The limits of process: On (re)reading Henri Bergson

Mutch, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-8054-6649, 2016. The limits of process: On (re)reading Henri Bergson. Organization. ISSN 1350-5084

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This article offers a reading of the work of Henri Bergson as it pertains to organizations through the lens of ideas drawn from critical realism. It suggests an alternative to interpretations based on a stark division between process and realist perspectives. Much of the existing literature presents a rather partial view of Bergson’s work. A review suggests some interesting parallels with themes in critical realism, notably the emergence of mind. Critical realism has a focus on process at its heart, but is also concerned with how the products of such processes become stabilized and form the conditions for action. This suggests that attention might usefully be paid to the relationship between organizational action and the sedimented practices grouped under the heading of ‘routines’. More attention to Bergson’s account of the relationship between instinct, intuition and intelligence provides a link to the social character of thought, something which can be mapped on to Archer’s work on reflexivity and the ‘internal conversation’. This suggests that our analyses need to pay attention to both memory and history, to building and dwelling, rather than the one-sided focus found in some process theory accounts.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Organization
Creators: Mutch, A.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 2016
ISSN: 1350-5084
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 13 Jan 2016 12:20
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:58

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