. One that at the same time acknowledges their power, and recognizes the agency on part of consumers, and communities thereof, to resist or negotiate them in more or less potent ways – and perhaps utilize them for their own ends. Taken together, the analysis it offers also points to how these aspects are inextricably intertwined, with Arvidsson’s analysis of the ‘ethical economy’ having political implications, insofar as it outlines rationales for participating in social production as well as strategies for the populace to gain more power over brand evaluation. Conversely, Zwick et al. (2008) point to ethical aspects and implications of the marketing governmentality and the bio-political power exerted upon consumers and user-customers through co-creation strategies. And although it remains implicit in their argument, Pongsakornrungsilp and Schroeder (2011) could be said to deal with both these aspects as they investigate the possibilities of an ethics of empowerment in different political strategies for handling and to some extent countering the power structures at play.

Oddly enough, however, these discourses appear to leave the notion of desire pretty much unproblematized in their respective attempts to work out the ethical and the political implications of desiring production under a co-creation paradigm. Both discourses certainly imply that the customers’ desire is a central component of this paradigm. In Prahalad and Ramaswamy’s (2004) work, it is the precondition that motivates particularized, one-to-one relationships to customers – which is, they argue, the best way to meet, and supposedly also still their desire. Zwick et al. (2008) further suggest that experiences of alienation and defiance on part of user-customers, and a ‘non-identification’ with the standardized offerings available in the market, is what feeds this desire for creative measures and renewed participation in processes of co-creation (see also Arvidsson, 2006: 73). In Arvidsson’s (2009) analysis, the value creation/production mobilized through co-creation strategies finds much of its fuel, moreover, in the social ties and the communities established around co-creative practices. Crucial for understanding this kind of social production is, Arvidsson suggests, the Aristotelian notion of philía, which is taken to mean the ability to establish connections, friendships, and build community. This by being both amaible and highly esteemed within the social context. A desire to go beyond standard offerings and stand out from the collective, on the one hand, and to be desirable and desired by a customizing community, on the other, thus appears to lie at the heart of the value production taking place in co-creation, according to the synthesized analysis encountered in the discourses above. But while these discourses indeed acknowledge, in different ways, that lust, adoration, and desire are most central components for motivating and sustaining participation in co-creation, and generating value within a paradigm of co-creation, little attention has been paid to how these components might work through the kind of practices promoted/problematized by these discourses – to the structural or machinic nature of the desiring production mobilized by such post-industrial strategies, and to the structural consequences of a kind of social bond that feeds on desire, and the displacement of any standard offering, or limit of im/possibility. Again, how desire might work in a productive fashion within a post-industrial capitalist machine, and what kind of ethics and politics may be involved in different modes of relating to the injunction to co-create, appears to be lacking recent critical engagements in this area. To what extent the desiring production that is set in motion by a co-creation paradigm indeed plays into and contributes to unifying the interests of the parties involved, is also a question that merits far more attention than it currently has been granted.

Now, a most intuitive move to better understand the creative and productive nature of desire in relation to co-creative practices would be to consult the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Owing both to his sole-authored works, and those which he wrote with political activist and Lacanian psychoanalyst Félix Guattari, Deleuze has for instance been hailed as ‘the champion of desire, free flux and anarchic experimentation’ by Louise Burchill (Badiou, 1997/2000: xii). And by consequence, his thinking has lately been deployed within the field of management and organization in order to better understand the relationship between desire and creativity, and to rethink notions such as passion, motivation, non-organization, and entrepreneurship. [N:2] Moreover has Deleuze’s thought, and particularly that part of his philosophical œuvre which he co-authored with Guattari, been described – for instance by Deleuze himself – as a political philosophy. [N:3] One that seeks to understand the workings of power within capitalist machineries, and that explores and promotes the revolutionary potential of desire, and desiring-production. Furthermore has Foucault suggested, in the preface to the English translation of Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia from 1977, that this particular book had best be read as a book on ethics, delineating an art of both thinking and of living so as to overturn ‘the established order’ (xiv). Invoking Deleuze’s thinking to better understand how desire works in a creative and productive manner through the machineries mobilized by co-creation strategies, and the ethics and the politics involved in different modes of relating to the socio-economic machineries, may thereby seem like a most fitting enterprise.

However, forty years have passed since Anti-Oedipus was first published in France, and more than thirty years have passed since the English translation it accessible to a wider audience. Since then, the logic of Deleuze’s thought and the politics it implies have not only been subject to intense dispute and debate, but also radical re-interpretation, and perhaps even shrewd appropriation. Drawing heavily on Alain Badiou’s (1997/2000) and Manuel DeLanda’s (2002) work, Slavoj Žižek (2004) has for instance confronted Deleuze’s thinking with the possibility that it rests on two quite different ontologies – which we shall have reason to come back to later on. Moreover has Žižek – owing to observations made by Jean-Jacques Lecercle (1996) and Brian Massumi (2003) – suggested that the later Deleuze, the one who teamed up with Guattari in the late 1960’s, has become the ideologist of late capitalism. This by virtue of capitalism’s ingenuity to come up with marketing schemes that invite us, through a most seductive play of promises, to participate and engage on our own terms – offering themselves to us, for instance, as rare and valuable opportunities to manifest our individuality and our autonomy (see again Sköld, 2010). Put differently, the machinery implied by a post-industrial dynamics which is centered around co-creation – geared, as it were, by tools and techniques that seek to provide singular, intensive and affective experiences, and that encourage transgressions, continuous reinventions of our selves, and ever novel manifestations of who we have come to be – could be said to have appropriated the ethics and the politics promoted by Deleuze and Guattari in Anti-Oedipus. In a time when this thinking may thus have lost its revolutionary potential, disarmed by the same orders they were supposed to overturn, and made into yet another means for value creation, what may indeed Deleuze, and perhaps also Guattari, have to offer? And which Deleuze?

As the title of Anti-Oedipus makes clear, this is a book that goes against a reigning psychoanalytic doxa, and particularly a Freudian psychoanalytical paradigm. Within the field of organization studies, the import of Deleuzian ideas to understand creativity and desire has often taken this blow against psychoanalysis to also be an attack on the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan; while it has argued that a Deleuzian understanding of desire may help us understand its creative and its productive powers, it has in the same instance denounced the Lacanian notion of desire as having little bearing on such investigations (see also Jones, 2010). This, however, is a vulgar and a most problematic simplification. First of all, because it involves a misrecognition, on a theoretical level, of the close affinity between Lacan and Deleuze (and indeed also Guattari, the latter having been a student of Lacan’s), and the ways in which Deleuze’s thinking is in fact indepted to Lacan – to Žižek’s view, the ontology manifested in the Deleuze’s The Logic of Sense from 1969 is in fact best understood as a materialist, Lacanian ontology, and also in later works such as Anti-Oedipus the homage to Lacan in is quite striking, although opinions part on what body of thought (Deleuze, Deleuze & Guattari, or Lacan) carries the most potential for providing a potent critique of the contemporary ideological landscape, and how they actually relate to one another (cf. Smith, 2004). Second, this simplification is problematic because it points to the premature conclusion that Lacan has little purchase for understanding the productive nature of desire, and how it might work through the socio-economic machineries mobilized through, for instance, co-creation schemes and strategies – and in a structural way play into the generation of the new.

In an attempt to better understand the machineries of desire mobilized by a co-creation paradigm, this paper therefore sets out to explore: (i) how Deleuze and Guattari conceptualize the ways in which desire has become subjected to different forms of representational régimes, and how the politics promoted for liberating desire and desiring production may relate to the workings of the post-industrial capitalist machine outlined by the discourses encountered above; and (ii) how one might understand Lacanian thought as providing an extension to the work of Deleuze and Guattari under such circumstances – one that at the same time may offer an alternative perspective on the ethics and the politics involved in this inter-relational locus of value creation, and at the same time expand theoretically on the workings of the double bind between customer and supplier, which is implied by a co-creation paradigm.

References

Arvidsson, A. (2005) ‘Brands: A Critical Perspective’, Journal of Consumer Culture 5(2): 235– 58.

Arvidsson, A. (2006) Brands: Meaning and Value in Media Culture. London: Routledge.

Arvidsson, A. (2007) ‘Crisis of Value and the Ethical Economy’ available at: http:/ /p2pfoundation.net/Crisis_of_Value_and_the_Ethical_Economy (accessed 27 October 2009).

Arvidsson, A. (2008) ‘The Ethical Economy of Customer Coproduction’, Journal of Macromarketing 28(4): 326-38.

Arvidsson, A. (2009) ‘The Ethical Economy: Towards a Post-Capitalist Theory of Value’, New Left Review 97: 13-29.

Badiou, Alain (1997/2000) Deleuze: The Clamor of Being. University of Minnesota Press. Bell, Daniel (1973) The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. Basic Books, Inc.

Brewis, J., Linstead, S., Boje, D. and O’Shea, A. (2006) The Passion of Organizing (eds.). Malmo: Liber/ CBS.

Case, P. and Selvester, K. (2006) The desiring-machines of computer-telephony consultancy, in Brewis J., Linstead, S., Boje, D. and O’Shea, T. (eds.) The passion of organizing. Malmo: Liber.

Cederström, C. & Grassmann, R. (2010) The Unbearable Weight of Happiness, in Cederström, C. & Hoedemaekers, C. (eds.) Lacan and Organization, MayFly Books.

Cova, B., Dalli, D., & Zwick, D. (2011) Critical perspectives on consumers’ role as ‘producers’: Broadening the debate on value co-creation in marketing processes, Marketing Theory, 11(3): 231-241.

Davis, S. (1987) Future Perfect. Addison-Wesley. Delanda, M. (2002) Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy. New York: Continuum. Deleuze, G. (1969/1990) The Logic of Sense. Columbia University Press. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1972/1983) Anti-Oedipus. University of Minnesota Press.

Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1995) Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium – an interview with Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, in Lothringer, S. (ed.) Chaosophy. Autonomedia/ Semiotexte. [Online] http://www.generation-online.org/p/fpdeleuze7.htm

Frank, T. (1998) The Conquest of Cool. The University of Chicago Press. Grönroos, C. (2000) Service Management and Marketing. A Customer Relationship Management

Approach. Chichester: John Wiley & Co.

Grönroos, C. & Gummesson, E. (1985) The Nordic School of Service. Marketing, in Grönroos, C. & Gummesson, E. (eds.), Service Marketing – Nordic School Perspectives, Stockholm University Press.

Hjorth, D. (2007) Lessons from Iago: Narrating the event of Entrepreneurship, Journal of Business Venturing, 22(5): 712-732.

Hjorth, D. (2011) On provocation, education and entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development: An International Journal, 23(1-2): 49-63.

Jeanes, E. (2006) ‘Resisting Creativity, Creating the New’. A Deleuzian Perspective on Creativity, Creativity and Innovation Management, 15(2): 127-134.

Jones, C. (2010) Lacan in Organization Studies, in Cederström, C. and Hoedemaekers, C. (eds.) Lacan and Organization, MayFly Books.

Lazzarato, M. (1996) Immaterial Labor, in Hardt, M. & Virno, P. (eds.), Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics. Minneapolis. (Translated by P. Colilli & E. Emery.)

Levitt, T. (1986) The Marketing Imagination. Free Press. Lecercle, J-J. (1996) ‘The Pedagogy of Philosophy,’ Radical Philosophy 75, January-February:

44. Linstead, S.A. and T. Thanem (2007) Multiplicity, Virtuality and Organization: The

Contribution of Gilles Deleuze, Organization Studies 28(10): 1483-1501. Marazzi, C. (2008) Capital and Language. New York: Semitoext(e).

Massumi, B. (2003) Navigating Movements, in Zournazi, M. (ed.) Hope: New Philosophies for Change. Routledge.

Pedersen, M. (2008) Tune in, break down, and reboot – new machines for coping with the stress of commitment, Culture and Organization, 14(2): 171-185.

Pine II, J. (1992) Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition. Harvard Business School Press.

Pine, J. & Gilmore, J. (1999) The Experience Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage. Harvard Business School Press.

Pongsakornrungsilp, S. & Schroeder, J. (2011) Understanding Value Co-creation in a Co-consuming Brand Community, Marketing Theory, 11(3): 303-324.

Prahalad, C.K. & Ramaswamy, V. (2004) The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value With Customers. Harvard Business Press.

Rehn, A. & Sköld, D. (2005) I Love the Dough: Rap Lyrics as a Minor Economic Literature,

Culture and Organization, 11(1): 17-31. Smith, D.W. (2004) The Inverse Side of the Structure: Žižek on Deleuze on Lacan, Criticism

46(4): 635-650. Sköld, D. (2009) An Evil King ‘Thing’, Rising, Falling and Multiplying in Trucker Culture,

Organization, 16(2): 249-266. Sköld, D. (2010) The Other Side of Enjoyment: Short-circuiting Marketing and Creativity in

the Experience Economy, Organization, 17(3): 363-378.

Sköld, D. & Olaison, L. (2012) Excessive Value Creation: Under the Tyranny of a New Imaginary, in Jemielniak, D. & Marks, A. (eds.) Managing Dynamic Technology-Oriented Business: High-Tech Organizations and Workplaces. IGI Global.

Styhre, A. (2006a) Deleuze, desire and motivation theory, in Brewis J., Linstead, S., Boje, D. and O’Shea, T. (eds.) The passion of organizing. Malmö: Liber.

Styhre, A. (2006b) Organization Creativity and the Empiricist Image of Novelty, Creativity and Innovation Management, 15(2): 143-149.

Sørensen, B.M. (2006) Identity Sniping: Innovation, Imagination and the Body, Creativity and Innovation Management, 15(2): 135-142.

Thanem, T. (2006) Non-organizational desire in organizational life, in Brewis J., Linstead, S., Boje, D. and O’Shea, T. (eds.) The passion of organizing. Malmo: Liber.

Vargo, S.L. & Lusch, R.F. (2004) ‘Evolving to a New Dominant Logic for Marketing’, Journal of Marketing, 68: 1-17.

Virno, P. (2004) A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life. Semiotext(e).

von Hippel, E. (1988) The Sources of Innovation. von Hippel, E. (2005) Democratizing Innovation. Žižek, S. (2004) Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences. Routledge.

Zwick, D., Bonsu, S. & Darmody, A. (2008) Putting Consumers to Work, Journal of Consumer Culture, 8(2): 163-196. 

Notes:

1. For influential work supporting this belief, see, e.g., Grönroos, 2000; Pine II & Gilmore, 1999; Vargo & Lusch, 2004; von Hippel, 1988; 2005. For a somewhat longer, and indeed also broader view on this phenomenon, see, e.g., Davis, 1987; Grönroos & Gummesson, 1985; Levitt, 1986; Pine II, 1992.

2. See, e.g., Brewis et al. 2006; Case & Selvester, 2006; Jeanes, 2006; Linstead & Thanem, 2007; Pedersen, 2008; Rehn & Sköld, 2005; Styhre, 2006a; 2006b; Sørensen, 2006; Thanem, 2006; Hjorth, 2007; 2011.

3. In a conversation with Antonio Negri from 1990, Deleuze claims that ‘Anti-Oedipus was from beginning to end a book of political philosophy.’ (Deleuze, 1995: 170) In another much older conversation, from 1972, with Catherine Backès-Clément, Guattari explains this same ambition in slightly different words: ‘what we were both looking for was a discourse that was at once political and psychiatric, without reducing either dimension to the other.’ (Deleuze, 1995: 15)

National Category
Business Administration Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in industrial engineering and management; Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-214229 (URN)
Conference
European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS), 2013: Bridging Continents, Cultures and Worldviews
Available from: 2014-01-08 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2014-01-09
Sköld, D. (2013). Co-creation at the limit of im/possibility: Learning from Lacan about the logic of desire and the limits of Deleuze?. In: Gilles Arnaud, Benedicte Vidaillet, Carine Chemin-Bouzir, Stijn Vanheule, Carl Cederström, Casper Hoedemaekers, Laurent Chaine (Ed.), Re-working Lacan at work: Abstracts. Paper presented at International Conference "Re-working Lacan at work", ESCP Europe Paris Campus, 14-15 June 2013 (pp. 59-62). ESCP Europe Paris.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Co-creation at the limit of im/possibility: Learning from Lacan about the logic of desire and the limits of Deleuze?
2013 (English)In: Re-working Lacan at work: Abstracts / [ed] Gilles Arnaud, Benedicte Vidaillet, Carine Chemin-Bouzir, Stijn Vanheule, Carl Cederström, Casper Hoedemaekers, Laurent Chaine, ESCP Europe Paris, 2013, 59-62 p.Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Contemporary marketing and innovation strategies often turn on the notion of desire, seeking to address most individual concerns, provide thrills and enjoyment, and have customers lust for the next novelty by turning it into a compelling experience. In doing so, they often seek to mobilize customer movements that contribute to the value creating processes by exploring far out ideas, inventing novel concepts, and valorising new aspects of the products, services, or experiences that are being promoted. Encouraging passionate engagement with the offering, and enrolling the customer as co-designer, co-creator, co-producer will, moreover, tighten the bond to the supplying party, stage an added value, unify and enhance the common interests of the parties involved. Judging, at least, by much contemporary innovation management and marketing literature, such is the dominating belief in many domains of post-industrial society, with its focus on customization and the co-creation of individualized, unique, singular experiences. [N:1] One of the central concerns of seminal works on co-creation, such as C.K. Prahalad and Venkat Ramaswamy’s (2004) The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value With Customers, is how to organize the interface to the customers – facilitate, but indeed also set limits to participation in the creation and production processes.

While such visionary and ultimately normative work exists in abundance, the outlook on how co-creation imperatives of this kind may operate with respect to unconscious desires, and how they may stand in relation to the creative input/output generated at this limit of (im)possibility, is however far less explored and theoretically underdeveloped. Put differently, little management, organization, or marketing research has paid any serious theoretical attention to the regulative and the creative powers of the fantasies and desires that are being staged, activated, and perhaps also directed through marketing schemes and PR efforts which emphasize individualized customer dialogues and the co-creation of unique and singular experiences. Little research has paid any serious theoretical attention to the structural or machinic workings of the creative forces that gain their momentum from such seductive marketing fantasies, and thrive on desire – and to the ethics and the politics involved in such movements, and in the (un)manageable off-shoots they may ultimately generate (for a few exceptions, see, e.g., Cederström & Grassman, 2010; Sköld, 2009; 2010; Sköld & Olaison, 2012). The theoretical understanding of this inter-relational locus of value creation and innovation appears, therefore, to be insufficiently advanced, and makes out the main target of this paper. 

Now, a most intuitive move to better understand the creative and productive nature of desire, and the ethics and the politics involved in the kind of desiring production prompted by co-creation practices, would be to consult the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze – particularly the works he co-authored with political activist and Lacanian psychoanalyst Félix Guattari. Demonstrating how desiring-production has become bound up with power, domination, and repression under different kinds of socio-economic régimes, and how it plays a central role in the self-revolutionary or deterritorializing/reterritorializing movement of the capitalist machine, famously led them, in their two volumes on Capitalism and Schizophrenia from the beginning of the nineteen seventies and eighties, towards an ethics and a politics aimed at the liberation of these machineries from the repressive, molar workings of established interests within the social formation. Their means of mapping the unconscious, social machineries of desire that are constitutive of productive forces in contemporary society, and understanding how these machineries play into the continuous organization and reorganization of socio-economic activity, led them to outline a mode of relating to these forces, which sought to escape some of their repressive and subjugating powers – first in Anti-Oedipus (1972/1983) and later in A Thousand Plateaus (1980/1987).

However, forty years have passed since Deleuze and Guattari’s collaborative work was first published. And since then, it has been suggested that the kind of ethics and politics they advocate has been appropriated by the capitalist machinery and lost much of its potency; it has been suggested that its creative ethos, and the liberation of desire which it allegedly prescribes, has been incorporated into post-industrial innovation strategies and co-creation schemes – appropriated by Capital as yet another means for generating surplus value, now by enabling customers to engage in creative processes seemingly on their own terms (see, e.g., Lecercle, 1996; Massumi, 2003; Žižek, 2004). Some, such as Slavoj Žižek (2004), have argued, moreover, that in order to properly understand the ideological landscape of contemporary capitalism, and the productive workings of desire, one had best turn to Lacan for theoretical support. In advancing this position, Žižek has also argued that the affinity between Deleuze, Guattari, and Lacan, with respect to how they understand the logic of desire, and its relationship to creativity and the creation of the new, is much more intimate than it usually is taken to be – especially in organization studies (cf. Jones, 2010). In addition to this, Žižek has also argued that it is the earlier Deleuze – the one which had not yet teamed up with Guattari, and which for instance manifests itself in The Logic of Sense (1969/1990) – who comes closest to formulating a Lacanian materialist ontology that is capable of shedding light on the conditions under which the creation of the new emerges; much more so, than the kind of materialist ontology manifested through the political philosophy of Capitalism and Schizophrenia.[N:2]

While the first part of such an analysis appears to have gained acceptance also among avid readers and proponents of Deleuze and Guattari’s joint work, the second part has been subject to severe criticism. For instance has Daniel Smith (2004) suggested that Anti-Oedipus is a very open-hearted attempt to build on Lacan’s thinking, albeit by taking it in a different direction than many of his own disciples – an attempt to continue Lacan’s own project of turning psychoanalysis against itself, taken to its extreme (see also Deleuze, 1995). Moreover has he maintained that the linkages between these two strands of thinking do indeed remain obscured, and ought to be explored further. Taking this conflict as its starting point, this paper starts out with a close reading of Anti-Oedipus, exploring at the same time how it attempts to build on Lacan, and how the ethics and the politics it advocates relates to the desiring production instigated by a contemporary co-creation paradigm. The paper then goes on to explore how Lacan’s own thinking on the different discursive modalities outlined in Seminar XVII and given in 1969-70, against this background and as deployed by contemporary Lacanian theorists such as Slavoj Žižek, may (not) be understood as extending our understanding of the machinic workings of contemporary capitalist dynamics – and thus also furthering the ethical and political implications of the desiring production involved herein.

References

Cederström, C. & Grassmann, R. (2010) The Unbearable Weight of Happiness, in Cederström, C. & Hoedemaekers, C. (eds.) Lacan and Organization, MayFly Books.

Davis, S. (1987) Future Perfect. Addison-Wesley. Deleuze, G. (1969/1990) The Logic of Sense. Columbia University Press. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1972/1983) Anti-Oedipus. University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, G. (1995) Negotiations. Columbia.

Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1995) Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium – an interview with Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, in Lothringer, S. (ed.) Chaosophy. Autonomedia/ Semiotexte. [Online] http://www.generation-online.org/p/fpdeleuze7.htm

Frank, T. (1998) The Conquest of Cool. The University of Chicago Press. Grönroos, C. (2000) Service Management and Marketing. A Customer Relationship Management

Approach. Chichester: John Wiley & Co.

Grönroos, C. & Gummesson, E. (1985) The Nordic School of Service. Marketing, in Grönroos, C. & Gummesson, E. (eds.), Service Marketing – Nordic School Perspectives, Stockholm University Press.

Jones, C. (2010) Lacan in Organization Studies, in Cederström, C. and Hoedemaekers, C. (eds.) Lacan and Organization, MayFly Books.

Levitt, T. (1986) The Marketing Imagination. Free Press. Lecercle, J-J. (1996) ‘The Pedagogy of Philosophy,’ Radical Philosophy 75, January-February:

44.

Massumi, B. (2003) Navigating Movements, in Zournazi, M. (ed.) Hope: New Philosophies for Change. Routledge.

Pine II, J. (1992) Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition. Harvard Business School Press.

Pine, J. & Gilmore, J. (1999) The Experience Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage. Harvard Business School Press.

Prahalad, C.K. & Ramaswamy, V. (2004) The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value With Customers. Harvard Business Press.

Smith, D.W. (2004) The Inverse Side of the Structure: Žižek on Deleuze on Lacan, Criticism 46(4): 635-650.

Sköld, D. (2009) An Evil King ‘Thing’, Rising, Falling and Multiplying in Trucker Culture, Organization, 16(2): 249-266.

Sköld, D. (2010) The Other Side of Enjoyment: Short-circuiting Marketing and Creativity in the Experience Economy, Organization, 17(3): 363-378.

Sköld, D. & Olaison, L. (2012) Excessive Value Creation: Under the Tyranny of a New Imaginary, in Jemielniak, D. & Marks, A. (eds.) Managing Dynamic Technology-Oriented Business: High-Tech Organizations and Workplaces. IGI Global.

Vargo, S.L. & Lusch, R.F. (2004) ‘Evolving to a New Dominant Logic for Marketing’, Journal of Marketing, 68: 1-17.

von Hippel, E. (1988) The Sources of Innovation. von Hippel, E. (2005) Democratizing Innovation. Žižek, S. (2004) Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences. Routledge. 

NOTES:

1. For influential work supporting this belief, see, e.g., Grönroos, 2000; Pine II & Gilmore, 1999; Vargo & Lusch, 2004; von Hippel, 1988; 2005. For a somewhat longer, and indeed also broader view on this phenomenon, see, e.g., Davis, 1987; Grönroos & Gummesson, 1985; Levitt, 1986; Pine II, 1992.

2. In a conversation with Antonio Negri from 1990, Deleuze claims that ‘Anti-Oedipus was from beginning to end a book of political philosophy.’ (Deleuze, 1995: 170)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ESCP Europe Paris: , 2013
National Category
Business Administration Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in industrial engineering and management; Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-214217 (URN)
Conference
International Conference "Re-working Lacan at work", ESCP Europe Paris Campus, 14-15 June 2013
Available from: 2014-01-08 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2014-01-09
Lindahl, M., Sköld, D. & Fowler, N. (2013). Dealing with the projectification of academic research – Practices of resistance andaccommodation in scientific laboratories. In: On practive and knowledge eruptions: . Paper presented at 22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference (pp. 108). .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dealing with the projectification of academic research – Practices of resistance andaccommodation in scientific laboratories
2013 (English)In: On practive and knowledge eruptions, 2013, 108- p.Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Dealing with the projectification of academic research– Practices of resistance and accommodation in scientificlaboratoriesLeading and managing knowledge intensive firmsthat are populated by scientists and engineers, has longbeen conceived as a major challenge (Etzioni, 1964). It isgenerally assumed that such high-level knowledge workersare badly suited for traditional means of control, morelikely to respond to normative measures and unobtrusivetechniques. Looking at the dominant form of managementcontrol system within government funded researchin Sweden, this paper explores the role of the projectas a tool/technique that has emerged as somewhat of auniversal remedy supposed to respond to the challengesinvolved in leading high-level knowledge work.By consequence, it seems, project managementmethods and techniques are unequivocally called for tostructure, guide and control research efforts. Researchersare being forced to appropriate and use PM methodologiesin order to become viable for funding as well as inreporting procedures, and in the handling of the researchon a daily basis. We thus appear to be witnessing a projectificationof academic research, which is manifested inapplication frameworks, in the taxonomies guiding theresearch efforts, and in the daily coordination and reportingof activities undertaken.Our interest lies in exploring the workings of thisdisciplinary regime, and the potential conflict it entailsbetween researchers perceiving themselves and theirresearch activities as being involved, on the one hand,in a process whereby value unfolds in independent andspontaneous ways, and, on the other, in a process of mostinstrumental and tightly controlled value-creation. Howthese kinds of conflicts are being handled, and how thestrategies emerging in response to such a regime appearsto affect how the research activities are played out, is thefocal point of this paper.

National Category
Economics and Business Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Business Studies; Engineering Science with specialization in industrial engineering and management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-205812 (URN)
Conference
22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference
Available from: 2013-08-22 Created: 2013-08-22 Last updated: 2014-01-09
Sköld, D. (2013). Kickstarting a Financial Revolution?: Exploring the liberating logic of crowdfunded ventures. In: : . Paper presented at Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism: Creative Deconstruction. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Kickstarting a Financial Revolution?: Exploring the liberating logic of crowdfunded ventures
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

“It is, perhaps, one of the most powerful developments in our modern-day socioeconomics, and it promises both to transform the capital formation landscape and to offer an avenue for a creative and intellectual rebirth.” (Lawton & Marom, 2013)

Over the past eight years or so, the interest in micro-financed business ventures and other creative projects has risen quite dramatically. Artistic activities and technological developments, scientific research, entrepreneurial initiatives, and adventurous events now try to win the public’s favor and its excess capital on crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and FundedByMe. With the pledges to successfully funded projects amounting to 422 million US dollars on Kickstarter alone (since the start in 2009), and with this financing principle emerging in new markets through an ever increasing range of platforms, crowdfunding is indeed beginning to make out a significant institution in the realms of venture capital. Judging by the current craze surrounding this socio-economic phenomenon, it constitutes a most appealing alternative at that. It has popularly been portrayed, for instance, as a possibility for more peripheral actors, who find it difficult to convince traditional funding bodies of their potential value, to access faster and more flexible funding schemes, and get their means of subsistence directly from those who best understand and appreciate what is at stake. It has been seen as a possibility for creative and innovative actors to establish more intimate bonds to customers as well as other enthusiastic stakeholders, and learn from the collective wisdom they possess from the very start of the project. It has been seen as a possibility for different kind of originators to free themselves from established institutions and structures, and in a more direct and independent way take advantage of a a widespread fan base or a certain community spirit. In connection to this, it has also been seen as a possibility to reduce risk and uncertainty when initiating a new project – the first customers already being committed to it, with sales as well as further promotion thereby being secured through a loyal following.

But it is not only from the creator’s point of view that crowdfunding has been seen as altering the conditions for value creation in a favorable way. Also from the financiers’ perspective – that of the funding public, the crowd, the community – has it been seen as a possibility to retain a bit of power over the productive forces, and to exercise at least a tad bit of influence over where society is headed; it has been seen as a possibility to impact creative and intellectual developments, without having to rely on some intermediary to channel and redirect our benefactions, and our dreams and desires of the world of tomorrow. Moreover has it been said to provide a stimulating social activity that in itself may be fun, playful, and possibly induce collective action. One that, according to Kevin Lawton and Dan Marom (2013), caters to an inert human “need to support and feel involvement in the kinds of projects and companies that we care about”, and one that may help “galvanize a community” – to put it in the words of Seth Fine, co-director of the first crowdfunded film to win an Oscar (Murphy, 2013). [NOTE: On February 24, 2013, the short documentary Inocente became the first Kickstarter-funded film to receive an Oscar.]

All in all, the crowdfunding phenomenon has been portrayed as a major (potential) transformation of how capital is allocated to creative and intellectual developments. A revolution, even, of capital formation and financial markets, and at the same time a democratization movement, which circumvents the bottleneck constituted by established financial institutions and enables an ever-widening range of initiatives to be funded by broader segments of society. Insofar as it contributes to displacing the power over art and culture, technology and innovation, to the intersection between an interested public and creators who stand detached from the demands and desires of finance capital, this funding principle may certainly appear to hold a lot of promise.

Without renouncing the potential favors of crowdfunding, and without reducing this funding principle to one working dynamics, the paper seeks, in a first instance, to deconstruct the exhilarated discourse surrounding this phenomenon. This, so as to map out the assumed logic of its liberating potential, and the kind of power regime it is contrasted against. In a second instance, the paper goes on to explore the workings of the kind of productive machineries that this funding principle may in fact entail. With a particular interest in how crowdfunded ventures play on desire and feed off “inspired crowds”, it turns to Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s political philosophy to conceptualize how the power relations at work in this kind of production may be constituted – how power may be distributed and how it may work within the kind of machineries encountered here, and particularly with respect to the desiring machines they mobilize and feed upon. Ultimately, the question that the paper circles around is how one may conceive of the political dimension of the creative energy that is mobilized by crowdfunded ventures, and liberated from the desires of financial capital, in exchange for that of the crowd.

References

Lawton, Kevin & Marom, Dan (2013) The Crowdfunding Revolution: How to Raise Venture Capital Using Social Media. MacGraw Hill eBooks.

Murphy, Samantha (2013) “Oscar Win Is a First for Kickstarter-Funded Film”, at Mashable.com, 130225. [Online: http://on.mash.to/15gCAYJ] 

National Category
Business Administration Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in industrial engineering and management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-214249 (URN)
Conference
Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism: Creative Deconstruction
Available from: 2014-01-08 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2014-01-09
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