655 Study Guides by Boje on Sustainable Systemicities


STUDY GUIDES for Organization Systemicity Complexity and Sustainability




Study guides to help you learn terminology based on




Each class, one student is tasked to write the two questions for that class, that they and the students will answer within 24 hours of the class meeting.

Canvas Question 1A. What is a Grand Narrative [ (hover over for definition )] of 'whole systems' ?

Canvas Questionb B: Give your own living story web (hover over for definition )] context examples of systemicity that are counter to the Grand Narratives you critique in 1a?

After first class session, it is you the student that design the quesitons. Just fill in the blanks.


e.g. Canvas Question 2a: What is a Grand Narratives about _________?

Canvas Question 2b: What is your own Living Story Web that is counter to the Grand Narrative in 2a?

Please meet with your insturctor the week, prior to the actual class meeting, so things are prepared, organized, and so on. Please develop ideas for the questions to ask before you meet with the instructor. On the class day, you will also co-facilitate the class meeting. The purpose is to insure that the class members are focusing in on questions abouts complex systems and critical ontology that are of greatest interest. The first question is about grand narratives and the second is about living story webs (applications of self-reflection, self-inquiry, and self-criticism that contextualize the topic for the student).

Please review the topic material in the syllabus for that meeting, and get with your instructor to figure out which books, which chpaters, which articles, which web sites to assign to your peers. Thank you.

For your JORNAL Theory and your JOURNAL Analysis papers, please Use APA format (or format for the journal you intend to submit to) a title, abstract, introduction, your contribution, structure of the rest of paper, theory section where you define terms (advise you define each new term, as you go), then lay out your critiques, discussion of contributions made in your paper, conclusions --- format. Use headings and subheadings, and embed figures and tables in the text. Each paper needs to be critical, a critique, rather than a summary of open systems work (it is not aobut your opinion, however reflexive introspection and life stories, as well as empiric examples from your research are encouraged). A critique, for example, would deconstruct, dismantle, point out the weaknesses, for example, of a weak process open systems theory, and contribute a resituation, such as developing a strong process antesystemicity, where there is a pluralistic, as opposed to a monist or organization-as-thing-structure/function (weak process) approach.

Keep up with Canvas and any of the assigned short topic assignments. Canvas submission due the day (midnight) following class day. Short assignemnts specified in advance in class or in syllabus are due the day they are to be discusses.

Study Guide 1: Hermeneutics of Systemicity


Each of you will relate a different ontological hermeneutic theorist to a different ontological scholar's work. Keep in mind that system thinkers also engage their own hermeneutics. Each ontologist has their own hermeneutic method and your job is to get critical about the system hermeneutic approach, so you can then resituate and restory. First day you will draw from a hat, a number, the order of picking one systems theorist and then choose one ontological scholar (any order) from this table: SYSTEMICITIES-ONTOLOGY-MATERIALISMS MATRIX. Keep in mind the focus of the class is for you to develop an understanding of ontological-analytic methodology.

BACKGROUND Read Heidegger Introduction and begin Part I.1. How would you complete Heidegger's unfinished project (p. 64, footnote 1)? Possibly with the promised critique 'time and Being' in Aristotle (Physics IV essay on time) and Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason (see section on time). Each systems theorist has some comibnation of epistemic, post-positivist, and ontologic analytic. For Heidegger the ontologic defines what epistemic and ontic (aka post-positivistic in our terms) can be. James (1907 lecture 4) you discover von Bertallanfy (1956) seems unaware of James had already invented open systems and had done so by crossing epistemic-post postivist psychology experiments; Then see Boje (2008a) chapters on strategy and systems complexity, Boje (2014) COPE model, and then go to Barad, Karen. (2003) "Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter." Signs 28.3 (2003): 801-831. Barad takes an epistemic-ontologic perspective she calls agential realism. Read Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1987, chap 14 ). A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and SchizophreniaRead Hediegger (1962) to sort out difference of ontology, epistemology, and ontic (see review in Boje, 2014 COPE).

From my new book: “By 1929, Dewey had embraced a more ontological- and quantum-pragmatism, while Peirce remained with epistemic-pragmatism (semiotics) and James with post-positivistic-pragmatism. Fast forward to 2014 and varieties of COPE pragmatisms (Critical, Ontological, Post-positivist, and Epistemic) are coping with the Quantum and Liquid Modern Age of late modern capitalism.” Here we start with the Pragmatic-Ontologists and relate them to Systemicities and to New Materialisms.


  Student working on this topic: Systems Theorists: Ontologic Hermeneutic Scholars: New Materialisms' Scholars (see Boje, 2014 text):
1   Katz & Kahn, open systems concept. Martin Heidegger - Being and Time (focus on the relams: eqipment, work, welfare, nature, etc.)

Davis, Noela. (2009). "New Materialism and Feminism's Anti-Biologism A Response to Sara Ahmed." European Journal of Women's Studies 16.1: 67-80.

2   Ludwig von Bertalanffy is said to have invented open systems theory, but... James (1907)

James, W. (1907). Pragmatism. Lecture Four: The One and the Many. Learn the Eight Pragmatic Systemicity' critiques of Open Systems Theory. Then, relate those to Eight Quantum Systemicities (see table).

Clough, Patricia T. (2008). The Affective Turn: Political Economy, Biomedia and Bodies. Theory Culture Society, 25(1), 1-22.
3   Talcott Parsons Merleau-Ponty (1962). Phenomenology of Perception; Visible & Invisible Diana Coole develops a materialism storytelling of Merleau-Ponty; Coole, Diana. (2010). “The inertia of matter and the generativity of flesh.” Pp. 92-115 in Diana Coole and Samantha Frost (Eds.) New materialisms: Ontology, agency, and politics. Duke University Press.
4   Fred and Merelyn Emery Hannah Arendt - The Human Condition (focus on theory of Action Wakefield, Tonya Henderson. (2012b). An ontology of storytelling systemicity: Management, fractals and the Waldo Canyon fire. (Doctorate of Management Doctoral dissertation), Colorado Technical University, Colorado Springs, CO.
5   Louis R. Pondy & Kenneth Boulding Werner Heisenberg - Physics & Philosophy (Uncertainty Principle & Observer Effect is part of the hermeneutics) Greene, Ronald Walter (1998). Another materialist rhetoric. Critical Studies in Mass Communication Vol 15: pp 2-43.See online article:
6   Fritjof Capra Mikhail Bakhtin - Philosophy of the Act (answerability ethics of intervening in once-occurrent Being of eventness)

Uzel, Kaya. (2013). "The Material Underside of the Posthuman: Notes on the Foxconn Suicides and the Biopolitics of Outsourced Electronics Manufacturing." Kaleidoscope 5.2: 151-179.

7   Edgar Morin Adorno (& Horkheimer) Culture Industry

Cook, Deborah. (2006). "Adorno’s critical materialism." Philosophy & social criticism 32.6: 719-737.

8   Niklaus Luhmann Hird's hermeneutics of biophilia Mira J. Hird - Sex, Gender & Science
9   Herbert Spencer- survival of the fittest humans  

Haynes, Patrice. (2012). Immanent Transcendence: Reconfiguring Materialism in Continental Philosophy. Continuum International Publishing Group.

10   Charles West Churchman Barad's Ontologic-Epistemic, agential-realism; posthumanism, etc. See also Bøje, D. M.; Jørgensen, Kenneth Mølbjerg; & Strand, Anete M. Camille. (2013) TOWARDS A POSTCOLONIALSTORYTELLING THEORY OF MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION, Journal of Management Philosophy, 2013; Strand and Jorgensen – material storytelling as interactive becoming) Barad, Karen. (2007). Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Durham, NC: Duke University Press; Barad, Karen. (2003). "Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter." Signs, vol. 28.3: 801-831.
11   Stephen C. Pepper (4 world hypotheses) Hans Georg Gadamer; Shalin, D. N. (2007). Signing in the Flesh: Notes on Pragmatist Hermeneutics*.Sociological Theory, 25(3), 193-224.
12   James G. Miller Slavoj Zizek (2006) The Parallex View. (Parallex is the ontological-gap in-between epistemic and ontic; term originally used by Kant in Critique of Pure Reason)

Haraway, Donna. (1992). The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others. In L. Grossberg, C. Nelson & P. A. Treichler (Eds.), Cultural Studies (pp. 295-337). New York: Routeledge.

13   Immanuel Kant Kenneth Burke move form Pentad to ontological dramaturgy; (also look at Bakhtin's Architctonic differences with Kant)  
14   Prigogine & Stengers George Herbert Mead (book, Philosophy of the Present See Boje (2014) - "For Mead, time is conceived as a passage in league with space and energy, where out of emergences noticed in the present, past experiences are selectively engaged in order to promote expected future courses of action. Mead’s (1932) is an ontological and a quantum approach, as is the work of John Dewey (1929)."
15   Lou Davis & Jim Taylor Roland Barthes X.Z book - his HERM - ontological approach

Strand, Anete Mikkala Camille. (2012). The between: on dis/continuous intra-active becoming of/through an apparatus of material storytelling. (Doctoral Program in Human Centered Communication and Informatics (HCCI)), Aalborg University, Aaulborg, Denmark.  

16   Jamshid Gharajedaghi 1999

Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1987). A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia; start with D&G chap 14 smooth and striated

Deleuzian vitalism, what Jane Bennett (2001: 14, 74, 87) called "enchanted materialism" and a vibrant alterity; Bennett, Jane. (2001). The enchantment of modern life: attachments, crossings, and ethics. Princeton University Press

Bennett, Jane. (2010). Vibrant matter: a political ecology of things. Durham: Duke University Press.


Scott, W. Richard and Gerald Davis. (2007). Organizations and Organizing: Rational, Natural, and Open System Perspectives. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice- Hall

Hobbes, Thomas. (1651). Leviathan
Samantha Frost who develops a new materialism reading of Thomas Hobbes’ (1651) Leviathan;

Frost, Samantha. (2010). Fear and the illusion of autonomy. Pp. 158-176 in Diana Coole and Samantha Frost (Eds.) New materialisms: Ontology, agency, and politics. Duke University Press.

      Paulo Freire - Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Fusco, Coco. (1994).  "The other history of intercultural performance." TDR (Cambridge, Mass.) Vol. .38 (1): 143-167.  Available on line
Fusco, Coco. (2001). 'At your service: Latin women in the global information network.'  Pp. 186-201 in Coco Fusco (ed.) the Bodies That Were Not Ours and Other Writings. London/NY: Routledge/Inviva. 


Deleuze, G. ; & Guattari, F. (1987). A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia so that you can contrast the ontology of GST & Barad with a Deleuzian ontology, Suggest starting with Chapter 14 that has lots on open and closed.

Aguirre, G; Bøje, D.;Cast, M.;Conner, S. Helmuth, C.; Mittal, R.; Saylors, R.; Tourani, N.; Vendette, S.; Yan, T. Q. (2013). “University Sustainability and System Ontology,” Special Issue: Organizational Innovations and Responses for Universal Equilibrium, International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, Vol. 15(4): 577-618. Accepted October 2012. The journal has a 90% rejection rate, so receiving a first round accept, was good news. Co-authors are from Management and Marketing departments of New Mexico State University, and are listed in alphabetical order. Click here for pre press pdf.


Student Name

Systems Theorists

Ontological Scholars

Pragmatist Hints by Boje for Assignment 1 ways to Restory and Deconstructive-resituations


Louis R. Pondy & Kenneth Boulding

Kenneth Burke

Burke's Pentad connects to pragmatism through Agency, and to Materialist rhetoric through Purpose. Peirce approaches causality through only two of Aristotle's fourfould causes (efficient & final), then adds the Natural Kind as distinguished from 'Natural Kind' of classification sets/sequences/continua. Also James (1907) chapter on One and the Many raises questions aobut a hierarchical. Therefore, is Pondy/Boulding's 9 levels an artificial class, or a natural kind? Finally Burke collapses Aristotle (Poetics) rhythm and dialogue into one classification, agency. See Septet.


Herbert Spencer

Hans Georg Gadamer

Spencer's survival of the fittest is instrumentalist and class-based hegemony; Gadamer's ontological hermeneutic is strcturalist (apolitical), and therefore blunts its critical potential (Shalin (p. 19). Whereas Peirce judges the idea by its consequence (p. 20). There is a difference between structuralist hermeneutic circle and hermeneutic spiral: "Pragmatist hermeneutics opens up the hermeneutical circle wide enough to include in its sweep emotions, body, action, and words" (p. 21)


Immanuel Kant

Martin Heidegger - Being and Time

Shalin (p. 9) says Heidegger's pragmatism "traces interpretive knowledge to affect and practical activity." Shalin (p. 27) "pragmatist hermeneutics may offer an alternative to ontological and structural theories of interpretation." And to Kantian transcendental a priori. Your critique can sort out what that pragmatist critique adds.


Ludwig von Bertalanffy

Karen Barad - Meeting the Universe Halfway (hermeneutics of agential realism, intra-activity of discourse with materiality

Bertalanffy dismisses vitalism, and uses biological cell metaphor. Barad's stance is ambiguous on vitalism and on quantum consciousness. The dash (-) between intra and activity needs sorting. From pragmatist standpoint, such as Peirce the particulars (infintesimals, fillibisms, natural kinds) matter; from James the plurality of systemicities matter.


Edgar Morin

Paulo Freire - Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Morin's dialogism is different than Bakhtin's dialogism (but which one of the four dialogisms), and these all differ from the dialogic-antidialogic of Freire. Where is the pragmatism in all this?


Talcott Parsons

Werner Heisenberg - Physics & Philosophy (Uncertainty Principle & Observer Effect is part of the hermeneutics)

Heisenberg (1927) publishes the Uncertainty Principle and two years later Dewey (1929) in Quest for Certainty applies it to pragmatism. In Heisenberg there is a chapter listing various materialst ontologies. Your critique could get at the shortcomings of Parson's for not having a materialist rhetoric beyond representationalism. See next table on the materialist rhetorics.


Stephen C. Pepper

Aristotle - On the Soul

Pepper discounts and dismisses both the spiritual and the indigenous beliefs as 'animism' in his introduction. Look to Cajete's book on Native Science, for a defense of animism, for its ecological and material storytelling. See Boje, D. M.; Jørgensen, Kenneth Mølbjerg; & Strand, Anete M. Camille. (2013) 


Fritjof Capra

Giles Deleuze - A Thousand Plateaus; see also Series & Repetition

In Peirce there are two key concepts that could onlock your critique: fillbilism and infintesimals. These could relate to Deleuze (& Guattari) since the infinesimals are sets of events or parts in-between, and the fillbilism is uncertainty and indeterminacy of complexity and diversity (plurality) relations, and therefore could be relateable to rhizomatic-antenarrative processes


Fred and Merelyn Emery

Hannah Arendt - The Human Condition

Emerys root their theory of sociotech in Pepper's contextualism. Arendt, a disaffected student of Heidegger, is rooted in Being-in-the-world, but has a theory of political action instead of a theory of labor/work. Heidegger did not take political action (thus Arendt's disaffection).


Prigogine & Stengers

Maurice Merleau-Ponty - Phenomenology of Perception

Prigogine & Stengers have a section towards end of their book on reenchanting complexity. Therefore a Vizeonor/Cajete connection could be made. Merleau-Ponty does some proto-pragmatist moves (compare his schema of epistemic-empiric-ontologic to James' intellectualist-empiricist-pragmatist).



James, W. (1907). Pragmatism.










Shalin (2010) article gives most of you a good perspective on your critique as you sort out different hermeneutics in relation to systemic and pragmatic approaches. Husserl was Heidegger's teach, Arendt & Gadamer were Heidegger's students. Merleau-Ponty became an apprentice. Ricoeur and Gadamer are said to deploy structuralist hermeneutic approaches. The manner of Barad's ontology is not sorted, though the claims Latour's actor-network theory as a base. Deleuzian and Heidegger ontologies differ. Bakhtin anticipates Derrida moves. Is Barad/Hird/Strand agentic realism akin to behavioral-agentic pragmatisst hermeneutics?

"Informed by the pragmatist ethos, hermeneutics explores the word-body-action nexus and uses triangulation to find meaning on the intersection of these three primary signifying media. The focus is on the misalignments in the signification process, on occasional and systemic breaks in the live semiotic chains produced by agents inhabiting a given sociohistorical niche. Symbolic distanciation is measured here by pragmatist engagement, textual fixation is matched with practical indeterminacy. The former focuses on the process that progressively disembodies human agency, reducing it to what Frege called “sense,” Husserl identified as “meaning,” and Ricoeur equated with “what has been said.” By contrast, interpretation in the pragmatist key pursues the reverse distanciation which realigns the linguistic forms with the somatic-affective and behavioral-agentic signs. What phenomenological hermeneutics dismisses as “noise” obscuring “universal meaning,” pragmatists treat as a sign of indeterminacy and a signal of repressed affectivity occluded by the dominant textual practices" (Shalin 2010: p. 21).

"Pragmatist hermeneutics starts with the premise that embodied human agency signs itself in the verbal-discursive forms, as well as in its somatic-affective markers and behavioral-performative traces" (ibid, p. 21).

"The political agenda germane to pragmatist hermeneutics calls for recovering the voices that have failed to come to language, retrieving the moods that have been suppressed by the powers that be. Pragmatist hermeneutics draws attention to the pragmatic-discursive misalignment manifest in everyday life and endemic to human conditions. It also calls upon the interpreters to come to terms with their own prejudices — affective, somatic, agentic, and discursive — which bind us to privileged perspectives and serve our hidden agendas. Above all, pragmatists need to keep in check the tendency to edit out disagreeable facts from our own past and resist the tendency to bury our all too human agency in textual products" (ibid, p. 22)

Use the ontological scholarship to get critical about the other author's systems theory. Include system-antisystem and antesystem analysis. Repeat, get very CRITICAL about the systems theorist's theory, practice, method. How is open systems theory underdetermined? Apply course readings from Callari & Ruccio, Boje, and Bauman. In other words, do not just say an open systems is 'whole is greater than sum of its parts' or open system if not closed, or open system is flexible adaptive to its environment. Get deep into what 'IS' the ontological materiality in space, in time of antesystem, system and antisystem, and their interanimated relationship to one another? Give examples. E.g. At a middle school, there are many partially implemented food systems, that are sustainable (to health, environment, to economics), yet, many other partially implemented systems are unsustainable. For each partially implemented system attempt, layer-upon-layer of partial systems are partially implemented, partially embraced, and partially diaassembled before the next partial system partial implementation. For each partial, a partial antisystem is happening, where counter parts, parts outside the partial system, are reterritorializing, deterritorializing whatever partial system was partially implemented. This is the nature of what Bakhtin calls systemicaliness."Systemicity is defined as the dynamic unfinished, unfinalized, and unmerged, and the interactivity of complexity properties with storytelling ... processes" (Boje, 2008: 2). Include references and quotes from your readings of Heidegger and Bauman books from first three weeks, General System Theory (GST) of Bertalanffy, and what I will call Quantum-Ontological System Theory (Q-OST), Pragmatist Hermeneutics, be sure to include your own Heidegger, Aristotle, and Bauman readings, your search of literature applied to a 'antisystem' and system of your choosing. Share your ontological-system-antisystemic-storytelling annoted bibliography with classmates; divide it up if you like; Be prepared to present your antisystem-system-ontology paper. See (Anteriority and Spiral-antenarrative) Boje (2011g). For what is pragmatist hermeneutics read: Shalin, D. N. (2007). Signing in the Flesh: Notes on Pragmatist Hermeneutics*.Sociological Theory, 25(3), 193-224.

Boje (2008a, STO book) covers the 9 levels of Boulding's model in comparison to their revision by Pondy; it also has the antisystemic from Bakhtin's (anti)systemicaliness (another word for antisystemic) alternative to monologic open systems theory. See Bauman (1978) Hermeneutics book, chapter on Talcott Parsons, and how he disenchanted [open] systems theory.

Callari, A; Ruccio, D. F. (1996). Postmodern Materialism and the Future of Marxist Theory" Essays in the Althusserian Tradition. Hanover/London: Wesleyan University Press. Note this is not the introduction, it is a different chapter, but a start http://www.rdwolff.com/sites/default/files/attachment/4/Rick%20Wolff,%20Althusser%20and%20Hegel.pdf

Shalin, D. N. (2007). Signing in the Flesh: Notes on Pragmatist Hermeneutics*.Sociological Theory, 25(3), 193-224.

STUDY GUIDE 2 Materiality Rhetorics Ontololgy and Systems Theorists

So what is the relation of Systemicity and Quantum Materialist Rhetoric and food systemicity-antisystems-antesystems Action? Based upon class readings to this juncture, and your Assignment 1 Matrix choices, expand into one of these 10 materialist rhetorics: MATERIALITIES-ONTOLOGIES-SYSTEMS MATRIX

Table 3: Materialist Rhetorics, Ontological and Systems Theorists

  Materialist Rhetorics: Ontologic Hermeneutic Scholars: Systems Theorists:
1 soul-materialist (Aristotle) Martin Heidegger - Being and Time Katz & Kahn, open systems concept.
2 Historical-materialist (Marx) Giles Deleuze - Thousand Plateaus Ludwig von Bertalanffy
3 Symbolist-materialist movement (1880-1910) Maurice Merleau-Ponty - Phenomenology of Perception Talcott Parsons
4 Russian Formalist materialist movement (1910-1928) Hannah Arendt - The Human Condition Fred and Merelyn Emery
5 Structualist-materialst movements in France and US Werner Heisenberg - Physics and philosophy Louis R. Pondy & Kenneth Boulding
6 Postmodern materialist (Althusserian aspect) see Callari, A; Ruccio, D. F. (1996); See (Greene, 1998) Mikhail Bakhtin - Philosophy of the Act Fritjof Capra
7 Poststructuralist materialist (Derrida) Aristotle - On the Soul Edgar Morin

Quantum materialist (Barad, 2007; Strand 2012 dissertation - Books 1 and 2 are online; Kowalko, 2010 dissertation on Barad; Heisenberg, 1958

Mira J. Hird - Sex, Gender & Science Niklaus Luhmann
9 Linguistic materialist representation (de Saussure) Karen Barad - Meeting the Universe Halfway Herbert Spencer
10 Newtonian mechanistic materialist Paulo Freire - Pedagogy of the Oppressed Charles West Churchman
11 Burkean Pentad (Scene-Agent-Act-Agency-Purpose) in relation to 5 philosophies of materialist, idealism realist, pragmatist, & mysticism Roland Barthes (S/Z) HER-SEM-SYM-REF-ACT pentic hermeneutics William James Pragmatism which mediates between several philosophies in a pragmatist approach to plurality
12 Zygmunt Bauman - consumerist-materialist of Liquid Modernity Bruno Latour - Actor-network theory John Dewey (1929). The Quest for Certainty. Gifford Lectures.
13 Heisenberg's (1927, 1958) sorting of materialist ontologies from Atomism, Newtonian, Einstein, Bohm, to Bohr, and his own. Hari Tsoukas, Robert Chia and colleagues, Strong Process approach to strategy George Herbert Mead (1932) The Philosophy of the Present.

First student chooses a materialist rhetoric from 1st column, then chooses ontologist from 2nd column, and then from 3rd column a system thinker. Then next student chooses, etc.

Please read

What are types of materialist rhetoric (representationalist, Marxist, Postmodernist, Constitutive, and Quantum), etc? (from Boje, 2013 chapter on materialities Drop box).

Boje's sc'MOI 2013 submission on food antesystemicity from quantum and pragmatist hermeneutics standpoint

Greene, Ronald Walter (1998). Another materialist rhetoric. Critical Studies in Mass Communication Vol 15: pp 2-43. http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=ronaldwaltergreene

Include critique of Open System Theory, and Living Systems Theory (Capra, Miller). Read Bauman and you will get what antisystemic means.

Shalin, D. N. (2007). Signing in the Flesh: Notes on Pragmatist Hermeneutics*.Sociological Theory, 25(3), 193-224.

STUDY GUIDE 3: Quantum- Pragmatist-Hermeneutics of the antesystemicity systemicity-antisystemicities

Continue to reflect on the works selected in Assignment 2 Matrix. Must be based on your field study and many of the course readings, must include Heidegger and Bauman. And also, Please submit a conference abstract/paper related to ontological-systemicity-antisystemicities-inquiry for http://scmoi.org or some other one (e.g. SWAM will be taking place in Santa Fe and Albuquerque the same week in March (13th-16th).

Fill in this table and turn it in as part of assignment 3.

Table 4: Pragmatic and Quantum Hermeneutics Systemicities

Pragmatic Systemicities of William James (1907)

Draw your Own Linkages


Quantum Systemicities of Nick Herbert (1985)


One subject of discourse OR
Many subjects of discourse



No deep realities OR
Any deeper realities


Continuous parts OR Discontinuous part


Systemicity created by observer OR
Observer does not matter


Single path network OR
Innumerable path networks


Systemicity undivided wholeness OR
Pluralized Systemicities without wholeness


One path of influence OR
Many paths of non-influence


Systemicity in many parallel universes OR
Just one systemic universe


One causal unity
Or Causal plurality


Quantum logic does not obey human logic OR
Only human logic


One unity of purpose OR
Each step brings unforeseen chances


Neorealism – systemicity made of ordinary material objects OR it is made of non-ordinary materialities


One BME retrospective narrative OR
Many partial stories with prospection


Consciousness creates material-reality OR
Material-Real impervious to consciousness


One universal substance One Knower sees all OR
Pluralistic substances overlapping with many knowers


Duplex world: twofold potentialities and actualities OR
One world: potentials equal actuals

Instructions - draw lines between the first and last column, making the connections you document in your individual paper projects. Discuss your linkages, and make presentations of the pragmatist hermeneutics and the quantum hermeneutics antesystemicity theory.

As part of this assignment, please go to the Coas book store and Las Cruces, and there you will find the Journal, Transaction of the Charles S. Peirce Society. I bought the 1997, Vol. XXXIII, No. 3 issue $3, and above related three articles in a Quantum-Pragmatist-Hermenetuic inquiry into Open Systems Theory:

  • Herron, Timothy (1997). C. S. Peirce's theory of infinitesimals. Transactions of the Charles S Peirce Society, A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy, Vol. XXXIII (3): 590-645.
  • Sfendoni-Mentzou, Demetra. (1997). Peirce on Continuity and Laws of Nature. Transactions of the Charles S Peirce Society, A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy, Vol. XXXIII (3): 646-679.
  • Hulswit, Menno. (1997). Peirce's teleological approach to natural classes. Transactions of the Charles S Peirce Society, A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy, Vol. XXXIII (3): 722-773

Go and purchase your own issue for $3 and discuss some of the articles in relation to Quantum-Pragmatist Hermeneutic critique of Open System Theory.

In brief, develop a Quantum-Pragmatist hermeneutics. Peirce's concepts of infinitessimal subsets between stage sequences, and fillbilism concept that predates Heisenberg's (1927) uncertainty principle, as well as Peirce's (1929) own discussion of it in relation to pragmatism, call for a Quantum Pragmatist Hermeneutics. Here is the beginning of a table. Flesh out your own rendition.

Table 5: John Dewey Quantum-Pragmatist-Hermeneutic Method

Heisenberg Uncertainty principle (cannot accurately measure position & velocity) Epistemic 'quest for certainty' is an "escape from peril" (Dewey, 1929: Chapter 1) move between sensorium (sense data) epistemic and empiric-experiment by Being-in-the-world of action (praxis) experience. "Heisenberg's principle of indeterminacy" rather than "Newton's system" (ibid, p. 201).
Observer Effect the act of observing changes the quanta Interactions of materiality with the "acts of observing" (p. 201); touch "introduces a slight modification of the thing touched" (p. 204).
Quanta-Systemicity not mono system whole of deductive coherence, mind-sense knowing by detachment, or Platonic forms Go beyond "Post-Kantian idealistic systems", "Newtonian system" of "massive solidity" (Dewey, p. 142), the deductive "rationalistic system" of "uniform movements of translation" (ibid, p. 144), "system of correspondences" (p. 159) and beyond the "idealistic systems of philosophy" (p. 166) Go into the field of experience, into action (praxis) in "knowledge of existence" of "observed material" (ibid, p. 177).
Quantum is an interactivity of discourse practices with material practices of action Practice (praxis) interacts with theory (theoria) The split of rationalist idealist epistemic (quest for certainty) from ontological "depreciation of practice" is not justified in pragmatism (p. 19); knowledge and action split not justified (p. 24); knowledge is connected with action (p. 29, 31), nor dualism of two separate kinds of practice --- knowledge and action is unjustified (p. 32, 35).

See Dewey's Prefatory Remarks in Mead's (1932) The Philosophy of the Present. And see the ways Mead develops from James and Dewey, in a reading of Bohr's quantum.

Shalin, D. N. (2007). Signing in the Flesh: Notes on Pragmatist Hermeneutics*.Sociological Theory, 25(3), 193-224.

John Dewey (1929). The Quest for Certainty. GIfford Lectures.

James, William. (1907) Pragmatism. http://www.aibi.ph/politics/DOCS/William%20James%20-%20Pragmatism.pdf

Writing your PAPERS

"At university, to be critical does not mean to criticise in a negative manner. Rather it requires you to question the information and opinions in a text and present your evaluation or judgement of the text. To do this well, you should attempt to understand the topic from different perspectives (i.e. read related texts) and in relation to the theories, approaches and frameworks in your course" (read more). From a hermeneutic approach, for example, there can be a deconstructive hermeneutic this is critical in deconstructive moves, yet returns to a resituation.

Try the deconstructive steps if you want a process to work through a critical review of classical systems theory.

Boje' deconstructive method

Figure 1 - Boje's 8 Deconstructive Steps(based on Boje, 2001 and more recent work)

The first seven steps ways to trace dualities, hierarchy, missing voice, other sides of story, dominant plot elements (where many other elements are left out), the exceptions to the rule, and what is in-between. Then step 8, is the most pragmatic move, so what are you proposing to re situate, to resolve, counter, etc. the first seven steps. For example, closed and open is a duality of systemicities, the nine lives put these into a hierarchical order which step 2 would reverse just to sort it creatively, a rebel voice might look at the feminist side of it or indigenous or some other marginalized voice, other side of story could get at the kind of disenchantment (de-vitalization) of open systems theory, denying the dominant plot is by definition what antesystemicity and antisystemicity is all about, the exception to the dominant principle of open system might look at the way the open system is not that open or the organic is not that alive by searching out some living stories, the between-the lines of all the first six lets you look perhaps at the quantum wave interpretation as opposed to a postion-of-entity or entity-stage-by-stage one, and lastly the point of the this, to get pragmatic about resituation of the theory or situation you are exploring. How would a more open 'open systemicity' be a strong process orientation, a hermeneutics of forecaring, etc.?

For a resituation, you might try the restorying approach (copyright by Boje & Rosile).

Table 6: Restorying Steps in a Deconstructive Hermeneutic Approach

1.CHARACTERIZE -Identify Dominant Narratives, DNs
2.SYMPATHIZE- Deconstruct Benefits of DN in Living Story Webs (LSWs) Habits
3.PROBLEMATIZE - Costs of DN in LSWs Habits
4.EXTERNALIZE - Re-Characterizing the DN as character in LSWs in order to devalue the DN
5.STRATEGIZE - Antenarrative Futures out of WOWs Recovered  into the new antenarrative
6.REHISTORICIZE - Little WOW moments out of shadows from DN
7.PUBLICIZE in Enlisted Support Network & Reassemble the new Agential/Materiality Habits

From: Rosile, Grace Ann & David M. Boje. 2002. Restorying and postmodern organization theatre: Consultation in the storytelling organization. Chapter 15, pp. 271-290 in Ronald R. Sims (Ed.) Changing the Way We Manage Change. Wesport, CONN/London: Quorum Books. Click here for pre-publication pdf

Usually you get a chance to rewrite a short paper, and that is part of the learning process, so you learn to do doctorate level writing, which is way different form masters level writing.



JOURNAL ARTICLE THOERY and JOURNAL ARTICLE ANALYSIS PAPWERS. Present rough outline, including abstract, into, lit review, method, analyses, implications, conclusions, references sections. Paper is something that you will submit or did submit (this term) to sc'MOI or other conference (e.g. Quantum Storytelling Conference; or other of your choosing). Must be based on your field study and many of the course readings, must include Heidegger and Bauman. Must say something on sustainability-unsustainability system-antisystem, even if it is not main focus of it. See GUIDELINES see sc'MOI conference coming up

In Complexity thinking, we look at how systemicity is unfinalized, fragmenting, and not at all a whole single logic system. In this way we go beyond not only closed systems thinking, but open systems thinking, both of which are trapped in the monologic, bystander logic that has been in place since General Systems Theory was founded during WWI (Boje, 2008a). YOu know by now James (1907) was there first. Your projects need to reflect this important transition from constructivism to quantum systemicities (Boje, 2014). Begin with complete understanding of Barad, Karen. (2003). "Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter." Signs, vol. 28.3: 801-831.


  1. Submit an abstract of the paper to a conference for presentation. Develop the paper, and if it is accepted present it sometime during the next year. You are strongly encouraged to present your work at the 'Standing Conference for Management & Organization Inquiry' or to Academy of Management Meetings, or to a conference in your own discipline. The 2012 sc'MOI meeting will be in Providence RI– http://scmoi.org Submit your abstract to this or some system/complexity conference of your choosing by the submission deadline is 15 February..
  2. Pull your load in the seminar discussions. Come to class being prepared in two of the assigned readings, and read to engage in discussions. Stay off cell phone; do not be texting in class; contribute to SUCCESS of class

Final paper -

Our Mgt 655 project in 2011 was NMSU sustainability. We did interviews, and we co-wrote an article about the history of sustainability at our university. Aguirre, Boje, Cast, Conner, Helmuth, Mittal, Saylors, Tourani, Vendette, and Yan (2013) presented results of interviews with sustainability leaders at NMSU to the then president and provost, and VP of research in May of 2011. The -of-Care was key to the presentation. PREZI presentation about history of Sustainability Research at NMSU. Just observing the university, doing the interviews, fashioning a business plan, were ways of bringing about small little wow moments of change. For example, upon seeing an illustration (below), the President and Provost, reacted, "we like that, the -of-Care" in the middle of sustainability. We showed how all seven goals of the university, were each one about sustainability, and we secured commitments from upper administration make a difference.

TURN YOUR CONFERENCE PAPER INTO A PUBLISHABLE-QUALITY FINAL PAPER (30 page limit). USE APA STYLE. Structure it as a journal article with all the parts. Please identify an area of organization studies and complexity studies that has been described in the literature as problematic (from language or systems view). Provide literature review of problem aspect in terms of systems/complexity/(anti) systemicity theory concepts and provide a detailed description of how such a problem might be changed using systems theory of language. Please collect and analyze field observations of a local organization and its systemicity. The final paper will be presented by you for 15 minutes on last scheduled class day. PUBLISHABLE GUIDELINES




Definitions of Key Terms:

  • OSC defined in the new COPE pragmatics to Orgnizational Systemicity& its Complixity. Or in old paradigm , Organizational Systems & Complexity. Old paradigms of OSC include (1) Naive school, because William James (1907) was there first; (2) General Systems theory school, mostly by von Bertallanffy is a universalizing abstract EPISTEMIC schemata that ignores ONTICO-ONTOLOGICAL; (3) Language school (aka linguistic turn, aka Social Constructivism has tossed out the Materiality and the Seven Materialism that is our main topic.
  • ONTICO-ONTOLOGICAL conditioin is defined in Heidegger (1962: see Intoduction Chapter I, section 13, p. 34) as what Dasien provides in its possiblities. Dasein means Being-there of those possiblities upon which Ontic and Ontologic rests. Ontical is for now the Post-positivist or positive science thingness, or characteristics of the entities we call STC
  • COPE is defined as the four pragmatics of Critical-, Ontologic, Post-Positivist, and Epistemic (See Boje, 2014 for more precise definitions).
  • COPE is CRITICAL, ONTOLOGIC, Post-POSITIVIST, and EPISTEMIC pragmatist-stroytelling paradigms. CRITICAL-Pragmatic-Storytelling challenges the EPISTEMIC-Grand Narratives and the Post-POSITIVIST Grand Narratives. ONTOLOGIC-PRAGMATIC Storytelling gets BEFORE, BENEATH, BETWEEN, and at a set of BETS on the future that are suppressed by both EPISTIMIC Grand Narratives and Post-POSITIVIST Grand Narratives. Post-POSITIVIST Grand Narratives are all about the numbers but unlike the POSITIVISTS in Post-P the facts become probabalistic, NOT determinate. Post-POSITIVIST Grand Narrative methods use quantiative methods of narrative research such as survey methods, experimental design, and automated text analysis to verify hypotheses (N-VIVO, LAS, Leximancer, Crawdad, and so on). EPISTEMIC-PRAGMATIST STORYTELLING is all about the EPISTEMIC-GRAND NARRATIVES with their schemata, the abstract generalization, declaring universals and essentialisms. What is interestion in COPE is the ANTENARRATIVE processes of storytelling: the BEFORE-Grand Naratives, the BETS on Future Grand Narratives overlook, the BETWEEN connections of LIVING STORY WEBS to GRAND NARRATIVES, and the BENEATH those Grand Narratives (be they Post-Positivist or Epistemic). COPE is a way to analyze the GRAND NARRATIVES of OPEN SYSTEMS THEORY (OST). For example, von Bertalanffy, the so-called father of OST (and General Systems Theory, GST) has several unexamined GRAND NARRATIVES: (1) That all major fields of science from physics to history are a set of GST concepts in 'the working of the world reflected in a cleverly designed, abstract game' (Bertalanffy, 1968: 11); (2) That 9 systems are ordered in a hierarchy, in which the bottom 3 levels are static, clock work, and control mechanistic, and the advance is the open system (level 4) which includes mechanistic-control, adds to it negative entropy (storing organization) and in this hiearchic-GRAND NARRATIVE is in fact an organismic system (levels 5 to 7) and the top of thie heirachic-systems typology is socio-cultural systems (level 8) and symbolic systems (level 9) (IBID. p. 28-9); (3) GST and OST are also a way for world order to happen, after the failed attempts of sciences to unite around Mechanistic Systems, and Totalitarian Systems. What is interesting is what von Bertalanffy leaves out. That an Amaerican Pragmatist by the name of William James (1907: Lecture 4 The One and the Many) developed a systems theoory that linked between Post-POSITIVISM (his experimental science of psychology) and EPISTEMIC. Why did Bertalanffy leave James out of the history of OST and GST? IN COPE James is working the BETWEEN Post-Positivism- and EPISTEMIC-Pragmatisms. Johny Dewey (1929) turns to CRITCAL ONTOLOGY working the BETWEEN of CRITCAL- and ONTOLOGIC-Pragmatisms. Please see Boje (2014) for more.
  • Critical Pragmatic Ontologic is a combination of Critical- and Ontologic-pragmatic. The Critical is in late work of American Pragmatist John Dewey (1929) and the current work in Critical Theory by Adorno & Horkheimer (The Culture Industry) and by Habermas (his critique of American Pragmatism), as well as Zygmunt Bauman (proto-pragmatic).
  • Central theoretical themes and debates in the OSC literature such as 1. James (1907) comes before von Bertalanffy's (circa WWII) claim to Open Systems thinking, 2. General Systems Theory is universalistic, foralistic, structuralist, metaphoric, language game, etc., 3. Organic Systems Theory leaves out the living ecosystem in favor of a metaphor of living system that is disembodied, 3. The hiearachy of system levels is an epistemic schemata without ontology or much ontic, etc.
  • Grand Narratives - "represent any macro=theories that attempt to explain social reality in its entirety. Such explanations, by subsuming every aspect into one narrlwly defined lens, are overly simplistic in that thye suppress differences into homogenizing schemes" Kincheloe & Steinberg, 1996: p. 168).
  • Living Story Web is defined as having a particular space (or place), a time (in a your life from birth to death), and a materaility (an aliveness of the story all its own).. Living stories are implicate order, below or beneath the explicate order, those Grand Narratives of abstraction, universalistic, and essentializing; Living story webs are therefore ontological having Being-in-the-world
  • Sustainability of OSC refers to work you do in the term project about the environment ONTIC science of OST entities, the Ontology of sustainability meanings, the Critical assessment of sustainability such as critique of Triple Bottom Line for making Profit the disguised foundation, etc. In short, Sustinability is a very diverse, fragmented, interdisciplinary discourse with quite different materialism practices and understanding by various groups. Posthumanists, for example are Crtical of the Humanist Ontology and Ontic focus of muuch of sustainability, and its Greenwashing
  • Systems Thinking - extends from closed to open, from mechanistic to organic, from first to second cybernetics, to the general systems theory approaches. The characteristics are theorist is a bystander, the approaches are monological, a presumption of wholeness greater than parts. Third order cybernetics (Boje & Wakefield, 2011) goes beyond 'open systems' theory.William James (1907) had more on systems thinking than the von Bergalllanffy and other pioneering work in in 1940s, 50s, and 60s. You can find the basis of Open Systems thinking in James work. James, W. (1907). Pragmatism.
  • Systemicity - is an Ontological-analytic concept. Systemicity is defined as whatever Being-ness OSC may possess in-space, in-time, and in-materialisms, as well as its possibilities in the future, its powers, capactities, and behaviors here-and-now. In short, systemicities are concerned with what Heidegger (1962, #16: 367) calls 'primordial existntiality' in its authentic ontological basis. The systemicities set up the possiblities of post-positivist (aka ontical) entities we call OSC. See Boje (2008a: pp. 2, 29, 54, 191, 264, pp 42-54 for relaiton to storytelling organizations.
  • What is systemicity theory? "Systemicity is my replacement word for the outdated static linear-hierarchic conception of whole system" (Boje, 2008a:. 29). System has become a modernist monologic illusion, a 'social constructivism' category, and its seeing system everywhere as self-evident without doing the actual ontologic inquiry into Being. It is misplaced concreteness, naive. Mikhail Bakhtin (1981: 152) uses the term "systematicalness" to denote unmerged parts and unfinalized non-wholeness, what I am calling systemicity, is similar, however includes as well, the antisystemic. Open systems thinking generalizes with abstractions, at a distance from what I call systemicity (Boje, 2008a). This systemicity is comprised of relatum, four kinds of antenarrative-relata: linear-, cyclic-, spiral-, and rhizomatic (Boje, 2001, 2011, 2014).
  • What is antisystems theory?An antisystems theory is defined as a method and practice for inquiring into and changing the systemicity (unfinished, unfinalized unmergedness, and partially implemented, partially abandoned systems), and its opposition or conjunction with antisystemic.
  • What is autopoiesis theory? An ecological system is an example of autopoiesis "They are self-organizing and self-maintaining. Life is currently defined in terms of autopoiesis: the maintenance of units and wholeness, while components themselves are being continuously or periodically disassembled and rebuilt, created and decimated, produced and consumed. (Zeleny, 1981, p. 5).Read more.
  • What is is a sustainability-focused systemicity? This means our focus is on the sustainability of systemicity, as well as antisystem, and antesystem processes in terms of environment, equity, and socioeconomics. Systemicity is defined below. For now it means there they are a plurality of systemicities rather than one monist, monological systemicity, be it closed, mechanistic, organic, living, general, or open systems theories.
  • Open Systems Theory - Has the first cybernetic (deviation-control) and the second-cybernetic (deviation-amplification), but has been thoroughly disenchanted by Talcott Parson system hermeneutics reducing it to structural functionalist system in adaptive response precaution to environment (see Bauman, 1978 Hermeneutics book). von Bertalanffy's open system theory is also thoroughly disenchanted (de-vitalized) or as Aristotle would say, is without soul. Even the organic system theory is without vitality, aliveness, or enchantment. With Pondy (1977; Pondy & Mitroff, 1978), the idea of moving beyond "open systems theory" was posed as a potentiality for organizations. Pondy based his approach on Boulding's 9 levels (see Boje, 2008a for critique of levels approach to open system in that nested hierarchy, and the alternative of a non-nested, non-hierarchical, or more holographic approach to moving beyond open systems. This is also known as Third Order Cybernetics systems theory, which does have vitalism, enchantment, and qualia. We have to be very careful about defining what is open systems theory, or what is beyond it, by specifying if we are dealing with epistemological, quantitatively-empirical (or ontically), or ontological (Being-in-the-world) ways of defining systems. A good place to begin is with qualia, quantity, materiality (substance),and potentiality of systems in their existence in organizations.
  • Qualia (the plural of quale) - Qualia is qualities, and along with quantitative, and materiality (substance) are define what Aristotle (On the Soul) calls 'soul. (p. 1). We can ask what is a system? System theorists claim a system is composed of parts of the whole. When we examine the word 'is' in the question, "What is a system?" is refers to the 'soul' of the system, which has qualia, quantitative, and substantive (materiality) aspects. Identifying the substances of a system as its is, leaves the quantities and qualities (qualia) unspecified. The definition of system as merely its material or physical substance is therefore incomplete. We cannot say the system is just resources, money, people, buildings, equipment. System is also quantities (see Aristotle's Categories & On the Soul books). Merleau-Ponty, 1962 Phenomenology of Perception says (p. 243), "Sensations, sensible qualities’ are then far from being reducible to a certain indescribable state or quale; they present themselves with a motor physiognomy, and are enveloped in a living significance." I find myself before a system that absorbs my qualia-awareness of its Being-in-the-world, yet I cannot sort out a substantive-materiality, nor a quantifiable sense of it. System that is not a visual-quale, an auditable-quale, a tochable-quale, a smellable-quale, a tasteable-quale, rather that is some other non sensemaking quale. "We must work ‘not on the colours which belong to a determinate object, but on a quale, whether plane or pervading the whole of space, which subsists for itself with no determinate vehicle" (Merleau-Ponty, 1962: p. 256). There is for Heisenberg (1958) an "ontology of materialism" (p. 83). If system IS real in terms of materialist oenology, then we must specify what kind of materiality (representational, historical, postmodern, or quantum) that we are talking about.
  • Complexity Thinking - is theorizing and practice beyond systems thinking. The characteristics are observer is part of the dynamics, approach is dialogical, and parts can be greater than wholes (as in strange attractors, bifurcation, butterfly effect), the interactivity of parts can be self-organizing (rather than designed), with emergence combining with chance, contingency, and suddenlys. According to Edgar Morin (2008, On Complexity), system defined as 'whole [system] is greater than some of the parts" does not take account of systems where each 'part' is holographically in every other part, and in the whole. Aristotle (Categories, p. 8), 12:
    • "The fact that the parts of substances appear to be present in the whole, as in a subject, should not make us apprehensive lest we should have to admit that such parts are not substances: for in explaining the phrase ‘being present in a subject’, we stated’ that we meant ‘otherwise than as parts in a whole’ " (p. 8).
    • "Moreover, some quantities are such that each part of the whole has a relative position to the other parts: others have within them no such relation of part to part" P. 12)

    What is antesystems theory? Ante has double meaning of 'before' stuff coheres, and 'bet' on the future. First, an antesystem, is defined as the 'before' the systemicity processes cohere into parts (entities or things) and the 'before' partial systemicities become a whole system. Second, an antesystem is defined as the "bets' on the future, in prospective mindful sensemaking, rather than just backward-looking retrospective sensemaking (Boje, 2008a: p. 6 figure 1A). William James (1907) developed a pragmatist method of what I am calling antesystemicity thinking. Pragmatism looks at how systemicity passes from "the vague to definite, from the abstract to the concrete" (p. 92). James presents eight steps in what I will call a "Pragmatist Antesystemicity" alternative to Open Systems Theory.

    What is hermeneutics? Hermeneutics is defined as the scientific study of interpretation, and for organizations that is the study of meaning-making by participants, and by organization scholars (see Stanford definition and history of hermeneutics including Heidegger and the Neo-Pragmatist Rorty rendition ). There are many kinds of hermeneutics that have been adapted in organization studies from Parson's strucutral-functional control systems, Weberian power systems, Marxist historical materialism of class struggle, to the classical von Bertalanffy's open systems of environment-input-throughput-output-amplification/counteraction feedback (aka complex adaptive systems). This term we construct a pragmatist and a quantum hermeneutics of antesystemicity theory. See article on the hermeneutic tradition from Weber to Heidegger; John Dewey's pragmatist hermeneutics; First an overview of Shalin's hermeneutics writing; Shalin's rise of sociological hermeneutics; Shalin's legal pragmatism; Shalin's modernism, postmodernism, and pragmatist inquiry; Shalin's critical theory and the pragmatist inquiry; Shalin's pragmatism and social interactionism; Shalin's Goffman and biocritical hermeneutics.


    What is Strong and Weak Process Orientation? Weak process is the ACTion stages, event-by-event (or step-by-step, or phase-by-phase) in a linear or cyclic arrangement. A strong process approach is a plurality of processes, such as a spiral where ACTs do not recur in sameness of exact event sequence (birth-maturation-decline-death). A weak process theory focuses on entities, on stages of entity development, sequence of selected key events, and on transactions among parts. A strong process orientation is an entirely different hermeneutic, one focuses on process-complexes. "Strong process theories view the world as comprising processes as emergent organizing activities and things as “reifications of processes” (Shanks, Bekmamedova, & Johnston, 2002: 4). Chia and Langley (2004, as cited in Van de Ven and Poole, 2005):

    "“The “weak” view treats processes as important but ultimately reducible to the action of things, while the “strong” view deems actions and things to be instantiations of process-complexes. The first perspective appears dominant in much of organizational and social scientific research, and tends to be pragmatic, empirically grounded, and analytical in orientation. The latter perspective has been primarily conceptual, strongly informed by strands of process philosophy, theology and the humanities at large, following especially the lead of philosophers such as James, Whitehead, Bergson, and Deleuze."

    What is Pragmatist Ontology? Pragmatism is defined as a "way of thinking about results" a straightforward practical way of thinking about things or dealing with problems, concerned with results rather than with theories or principles" (source); Ontology is defined as the "study of existence: the most general branch of metaphysics, concerned with the nature of being" (source).

    What is Narrative Theory? I prefer to call it storytelling theory. You got introduced to Roland Barthes Five codes theory (SEM, SYM, ACT, REF, & HER). This can be contrasted with other narrative theories such as Russian Formalism (e.g. Propp), or Structuralism (Levi-Strauss). In Quantum Ontological Storytelling Hermeneutic, the storytelling has a materialist aspect was well as REF and HER in Barthes.

    There is also Aristotle's storytelling Poetics (plot, character, theme, diction, rhythm, & spectacle) in relation to Burke's pentad which has a pragmatist (scene in relation to the idealism of agent (characters of the social) and the materialist (scene).


    What is Quantum-Pragmatist Ontology? Ian Thompson Pragmatic Ontology I: Identifying Propensity as Substance proposes to look at Heisenberg's quantum-materialist ontology. What are the kinds of materiality substances in organizations (substance in Aristotle's On Soul books). According to Thompson, "pragmatic approach to ontology, what is necessary and sufficient for the dispositional causation of events is interpreted realistically, and postulated to exist." The quantum materiality is is potential, its future possibilities, such as in wave-particle duality. According toe the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, one cannot measure the position and the momentum of a particle, simultaneously. We can say that open systems theory is all about measuring material position, but has not done anything to measure momentum. It is an efficacious approach to ontology, tracing the ante (bet) the future possibility of event of antesystemicity.

    Developing a pragmatist-quantum hermeneutics is, I believe, the only way to move beyond mindlessness of open systems theory is to treat systemicity pragmatically by looking at the practical facts of Being-in-the-world, ontologically and quantumly, rather than treating organizations to be monological monist open systems (of single relata system-wholeness of all parts). Instead we can develop a radical pragmatist and a radical quantum hermeneutics, focusing on the poly-materialist systemicities (multi-relata).

    Example of Antisystem and Antesystem in Physics of Water. What is a sustainable beverage antisystem that opposes the bottled water system? What are the antesystemicity forces of consciousness in relation to the materiality of water? When water becomes commodity, how does such a system run counter to the ecosystem? Few people know that the water coming out of tap is tested to a higher quality than is our bottle water. Marketing of bottle water as safer, purer than tap water has created global water wars, and this 'system' is opposed by 'antisystem' of stainless steel refillable bottles. Few people realize that "three liters of water are required to bottle just one" (source). The antesystem is what was water drinking like before bottled water by Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Nestle developed systems of water consumption. What was it like before billions in advertising dollars and lobbying went into converting people from tap water to bottled water?. Instead of developing better municipal water supplies, and testing, US has turned to consuming 27.6 gallons a year per capita (2006) of bottled water. Instead of protecting source water, corporate bottle water plants are buying property and leases in rural communities, bottling it and selling it. The US has become the largest consumers of bottled water in the world. The antisystem is opposing the system of $22 billion retail packaged-water industry in the U.S, petrochemical and oil industries, as they influence the EPA, FDA, USDA, and state agencies. Plastic bottles are becoming a contaminant of our desert, rivers, lakes, and oceans. Mile wide trolls of plastic soup circulate in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The antisystem is fending off the bottle water industries that are becoming a major threat to plant, marine, animal, and human life. The bottled water industry spends billions annually to convince the public that they cannot live without bottled water. The antisystem is demanding nickel or dime deposits on plastic water bottles (only 6 states have plastic bottle; with 5 cent deposit, 70% return rate; with 10 cent deposit there is a 97% return rate). In the US, 80 million single server bottles are discarded, and of these 30 million wind up in land fills. While in the US 20% of plastic water bottles are recycles, the worldwide average is 50%. If we look at the quantum physics of bottle water, there are scientific findings from non-industry-sponsored (independent) studies, there are petrochemicals that leach out into the water. Bisphonol A (BPA) is not healthy. Tests of bottled water have found Toluene, Styrene, and other dangerous toxics. "In third-party testing, bottled water showed traces of bacteria, chemicals, fluoride, endocrine disrupters such as BPA and PETE (or PET)" and "In 2007, Americans consumed over 50 billion single serve bottles of water. With a recycling rate of only 23%, over 38 billion bottles end up in landfills" (source). The testing of bottled water is done by the bottling industry goes to just one overworked person in EPA, whereas the tap water of each municipality goes through hundreds of test samples. The antisystem opposes the commodification of water, the corporate control of water, the aggravation of the global water crisis. Here in New Mexico the Rio Grande River is rationed for agriculture, wildlife, and household uses.

    Quantum Organization Systemicity


    Antisystems Theory - (Callari & Ruccio, 1996 (p. 9) look at the relation of 'system' and 'antisystem' in terms of antisystem being a 'postmodern materiality' rather than a Billiard ball or representationalist or even historical materialist (Marxist) materiality. In the simplest sense of antisystem, the systemness (the substance, qualia, quantum, and quantities) of 'system' deteriorate, atrophy, or as Bakhtin observes, are only partial to begin with (never fully implemented) (See Boje, 2008a, on systematicalness, systemicity). IF we adopt a 'systemicity' understanding, then there is always a relation between system and anti-system. Another way to define antisystem is to look at Aristotle's (Categories), where some parts in in the whole, other parts are not in the whole system boundary; some parts are quantified, substantive (however you define that materially), and others are qualia or quantum (in the quantum sense of materiality). It depends on how we defines space-time-materiality of system and antisystem relations. For example, if we assume systems are continuous in a continuous space-time, then this definition would make sense:
    • "Time, past, present, and future, forms a continuous whole. Space, likewise, is a continuous quantity; for the parts of a solid occupy a certain space, and these have a common boundary; it follows that the parts of space also, which are occupied by the parts of the solid, have the same common boundary as the parts of the solid. Thus, not only time, but space also, is a continuous quantity, for its parts have a common boundary" (Categories, p. 12).
    • However, if you take a postmodern definition, such as Callari & Ruccio (1996), then it does not make sense because system here and system there are not the same system, and system that is past, is not the same as system present, or system future. Antisystem is not homogeneous in space-time-materiality, rather is quite heterogeneous and discontinuous.
  • Classical Negativist Structuralist Poetics - the Poeticsis Aristotle's (350 BCE) six elements of plot, character, theme, dialogue, rhythm, and spectacle which Kenneth Burke relabeled, and combined dialogue and rhythm into agency, resulting in five elements (Pentad): act, actor, purpose, agency, and scene. The Structuralist aspects refer to work beginning with Vladamir Propp's (1928) Morphology of the Folktale, which inspired work by Roland Barthes and Claude Bremond. The other Structuralist work includes that of Russian Formalism, as well as American Structuralism.
  • Postclassical Storytelling - Scores of writers are attempting to supplement or breakaway from Classical negativist Saussurean Linguistics, Structuralist, Russian Formalist, Historical Materialism, and Aristotelian Poetics. Mikhail Bakhtin stands out among those breaking away from Classical Narratology, for his work on dialogical manner of [living] story, and several types of dialogism: polyphonic, stylistic, chronotopic, and architectonic (See Boje, 2008a for extensions to organization theory and practice). Work by Herman (1997), Nünning (2003).
  • Complexity Storytelling - a theory, method, and practice of the interplay of complexity thinking and Postclassical storytelling. Storytelling is the nexus of two sorts of narrative (epistemic & empiric) with living story ontology via four sorts of antenarrative connections (linear-, cyclic-, spiral-, and rhizomatic, see Boje, 2011).
  • Pragmatist Hermeneutics - the inquiry into the alignment of symbolic-narrative, indexical-narrative, and iconic-living-story, and their antenarrative interrelationship processes of transformation (& beforeness to narrative). It is also a way to study the interplay of system and antisystemic (Boje, 2013, new book).
  • Quantum Storytelling - is the interfusion of quantum (materiality & consciousness) with storytelling (a domain of discourse). See Quantum Storytelling weblink. There is an annual Quantum Storytelling Conference where you can present your work. If we take an ontological approach, then system is in-place (space), in-time, that is, Being-in-the-world (Heidegger, 1962; Merleau-Ponty, 1962 Phenomenology of Perception). For an episemic-ontological approach wee work by Barad (2003, 2007) e.g. Barad, Karen. (2003). "Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter." Signs, vol. 28.3: 801-831.  http://uspace.shef.ac.uk/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/66890-102-1-128601/signsbarad.pdf.
  • Quantum Thinking in Greek work Aristotle (On the Soul, p. 9) says of 'quantum': "... for if the spherical atoms of Democritus became points, nothing being retained but their being a quantum, there must remain in each a moving and a moved part, just as there is in what is continuous; what happens has nothing to do with the size of the atoms, it depends solely upon their being a quantum." Democritus (pre-Socratic) atomism quantum theory, has given way to atoms being composed of subatomic particles as well as waves (Heisenberg, 1958: 26), quantum physics goes back to the ontological "concept of materialism taught by Leucippus and Democritus." (p. 36). Heisenberg (1958) goes on to say, "Plato disliked Democritus so much that he wished all his books to be burned. But Plato combined ideas that were near to atomism with the doctrines of the Pythagorean school and the teachings of Empedocles."
  • What is Hermeneutics? It is as old as biblical interpretation, spread to literary interpretation, and has landed in the field of management and organization studies in the hermeneutics of systems theory. This semester we will contrast open system hermeneutics (von Bertalanffy, Boulding, Pondy, Katz & Kahn, Emery & Trist, Parsons) with the pragmatist hermeneutics (James, Peirce, Dewey), various proto-pragmatist approaches (Burke, Deleuze & Guattari, Mead, Merleau-Ponty) some people I am drafting in Boje (2014) Heidegger, Freire, Bakhtin, Barthes, Deleuze ... in relation to new pragmatism (Rorty) critical feminist pragmatist hermeneutics (Florenza), and an approach I will call 'quantum pragmatist hermeneutics (late-Dewey). Since you cannot read all these, as I have done, you will be asked to specialize in a few pragmatist and quantum hermeneutic scholars as well as in a few systems thinkers (assignment 1 matrix), and carry on a conversation with these pragmatist-hermeneutic and system scholars over the course of several short individual assignments, which will contribute to our individual paper project writing and research project. In my language terms, Talcott Parsons, has what Zygmunt Bauman (1978) calls a disenchanted kind of hermeneutic of systems theory, one that extends to the open systems disenchanted works of von Bertalanffy, Katz & Kahn, and is taught rote to most MBAs. The language of open system disenchantment is its own hermeneutics (a science of interpretation of organization systemicity). Hermeneutic, as you know, is a science of interpretation, however there are many hermeneutic approaches as Bauman illustrates.




I believe we need to introduce different language (as recommended by Heisenberg, 1958), where you would see a new kind of hermeneutic, a new kind a language cubism (see Gertrude Stein, 1935 books on narrative from her Chicago lectures; she does a kind of cubism writing to get beyond the modernist limits on language). The implication is the MBAs are already modern, spouting the Solidity of Modernity, rather than attuned to the language of Bauman's (2000) Liquid Modern in our (2005) Liquid Times.

My current project is to develop a 'quantum pragmatist hermeneutics' this term which would integrate work of pragmatists (Peirce, James & Dewey as well as proto-pragmatists, Mead, Burke and Merleau-Ponty) with quantum understanding (Heisenberg, in particular, but it extends to Prigogine & Stengers, 1984 Order Out of Chaos, to Herbert 1985, Quantum Realities, and so on).

NMSU sustainability antisystemicity facts:

We life in a Plastic Planet. 7,000 plastic bottles are used and tossed, each month at NMSU. "A German study of commercially-available bottled water found contamination by chemicals that mimic natural sex hormones. ... Contamination levels were twice as high in brands packaged in plastic instead of glass, suggesting that plastic was the culprit" (source). Plastics are being used in more and more food packaging, from bottled water to plastic-wrapped food. A systemicity analysis is required: "The upshot of the analysis was to find whether compounds known as bisphenol-A, polybrominated diphenyl ethers -- PBDEs -- and phthalates (pronounced: THA-lates) are permanently in the tissues and blood of children, teens and adults ... Xenoestrogenic material leaches out of polycarbonate plastics, often used in food and cosmetic packaging - even tin cans thinly lined with polycarbonate plastic leak estrogen into their contents." (source, What's in plastic?).

Antisystemicity: The United States is the most wasteful nation on earth.

"Americans are the most wasteful people on Earth, creating about 7.1 pounds of trash per person, per day. Some nuggets of data in his book include the following: the yearly loads of garbage trucks in the United States would fill a line of trucks half-way to the moon; Americans create 25% of the world’s waste; more money in the United States is spent on waste management than on fire protection, parks and recreation, libraries, and schoolbooks; Americans throw out about 60 million water bottles each day; enough aluminum is discarded by Americans each year “to rebuild the entire commercial air fleet four times over” and enough plastic wrap is thrown away every year to shrink wrap Texas" (2012 Anthropological News).


Description: http://peaceaware.com/LCBGN/images/talkingstickVIRGINIA.jpg






Sall Business Systemicity Study guides Main Topics and 23 Steps in SEAM (Socio Economic Approach to Management) Consulting

1 studyguide

Steps 1-3 Linear planning (e.g. PERT)

2 studyguide

Steps 4-7 Cycle planning (e.g. Life Cycle, Product Cycle, Organization Cycle phase models, cycle strategy models, etc.) with fixed recurring events or stages of sameness

3 studyguide

Steps 8-11 Basic Spiral planning (e.g. unidimensional one way spirals & double spirals that has multi-directionality)

4 studyguide

Steps 12-15 Advanced Spiral planning (double spiral resituated within landscapes, timescapes, and materialscapes of performance).

5 studyguide

Steps 16-19 Basic Rhizome planning (lines intersecting lines every which way in contextualist roots and vines wandering until obstructed)

6 studyguide

Steps 20-23 Advanced Rhizome planning (from trees-in-the-head hierarchies to 'grass-in-the-head' rhizomatics)


Abbott, A. (1988). Transcending general linear reality. Sociological Theory, Vol. 6 (Fall): 169-86. ; Abbott, A. (1990). Conceptions of time and events in social science methods. Historical methods23(4), 140-50. see Boje & Baca-Greif, working paper "(2011) Dynamic-Nonlinearity, Modeling, and Variable-Equation Approaches in Management and Organization Studies." (under review with additional co-authors).

Sandberg, J; & Tsoukas, J. (2011).  Grasping the Logic of Practice: Theorizing Through Practical Rationality. Academy of Management Review, 36 (2): 388-360.

    1. Van de Ven, A. H., & Poole, M. S. (2005). Alternative approaches for studying organizational change. Organization Studies, 26(9), 1377-1404. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
    2. Introduction handout to - Callari, A; Ruccio, D. F. (1996). Postmodern Materialism and the Future of Marxist Theory" Essays in the Althusserian Tradition. Hanover/London: Wesleyan University Press.
    3. Porter and Mykleby - A Grand Strategy for the Nation - A YouTube that applies open systems theory to develop a citizenry sustainability approach

More on Pondy and Boulding open system critique, and Capra's critique of Boulding's GST - please review handout, How to Diagnose and Research Spiral-Antenarrative - see also context of studyguide 2 on seam Boje 8/29/2011

  1. Mead, George Herbert (1932). The Philosophy of the Present. With introduction by editor Arthur E. Murphy and Prefatory Remarks by John Dewey.

  2. Kucharzewski, J. D. (2004). " There is no'there'there": Gertrude Stein and Quantum Physics. Amerikastudien/American Studies, 499-513.

    "It applies certain concepts taken from early twentieth-century quantum physics (e.g. Wave-Particle Duality and the Copenhagen Interpretation) to Stein's work in order to examine possible isomorphisms. In this way I develop a new and distinctive set of metaphors for discussing Stein's texts. A common ground between Gertrude Stein's art of fiction and Neils Bohr's interpretation of the quantum phenomena is established by tracing both visions back to William James's Principles of Psychology. " Note: Gertrude Stein (1935) did a set of narrative lectures at University of Chicago that became a book set.

    [PDF] from osu.edu LR Pondy and Ian Mitroff - Research in organizational behavior, 1979 -
  3. [PDF] from uvm.edu Ecological literacy
  4. Capra, F. (2004). The Hidden Connections: A Hidden Science of Sustainable Living... Excerpts
  5. Shalin , Dmitri N. (2010). Hermeneutics and prejudice: Heidegger and Gadamer in their historical setting. Russian Journal of Communication, Vol. 3, Nos. 1/2 (Winter/Spring): 7-24.

The Micro-process school of Heideggerian strategy-as-practice. Please present Assignment 1 to the class. Begin Assignment 2

  1. James, W. (1907). Pragmatism. Lecture 5: Pragmatism and Common Sense

Developing a critique of Living Systems Theory - Assignment 2 due in 6th week

  1. James, W. (1907). Pragmatism. Lecture 6: Pragmatism's Conception of the Truth

  2. Boje, D. M. (2011a). Storytelling the Future of Organizations: An Antenarrative Handbook. London: Routledge.

  3. Boje, D. M. (2011f). Antenarrative Time, Space, and Matter in Teleological Causality:
    Thanking Hugo Letiche for His work on Bergson. University for Humanistics, DBA Methodology Workshop: Storytelling and Narrative in Organizational Research, 19th April, Utrecht, Netherlands. Preconference version of the presentation.
  4. Ecosystems with mutually exclusive interactions self-organize to a state of high
    diversity by Joachim Mathiesen, Namiko Mitarai, Kim Sneppen and Ala Trusina (2011). Online copy of article.
  5. Dreyfus, Herbert L. (2011). Why Heideggerian AI failed and how fixing it would require making it more Heideggerian. - suggested by Rohny Saylors.
  6. How would we do an Academy of Management Review article on pragmatist antesystemicity. At editor's meeting of Academy of Management (2012) there was a call for an integration of European philosophy with American Pragmatism. That would be Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Bakhtin, Barthes, etc from Europe and Peirce, Dewey, and James from American Pragmatism, with a bit of Burke.
    1. The philosophy of strategy

      TC Powell - Strategic Management Journal, 2002 - Wiley Online Library
      ... Whatever philosophical foundations strategy may build upon—pragmatist or
      otherwise—they must surely incorporate this difficult truth. ... Yes. Academy of Management
      Review 26(1): 41–56. Boudon R. 1974. The Logic of Sociological Explanation.

      I Henriques, P Sadorsky - Academy of management Journal, 1999 - amj.aom.org
      ... Hunt and Auster (1990), using a different nomen- clature, described five categories or stages
      of cor- porate environmental management programs: (1) the beginner, (2) the firefighter, (3) the
      concerned citizen, (4) the pragmatist, and (5) the proactivist. ... Pragmatist Proactivist ...

The readings from here on will be selected by class, together, with goal of doing two or three readings a week, that are most helpful to your scholarship

Developing a Q-OST Assignment 3 towards a Pragmatist Quantum systemicity Hermeneutics method

  1. James, W. (1907). Pragmatism. Lecture 7: Pragmatism and Humanism.

    Boje's sc'MOI 2013 submission on food antesystemicity from quantum and pragmatist hermeneutics standpoint

  2. Boje, D. M. (2011b). Quantum Storytelling (download entire book PDF here). Please check each week, as book is being written day by day.
  3. Boje, D. M. (2011c). Reflections: What does Quantum Physics of Storytelling Mean for Change Management? Journal of Change Management, accepted 7/22/2011, waiting to appear in print in 2012.
  4. Boje, D. M. (2011d). Quantum Physics Implications of Storytelling for Socioeconomic Research Methods: Experiences in Small Business Consulting Research from New Mexico State University. Paper presented to the International meeting of Research Methods Division of Academy of Management, in Lyon, France, June 15 2011. Published in the Proceedings of the conference. Click here for pre-publication pdf.
  5. Boje, D. M. (2011e). A Subtler Quantum Physics for ‘Storytelling Organization’ Theory, Method Practice. Conference Proceedings of the Standing Conference For Management and Organizational Inquiry in Philadelphia, April 13-16, 2011. Editor Donna Carlon..  See preproceedings draft version.

Beyond Open Systems Theory to Pragmatism and Quantum Hermeneutics: A Summary of the Entire Course

Research Questions for this Class

What is a pragmatist approach to systemicity-antisystemicity-antesystemicity theory and practice? 'Ask this question: The How' of systemic-anti systemic-antesystemity complexity, its 'in'-Being ontological-encounters with the environing material world? In classic systems theory, there is this question, what kind of system is it? And there is an answer put forward, that it is a Closed or Open system? We are given a way of reading organizations as 'closed' or as 'open.'

What is pragmatist hermeneutics? It follows Peirce’s Firstness (symbolic), Secondness (indexical), and Thirdness (iconic). These are three kinds of rhetorics, which can be applied to the triadic pragmatist hermeneutic of alignment of symbols, indexes, and icons. ‘The Pragmatist Hermeneutic Method’ approaches the question and the answer quite differently. The question becomes one of 'plurality' of 'systemicities' rather than naming just a singular sort of system, the answer put forth is to treat any singular system as a hypothesis, since there can be a weave of many systemicities. I believe the pragmatist approach is a hermeneutic methodology for getting at the plurality of systemicities, the weave of multiple partial systems rather than any one particular, overriding singular system mode. A second answer put forth since the invention of systems thinking is Boulding’s (1956) hierarchy of nine system levels. The pragmatist approach is to treat the nine levels hierarchy as a second hypothesis, because the alternative answer is there are no levels, and by implication, there is no whole system, rather just a plurality of systemicities, that is without hierarchical level-order.

There are several classic pragmatists whose hermeneutic goes beyond traditional open systems theory: William James, Charles Sanders Peirce, and John Dewey. There are people who make proto-pragmatist moves: Kenneth Burke (Grammar of Motives), George Herbert Mead (The Philosophy of the Present), Roland Barthes (S/Z), and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Phenomenology of Perception). William James (1907) looks at the plurality of what I call systemicities, instead of the monoism, singularity, and abstraction of general systems theory (and open systems theory). Peirce, has a theory of Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness, that moves beyond the usual presentationalist hermeneutics of open systems theory.


What is Quantum Hermeneutics? John Dewey (1929) takes us into a combination of Pragmatist and Quantum Hermeneutics. Here is how Dewey, in his late works (1925-1953) does his Pragmatic Quantum Hermeneutic Spiral. In 1927 Werner Heisenberg, published on the Principle of Uncertainty (aka Principle of Indeterminacy). In Newtonian physics, "the future and the past belong to the same completely determinate and fixed scheme" (Dewey, 1929/1984: 161). According to the Uncertainty Principle "both the position and the velocity of any body" is impossible to determine exactly (ibid). In Newtonian physics the subsequent course of events of a process does not depend on the observer. However, with the Uncertainty Principle, there is an observer effect, observer's measures of what is happening interacts with the velocity and position of particle/wave. Instead of the fixed event sequence of linear-antenarrative, or the fixed sameness recurrence of cyclic-stages, in the Observer Effect, the velocity is changing with the act of observing. His is not a 'mental' telepathy, rather either position or velocity may be fixed at choice, "that is, they belong to our intellectual apparatus for dealing with antecedent existence" (ibid, p. 162). Linear-and cyclic-antenarrative theories posit fixed stages that are unchanging instants of time. When we observe systemicities, the antesystemicities are modified slightly because of the high-speed velocity of the subatomic waves of energy. So we make more observations, and there are more aggravating Observer Effects. This Observer Effect occurs more from touch than for sight. When we see some systemicity, light travels at speed of light bouncing some image of a thing to our eyes. When we touch a living thing of quanta subatomic energy, the quanta fields of our body and of the living thing are moving at high speed, so that an action displaces to some extent the subatomics. John Dewey, asks, 'so what' is the pragmatic consequence of the discoveries of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the Observer Effect? It calls for a revolutionary revisions of not only mechanistic, but Open Systems Theory, as well as Organic (Living) Systems Thinking. An act of observation effects changes in antesystemicities, not in linear- or cyclic-antenarrative thinking, but certainly in spiral- and rhizomatic-antenarrative thinking.

"The quest for certainty by means of exact possession in mind of immutable reality is exchanged for search for security by means of active control of the changing course of events: (Dewey, 1929/1984: 163).

Events, for example, spiral out of the sameness routine of linear -or cyclic-antenarrative stage-by-stage, sameness that predicts more of the same in a future planning scenario. Instead, the spiraling process, of observer acts by interacting with unfolding course of events of antenarrative-spiralness that ensues, and it "modifies that preexistent something" (ibid, p. 164). What if, in-between antesystemicities and systemicities and antesystemicities is some acts of observation, that effect subtle changes, so things don't recur in sameness, rather they spiral or react rhizomatically? Then we have a very different pragmatic quantum hermeneutic spiral process, not a hermeneutic circle.

The antisystemicity is a pragmatist approach, by raising a third hypothesis: any systemicity is opposed by antisystemicity. Closed and Open "Systems thinking has been a monological narrative about organizations, as if there were a linear ordering of levels of reality, a power of systems that is an all-encompassing deep structure of our world" (Boje, 2008a: 2). Paulo Freire's ontological approach opposes the dialogic with anti-dialogic, and comes close to what I mean by system-anti-systems inquiry:

"Concern for humanization leads at once to the recognition of dehumanization, not only as an ontological possibility but as an historical reality And as an individual perceives the extent of dehumanization, he or she may ask if humanization is a viable possibility. Within history, both humanization and dehumanization are possibilities for a person as an uncompleted being conscious of their incompletion" (Freire, 1970/2000 Pedagogy of the Oppressed: p. 43).

"To achieve this goal, the oppressed must confront reality critically, simultaneously objectifying and acting upon that reality. A mere perception of reality not followed by this critical intervention will not lead to a transformation of objective reality—precisely because it is not a true perception" (Freire, 1970/2000 Pedagogy of the Oppressed: p. 52).

Contrast Freire systemicity-antisystemicity (dialogic-antidialogic) with other approaches.

For example, Karen Barad, 2007; Anete Strand's (2012) dissertation - Books 1 and 2 are online; Tonya Wakefield's (2012) dissertation on quantum fractal spirals in organizations, and John Kowalko's, (2010) dissertation on Barad - are getting closer to a pragmatic approach to systemicity. Barad (2007: 149) refers to "an ontological performance of the world in its ongoing articulation." Like the pragmatist she is making a connection between the epistemic and the ontological. She also refers to "material-discursive practices" (p. 361) as an alternative to the material realism of empiricism (logical positivism, & Newtonian physics), and the normative abstractionism of subjective materiality of social constructivism.

By way of introduction, I will give you a hermeneutic used by Roland Barthes (1974 S/Z) that has five codes (see summary; a shorter summary).

  1. SEM - SEMantically, there is the usual signifier per excellence, referring to a connotation that gives some denotative meaning of a word,“the unit of the signifier” which creates or suggests “connotation” (p. 17). such as "wealth of the family", "madness", "musicship", "cold", "fascination", "mechanicalness", "monster", "femininity", "young", "childishness", "death", "insubordination" "vocation", "danger", "vocation, sculpture, drawing, etc), "genius". So we could add to Barthes list the SEMES "closed system", "open system", "mechanical system", "organic system", "bureaucratic system", "liquid modern system".
  2. SYM - SYMbolic grouping in wider or deeper meaning than SEM, symbolic area units, “lays the groundwork” for a “symbolic structure” (p. 17)., and typically involves an antitheses, such as "antithesis, the outdoors", "the reassembled body", "axis of castration", "replication of bodies", "wealth", "the feminine camp", "gold, emptiness", "marriage of the castrato", "the child-woman", "the queen-woman", "the man-object", "supernature", narrator's desire", "taboo on the noun castro", "capricous", "unsociability", "father and son", "mother and son", "protection against sexuality", "pygmalion",
  3. ACT - ACTion in sequence of acts in some setting, sequential parts of the action in a whole sequence of actions, aka Proairetic (ACT) where something else is about to happen leaving [us to] fend to guess what action is next, in a narrative sequence,  such as, "tableau, to perceive", "to narrate, to know the story", "to enter", "farewell: to entrust to another", Door 1" to knock", "farewell: to embrace", "gift" to give the gift", "gift" to accept the gift", "to leave", "to delay", "to discuss the time of the rendezvous", "career", "to leave the master", "to win a prize", "to leave for Italy", "end of liaison", "liaison", "journey", "theater: to be seated", 'seduction: intense pleasure", "fragmented body, reassembled", "will-to-love",
  4. REF - REFerenceto some area or body of cultural/scientific knowledge, such as "mythology and painting", "command accepted", "code of ages, code of art", "art history", "psychological typology", "art and tourism", "Roman customs", "human passions". "chronology: the following day", "REF: code of passion", "ethnic psychology: Paris", "literary history", "historical code", "code of pathos", "Machiavellian code". To this list we could add REF to Boulding's nine levels of system hierarchy.
  5. HER - HERmeneutic, enigmas or mysteries about a storytelling not fully explained, or puzzle set out in detective novel, such as "Enigma: thematization", "Enigma: suspended answer", "Enigma: thematization and snare", "machination, machinating group", "equivocation, evasion", "proposal", "decipherment", "disclosure, indirect explanation of the snare", "disclosure confirmed in 3 stages: 1 agitation of the snare, 2 explanation, 3 its effect".

The open system theory is a system of interpretation, a HERmeneutic that takes over the would meaning of an organization. This raised the question: what is an 'open system? Then provides the one answer, the organization is a thing, the units of open system that function as an ACT sequence of environment-input-throughput-output-feedback. Open System Theory (OST) has become a REF (reference code), ACT-sequence, and a HERmeneutic code organizing the SEM and SYM for organization behavior and organization theory. OST is now a habitual, habit-forming narrative, a structural-functional reduction pretending to be open. We can challenge OST by asking, just how 'open' (SEM) is OST? A pragmatist hermeneutic approach, problemetizes OST by treating its HER-code as an hypothesis, and looking instead to the pluralism, the weaving of systemicities. A pragmatist approach questions the structuration of systemicities into a singular ultimate structure by OST. It questions the Boulding and Pondy model of a "chain of systems" (Barthes, 1972: 11) into a single ACT sequence, a hierarchical level-ordering of systems by rasing the hypothesis of a plurality of systemicities, rather than the OST stereotype.

Antesystemicity raises another problematic for OST, what if instead of monist singularity, there is a plurality, which is not often, if ever, hierarchy? That would mean that OST is ironically, a "closure system" Ibid, pp 7-8). By looking at the antecedent systemicities before premature closure of OST sets in, we get a very different hermeneutics than the structural-functionalism of Talcott Parsons, or the OST of Ludwig von Bertalanffy (or Boulding, or Pondy, or Ackoff, or Emery & Trist). If organizations are a plurality of systemicities, then instead of hierarchy a pragmatist hypothesis is antesystemicties-systemicities-antisystemicities in plurality, which is a very different pragmatist hermeneutic move. So what? What is the practical value of this radical pragmatist hermeneutics? Answer: disclosure of the plurality beyond OST, structuration instead of structure, multi functionality instead of functionalist (aka formalism), and a strong process orientation. That is, the way OST avoids telling the truth about the plurality of antesystemicities before and the bet on the future being a set of potentialities, arriving present, according to choice, rather than the retrospective sensemaking, a pragmatist hermeneutics proposes what Heidegger (1962) terms foretelling, forecaring, and forestructuring. That is a radical understanding of time, instead of the arrow of time (past-present-future), time is coming futures to presents, rehistoricizing pasts.


Pragmatic Systemicity and Quantum - In this summary table, I contrast eight problems James raises with [open] systems theory, and eight problems Nick Herbert (1985) raises with quantum mechanics. Our task this semester is applying these problematics to create our own hermeneutical understanding of antesystemicity theory. It is your job to draw linkages between the eight pragmatic options and the eight quantum options.

Table 8

Pragmatic and Quantum Antesystemicities Table by Boje

Please spend some time drawing lines between the options in the left column and the ones in the far right column. For example, If these is only one subject of discourse (Pragmatic #1) there is no link to observer effect (Quantum #2). However, if we explore the hypothesis of manyness in James, then there is a researchable connection to observer effect (so draw a line from Pragmatic #1 to Quantum # 2). Do this for as many lines connecting the pragmatist hermeneutic in the left column to the quantum hermeneutics problems in the final column.

I will elaborate and embellish what I read as James' Pragmatics of Eight problems with Open Systems Theory in more depth below:

  1. Problems with Monological Open Systems Each relatum is a "subject of discourse" and one sort of union of the parts of a systemicity (p. 92). The manyness of antesystemicity is different than monologic of a single relatum among parts into a single whole open system. Many parts are left out of a supposedly 'open system' defined by a monologic frame. The pragmatist question, is 'so what' are the practical implications of antesystemicity and monological open systems thinking? The pragmatic implication of antesystemicity is the 'before' and the 'bet of transformation' of the antecedent-systemicity. The pragmatic implication of monological open systems thinking is its focus, its summative abstract simplicity; the shortcoming is all the parts left unaccounted for and unarticulated that pare part of poly-materialist antesystemicity. In short, 'poly-relata of antesystemicity' is a way to move from abstract monological open system, beyond to to poly-materialist pragmatist, understanding of the practical facts of situations such as food systemicity in middle schools.
  2. Problems with Parts Hanging Together Are open systems continuous, discontinuous, or combination of both? How do the parts of the systemicity "hang together", conjunctive in space, co-present in time (p. 93)? Are parts conjunctive and co-present like grains of sand in the New Mexico desert? In moving from part to part of an organization, are we passing continuously from one to the next in space, as well as in time? The pragmatic implication of systemicity is the unions of space and time and who in "the whole motor of life is based upon them" their union (p. 93).
  3. Problems with Continuous and Discontinuous Paths Besides the monological open systems thinking, there are "innumerable other paths of practical continuity among things" (p. 93). Antenarratives can trace what James (1907) calls "lines of influence" (p. 93). Linear-, cyclic-, spiral-, and rhizomatic-antenarratives are paths of relatum as you pass from one thing to another in an organization and its environment. The antesystemicity ontologically has theses paths of influence form one thing to another, including how other things interrupt those paths, block them contextually. The 11 quantum D's are a way to explore the antesystemicity paths of an organization.

The Hermeneutics of Systemicities Thinking I first learned to go beyond open systems theory in a doctoral seminar at University of Illinois taught my mentor, Louis R. Pondy. He had just written 'Beyond open system models of organization' which was summarily rejected by Academy of Management Review. I was in his office when, with tears in his eyes, his voice cracking, he read me the editor's letter. I took up the cause then and there.

How did Louis Pondy attempt to go beyond this open systems model rooted in 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? Answer: with the help of Kenneth Boulding's nine levels, which I adapted below in how I taught systemicity and antesystemicity theory to doctoral students at New Mexico State University over the past 16 years.

Boje's rendition of Kenneth Boulding's 9 system levels

Figure 2


This figure is found in Boje (2008a: 35; also see table p. 25) chapter on complexity that relates five kinds of dialogism of Bakhtin to the nine systemic-complexity levels of Boulding that Pondy utilizes. Each type of dialogism is applied to strategy models in that book.

What was Pondy trying to go beyond? Answer: The very crude and shallow Katz & Kahn (1966) open systems concept., and the von Bertalanffy (1956) 'open systems model' of input-throughput-output with feedback loops in adapting to an environment. It is a decidedly Newtonian physics model of communication.

Open systems model

Figure 3 - Open Systems Model that Louis Pondy was trying to move Beyond (source).

Table from Boje (2008: 28) on Ways of Labeling the 9 Lineary Hierarchical Levels

9 levels labeling of linear hiearchical systems levels

In classical open systems theory, a system S is described by a certain number of variable parts P in a monist, monological, singular path of relationships. A pragmatist hermeneutic approach treats a monist S as an hypothesis, that is counterable by a plurality of systemicities. In the pragmatist hermeneutics there is an inquiry into the antesystemicities, pluralized systemicities, and the antisystemicities of resistance. Dewey's (1929) pragmatist insights into Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, allow us to take the next step beyond 'open systems' S thinking, by positing a 'quantum pragmatist hermeneutics' by looking at the interaction of measurement of the systemicities of observed values (qq′, q″, …) of an organization systemicities S, S', S'', ...and its external systemicities O, O', O'', ...:

"A measurement of a system's variable is an interaction between the system S and an external system O, whose effect on O, depends on the actual value q of the variable (of S) which is measured. The characteristic feature of quantum mechanics is that it does not allow us to assume that all variables of the system have determined values at every moment (this irrespectively of whether or not we know such values). It was Werner Heisenberg who first realized the need to free ourselves from the belief that, say, an electron has a well determined position at every time" (source).

Quantum storytelling is the interfusion of a plurality of S (s', s'', ...) + O (o', o'', ...). And "the "observer system" O in quantum mechanics need not to be human or have any other property beside the possibility of interacting with the "observed" system S)" (source).


Let's begin with the problem of causality. Open systems model is a monist (single path connections of variables with determined values) understanding of causality (what William James 1907 calls the problem of the 'unity of causality' assumption and what Heisenberg 1927 calls the uncertainty principle & observer effect, as noted by Dewey 1929). Open systems model adopted the old Shannon and Weaver (1949) sender - message - receiver model of communication. See for example Tromblee, M. L. (2009). Strategic Communication Through Design: A Narrative Approach for Message Influence Model (p. 16) that has problems in contrast to 'Pragmatic Complexity Model" (p. 20) that includes noise, competing messages, anti-system of opposition, counter-messages, history, context, etc.. In other words systemicities S, S', S'', ... opposed by antisystemicities A, A', A'', .... and the antesystemicities ANTE, ANTE', ANTE'', ...

We can apply Prigogine and Stengers' (1984: 265-7) contrast three kinds of systemicities: A - stable cyclic-antenarrative, B - unstable spiral-antenarrative, and C - chaotic rhizomatic-antenarrative.

Prigoge Stengers evolution spiral phase model of dynamic unstable systemicity

Figure 5 - From Dynamics of (A) Cyclic-, (B) Spiral- to (C) rhizomatic-antesystemicities (adapted from Prigogine & Stengers, 1984: 265-7 by Coveney  &  Highfield, The Arrow of Time, 1991, and reinterpreted through antesystemicities by Boje, Jan 28, 2013) [source]

All three antesystemicities are nonlinear. In a quantum pragmatist hermeneutics inquiry into a pluralistic world of antesystemicities, we must explore how, according to Prigogine & Stengers (1984: 257) "reversible and irreversible processes coexist." The problem of irreversibility and spatial symmetry requires us to understand strong process dynamics.

Image (A) there is cyclic-antenarrative of three phases in recurring sameness of determinist trajectory of an open system theory. World War II open systems thinking prototype was an integrable systemicity (A) an ensemble of unchanging phases (environment-input-throughput-output-feedback). These invariant phases of sameness antesystemicity had only one limit, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamic entropy decay with each cycle repetition. In a Hamiltonian systemicity the Newtonian forces of momentum through phases are integrable invariant.

Image (B) is a spiral-antenarrative of a stable antesystemicity, where with each spiral orbit there is a shift in an amplification of difference of the same phase. An example is in SEAM (Socio Economic Approach to Management), in the four-phases of D-P-I-E (Diagnostic, Project plan, Implementation, & Evaluation), there is an anticipated amplification from D1 to D2 to D3, P1 to P2 to P3, I1 to I2 to I3, E1 to E2 and Es. Or, in another example, of the Maxwell antesystemicity (B) there is a different dynamic, where going through particular phases is the only invariant, however the phases shift with the spiral-antenarrative dynamic amplifications overcome entropy-decay. Notice the limitation in the spiral-antenarrative depiction, where the force of momentum is one-way directionality (unidimensional, unidirectional amplification).

Image (C) the trajectory through phase space is an unstable, non-symmetric , and rhizomatic-antenarrative trajectory. Prigogne and Stengers (1984) is about the dynamics of antesystemicities. In (C) we have class of non-Hamiltonian antesystemicity, where "motion in phase space becomes highly chaotic" with rhizomatic twists and turns that do not follow a phase sequence, yet the trajectory "like an amoeba" explores in all directions the "whole space" in "small dynamical turns: (Prigogne & Stengers, 1984: 266-7). In this non-Hamiltonian antesystemicity the phases are ergodic (given sufficient time the trajectory traverses all points in a random stochastic pattern of a network of filaments through phase space).

Coveney, P. V., & Highfield, R. (1991). The arrow of time: A voyage through science to solve time's greatest mystery. NY: Fawcett Columbine.

Prigogine, I., Stengers, I. (1984). Order out of chaos. Order out of chaos.. with a foreword by A. Toffler. Toronto/London/Sydney/NY: Bantam Books.

Contrast the monist causal unity model of open systems thinking with the fourfold causality of Aristotle. Formal cause: You have some formal cause in mind of potential that you chisel to make it actual. Efficient cause: You are the systemicity-sculptor (efficient cause).Materiality cause: There is a material, or many materialities, in the cause of things you change and do. Final cause: Then the final cause, of doing the changes in-order-to(the deployment of telos).

Aristotle's fourfold causality

Figure 6 Aristotle's Fourfold Causal Plurality source

As an assignment, please go to the Coas book store and Las Cruces, and there you will find the Journal, Transaction of the Charles S. Peirce Society. I bought the 1997, Vol. XXXIII, No. 3 issue and will relate three articles in a Pragmatist Hermeneutic inquiry into Open Systems Theory in what follows:

  • Herron, Timothy (1997). C. S. Peirce's theory of infinitesimals. Transactions of the Charles S Peirce Society, A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy, Vol. XXXIII (3): 590-645.
  • Sfendoni-Mentzou, Demetra. (1997). Peirce on Continuity and Laws of Nature. Transactions of the Charles S Peirce Society, A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy, Vol. XXXIII (3): 646-679.
  • Hulswit, Menno. (1997). Peirce's teleological approach to natural classes. Transactions of the Charles S Peirce Society, A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy, Vol. XXXIII (3): 722-773

In brief, I will outline a pragmatist hermeneutics that comes close to quantum uncertainty and observer effect hermeneutics. Peirce's concepts of infinitessimal subsets between stage sequences, and fillbilism concept that predates Heisenberg's (1927) uncertainty principle, as well as Peirce's (1929) own discussion of it in relation to pragmatism, call for a Quantum Pragmatist Hermeneutics.

"Efficient causation is that kind of causation whereby the parts compose the whole; final causation is that kind of causation whereby the whole calls out its parts" (Peirce, 1902, cited in Hulswit, 1997: 744). Efficient and final cause are two of Aristotle's fourfold causation. Peirce seems to gloss over material and formal causation. The final cause is a "teleologically causal" aspect of 'natural kind' which is the defining element of an epistemological classification. For example in linear- and cyclic-antenarrative, there is a dogmatic assumption of an invariable succession of stages. However, from a pragmatist perspective an infinity of stages can occur between the ordered sequence of stages. Peirce's "Law of Nature" is "ontological" rather than purely "epistemological (Sfendoni-Mentzou, 1997: 647). For example, horse are final cause, the teleological result, however, brown, chestnut, white, etc. are epistemic designations.

In a Kantian architectonic system theory (Critique of Pure Reason), or a Platonic one, of form preceding essence, the transcendental (Level 9) in Boulding/Pondy nine level, is a defining-character for the eight lower levels, including Level 4 (open systems). A pragmatist challenge to the levels-hierarchy would question the order-of-levels hypothesis by investigating embodied ontology (systems Being-in-the-world in the Heideggerian sense). Peirce's (1902) ontology does not completely disembody existence, as does the Kantian and Platonic architectonic systems approach (which are both transcendental epistemologies). Antesystemicity, on the other hand, is a series of events not confined to order-by-level. Antecedent and consequential antesystemicity is a realization of potentialities of partial systemicities, and is therefore compatible with Peirce's ontological scheme, including his appeal to potentialities of final cause in relation to efficient cause of agents, as well as to material and formal cause (in Aristotle's fourfold cause). Heidegger (QCT) addresses an ontological essence of technological systemicity upon which the fourfold causes are being defined. In sum, whereas an Open System Theory assumes a singular continua connecting the five parts of a whole system (environment-input-throughput-output-feedback) a Charles Sanders Peirce (1902) and a William James (1907) theory I am calling antesystemicity pragmatism assumes plurality of partial systemicities, questions the level-by-level hierarchy, and problematizes unicausal models of organization and environment.

Peirce's concept of infinitesimals, where there are intervals in any potential aggregate of system-parts, and systemicity is "never present as a whole" (Sfendoni-Mentzov, 1997: 659) raises a major pragmatist challenge to the old saw, 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.' Rather a multitude-plurality of partial systemicities are in "fluidity" (ibid, p. 652), which is consistent with Zygmunt Bauman's thesis that the era of Solid Modernity, is being uprooted by the era of Liquid Modernity. A super-plurality of infinitesimal in-between to the linear- and the cyclic-antenarrative determinate sequence-order of stages of standard OST, where a subset of infinitesimal between the five parts (environment-input-throughput-output-feedback) of so-called continuous chain of linear/cyclical connection is no longer held to be a continuum, of nextness-beforeness-afterness. If a line, for example, is a series of points, then it is always feasible to insert, finer grain points in-between, in infinitesimal sets. This theory by Peirce of the idea of fillbilism predates the Heisenberg (1927) uncertainty principle. Peirce's idea of Fallibilism is one of a "continuum of uncertainty and indeterminacy" (Herron, 1996: 596). Abner Shimony, Wayne C. Myrvold, Joy Christian (2009: 19) makes the case of relation of Fallibilism and quantum theory's Principe of uncertainty.

Shimony, Abner; Myrvold, Wayne C. ; Christian, Joy. (2009). Quantum Reality, Relativistic Causality, and Closing the Epistemic Circle ...

A kind of systemicity that corresponds to a set of parts, where at least one element of systemicity does exist in actualization of a definite kind has to do with what Peirce calls Firstness (essential qualities of efficient cause), Seconness (embodied in organizations), and Thirdness (ANTE or PRE-character entraining of purpose or final cause). Peirce (1901) is critical of Mills (1874) idea of natural kind. for two reasons:

  1. Natural kind is defined by Mills by induction, whereas there are many irregular relations in nature, rather than one uniformity. Uniformity of nature is defied by the many irregularities rather than by some uniformity. In systemicity terms, there are many partial systems, and accidental as well as hybrid relations that defy regularity of an open systems theory.
  2. Mills is defining natural kind as at least some characteristic being in common, however for Peirce the natural kind is defined by other properties than those in a class. e.g. horse is a natural kind but is not defined by its particular coloring. In antesystemicity terms, there is some defining ontological character that is final teleological cause of inclusion of parts.

If, for example, we say that a bureaucracy is defined by ANTE of control processes, then we have a pragmatic problem, in specifying the natural kind (bureaucracy by the defining character of control), and setting out the efficient cause class of parts, the agents shaping it.

Pondy concluded most of organization research was stuck in control system thinking (Level 3), and wanted to move beyond open systems (Level 4) to Boulding's Levels 4 through 9. From a Peirce-pragmatist perspective, a particular level is defined by its contiguous levels (higher or lower). Bureaucratic control (Level 2) is defined by its mechanistic (Level 2) and its open (Level 3), rather than by the epistemic class of characteristics of bureaucracy itself (formalization, centralization, standardization, routinization, etc. in the structuralist model of bureaucracy). Most management consulting is stuck in framework (Level 1) or mechanistic (Level 2), while pretending to be open system (Level 4).

Every quantum theory has its own pragmatist quantum hermeneutic method. "All theories are pragmatic, some theories have a reality underneath: (Herbert, 1985: 45). I have sorted several well-known quantum theorists, their theories, and pragmatist hermeneutic methods into the next table. The last column translates those 'pragmatist quantum hermeneutic' approaches in terms of the theory of antesystemicities-systemicities-antisystemicities.

Table 9: Quantum-Pragmatist Hermeneutic Theories Applied to Antesystemicity of Organizations
1. Werner Heisenberg Quantum obeys rules of matrix calculus and no need to look inside the atom (1925) ; diagonal elements are probability of p (position) and q (momentum) bets the system has that attribute value; off-diagonal are strengths of on-classical quanta connections between possible values & attributes Instead of monist open system, there are a set of systemicity matrices. The antesystemicity matrices is the antes (bets) of possibilities becoming actuality
2. Erwin Schrodinger Wave theory (1926): Quantumstuff represented by wave-form and quantum laws it must obey; later work he decides wave imagery depicting reality states of wave is rather dubious Instead of a monist open system there are systemicities that are representable as multiple (pluralistic) waveforms, each obeying quantum rules
3. Paul Dizac Transformation Theory of wave matrices (1933): Quantumstuff behaves like an Arrow (vector) pointing in direction of abstract multidimensional space. Motion is arrow's rotation by coordinates (like longitude & latitude) on Earth's surface, where each coordinate position had its different description; Each systemicity is a transformation-wave-matrice of coordinates in an abstract multidimensional space.
4. Richard Feynman The "sum-over-histories" (aka Path Integral Formulation, 1948) approach where everything that might-have happened influences what actually does happen. Possibilities have wavelike nature, and cancel one another in interaction effects; Feynman Diagrams are a shorthand to depict set of possible wave histories,of particles, their intersections of cancelation; quon wave paths proclude proxy wave probability pattern The quon wave systemicity wave paths produce by cancelation effects a resultant systemicity proxy wave probability pattern. The paths not taken are nullities, to the quon wave path interaction effects. The wave probabilities of potential systemicities becoming actuality is the antesystemicity; the wave and counter-wave systemicities constitutes antesystemicity; the proxy wave resultant pattern is the multi-systemicities wave pattern.
5. Neils Bohr Correspondence Principle (1913) (1928 complementarity principle) that quantum physics recover the predictions of mechanistic physics (see 3 versions). There is no deeper quantum level behind the physical level. The slipperyness of quantum attributes lies in the measurement systems of measurement-devices (M-devices). Search for deeper quantum layer is misguided, an illusion of M-device. No hidden variables. No deep reality. Neither measurement nor theory puts us in contact with deep reality (Herbert, 1985: 45). The systemicities has no antesystemicity of possibility (quon) waves taking all paths of antisystemicity to become resultant actuality. of systemicity. There is just systemicity and the M-devices concealing it.

"For Bohr, the allure of cubism was that it shattered the certainty of the object. The art revealed the fissures in everything, turning the solidity of matter into a surreal blur" See quantum drawings; Bohr & Cubism. As we see next, the cubism of Gertrude Stein is being extended to Heisenberg, for her cubist use of language.

6. Werner Heisenberg

The Duplex World theory (aka, Duplex Universe Theory) builds on Aristotle's potentia (unrealized potential for action) of a probability wave. "Measurement transforms some possibilities into actualities" (Quantonics). World is twofold: potentialities and actualities. He agrees with Bohr (no deep reality), but holds to a coexistent unrealized potentialities. Waveforms get into traffic with one another where preexistent possibilities do not play out in the jams (Herbert, 1985: 26; Williams & Arrigo, 2004: 73-4; Ione, 2002: 228; Gunaratne, 2005: 752). Herbert (1985) seems to have invented the term duplex. Closest thing in Heisenberg (1958: 97-8) is "Matter is in itself not a reality but only a possibility, a `potentia'; it exists only by means of form. In the natural process the `essence,' as Aristotle calls it, passes over from mere possibility through form into actuality." "This again emphasizes a subjective element in the description of atomic events, since the measuring device has been constructed by the observer, and we have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning" (Heisenberg, 1958 :24-25)

Multiple systemicities interact with one another in antisystemicities situations, where there are ant-possibilities (bets of the dice possibilities), and the actual resultant proxy wave systemicity gets fully actualized. Kucharzewski (2004) sees a parallel between Uncertainty Principle and the kind of writing of Gertrude Stein (1935) critiques of narrative. Quarterman (1993) links Stein's (1911) Tender Buttons to Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Stein's cubist writing is frequently compared to a Heisenberg way of getting out of the Newtonian language games. ; See also Livett (2006). Stein and Heisenberg share a concern that the language in use in Newtonian culture is not up to the task of developing what Boje (2012) Quantum Physics of Storytelling; see also quantum storytelling website, and the 11 D's Table as a new quantum storytelling language.
7. John von Neumann The collapse of the wave function is from both measurement effects and from observer effects. Using diagram called a Boolean 'lattice' he orders system's attributes according to inclusiveness, laying out logical relations, or primary and secondary processes, making calculations for each pair. Quantum parts are not measured simultaneously as in classic systems. The Boolian lattice consists of sublattice locations. Instead of Bohr's relational logic, von Newumann concludes "consciousness can solve the measurement problem" (Herbert, 1985: 189). Quantum consciousness includes the proxy wave systemicity. Somewhere the system being observed and the seeing and touching by the observer interact, in an actual measurement result (M-devices) and the waves collapse, resulting in the observed proxy wave from the many waves, in a quantum collapse (aka quantum jump).
8. David Bohn He followed Bohr's theory, that there was no deep reality. He agreed with Einstein that "God does not play dice with the universe." In the implicative order quantum theory, waves and particles are 'real' not fictitious proxy waves, or potentiality waves, or Boolean lattice waves. Systemicity has only one form. When one takes measurements, different attributes are measured, making measurement contextual of systemicities. Final systemicities results from earlier systemicities. See interview between Rubert Sheldrake and Bohm comparing morphic field and implicative order effect.

For more on this topic, see Ione, Amy. (2002). Nature Exposed to Our Method of Questioning. Diatrope Press.

Gunaratne, S. A. (2005). Public diplomacy, global communication and world order: An analysis based on theory of living systems. Current Sociology53(5), 749-772.

Herbert, Nick (1985).Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics. NY: Anchor Books.
Kucharzewski, J. D. (2004). " There is no' there' there": Gertrude Stein and Quantum Physics. Amerikastudien/American Studies, 499-513.

Livett, Kate. (2006).  Subjects, Objects, and the Fetishisms of Modernity in the Works of Gertrude Stein. Diss. University of New South Wales.

Quartermain, Peter. (1992). Disjunctive Poetics: From Gertrude Stein and Louis Zukofsky to Susan Howe. Volume 59 of Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction. Cambridge University Press

Williams, Christopher R.; Arrigo, Bruce A. (2004). Theory, Justice, and Social ChangeTheoretical Integrations and Critical Applications (Google eBook). Springer. See section on fractal space as way to extend above table.

In the classic cyclic systems model of recurring stages of development, there is just one path trajectory, one "wild" path as Herbert (1985: 17) calls it. In several versions of quantum pragmatism, there are multiple paths of trajectory, multiple quon waves of systemicity that interfere with one another. Open systems thinking looks for one dominant 'wild' path of environment-input-throughput-output-feedback loops, rather than multiple systemicities, and hermeneutics of antesystemicity and antisystemicities relationships. As such, open systems thinking is an abstraction, that pretends to grasp orthodox ontology with its ontology. In an orthodox ontology, there is no search for unmeasured quon systemicity waves, no antenarrative probability matrixes, no dice odds of antes (bets) on the future, no potentiality paths that are interactive, resulting in wave collapses. Bohr's quantum theory solution is that there is no deeper reality. John von Neumann, on the other hand, looks at what we now call quantum consciousness effects. The M-device effects and the observer effects are not at all the same quantum theory. Each quantum theory has its own pragmatist hermeneutic method. In an antesystemicities-systemicities-antisystemicities, the waves spaces and wave times go every which way but down one linear- or cyclic-antenarrative path. The implication is that a systems theory based on exact recurring stages in spacetime will be a gross naive epistemic abstracting trying to bully its way into orthodox ontology. A path's phases along a spiral will differ in spatial and temporal location, by amplification or counteraction, in antisystemicities of interference affecting the proxy wave of systemicities. the antesystemicity is all the bests that what Feynman calls "sum-over-histories the potential lattice matrices, where multiple paths to the future are possible (foreshadows) and even the paths not taken are in what Heidegger (1962) calls nullity, the null set. In simple terms, what economists call opportunity costs, are the null paths (not taken) strategists continue to think about, and other stakeholders think about what would have been, if a technology, or some frankenfood path was not taken.

In the evolution of open systems thinking, in its coming out party in WWII, let us not forget that quantum theories were also developing. And there was a Stalinist purge of quantum theorists the subscribed to quantum consciousness, to some deeper reality, to potentia. It was not only Stalin that forbade the uncertainty principle, and the observer effect, it was the U.S. cold war that had its way.

"In 1951 David Bohn tangled with American political reality when he refused to testify against Oppenheimer before Senator Joseph McCarthy's Committee on Un-American Activities. He lost his job at Princeton and never gain taught in the United States, moving first to Brazil and finally settling in London" (Herbert, 1985: 49).

The next table is adapted from Jamshid Ghaarajedaghi (1999: 17 & 88) and applied to sorting Boulding/Pondy 9 levels of systems-hierarchy complexity (see Boje 2008a: 28, 35 for relation of Bakhtin's dialogisms to Pondy's 9 levels of systemicity complexity; Boje, 2--8b introduction for three phases of Frankfurt School of Critical Theory). Frameworks adopts a representationalist materiality (correspondence semiotic).

Table 10

Table 3: Structure, Function, and Process Reclassification of Pondy's 9 Levels of Systems-Hierarchy Complexity

LEVEL 1: Frameworks Systems

Mindless economic contingency models (Adam Smith, Schmpeter, Keynes, etc.: Lorsch & Lawrence differentiation & integration contingency model)

LEVEL 5: Organic Systems

Unminded blueprint growth systems in so-called 'living systems' with autopoiesis (Alfred Sloan's multidivisional-form in General Motors; see Chandler's M-form; Herbert Spencer survival of fittest biological systems)

LEVEL 3: Control Systems

Mindless structural-functionalism systems of 1st order cybernetics deviation-counteraction (Parsons disenchanted systems hermeneutics; Matrix organizations; cyclic recurring stage models, e.g. knowledge management)

LEVEL 4: Open Systems

Mindless 2nd cybernetic complex adaptive systems of deviation-amplification & deviation-counteraction non-vitalist systems (von Bertalanffy; Ashby; Beer; Emery & Trist casual textures)



LEVEL 2: Mechanistic Systems

Mindless, linear stage by stage models, and lifeless clockworks (Max Weber; Karl Marx historical materialism; Henry Ford's mass production; operations reengineering)

LEVEL 7: Symbolism Processing Systems

3rd cybernetic, Mindful cultures (Frankfurt Critical Theory [phase 2 culture industry studies of Horkheimer & Adorno; Marcuse 1-dimensional Man]; Boje 2008b; Bakhtin's chronotopic systemicities; Boje, 2008a)

LEVEL 6: Image Systems

3rd cybernetic, Mindful, non-linear process (Althusser's aleatory materialism; Bakhtin's polyphonic & stylistic systemicities; Boje, 2008a)

LEVEL 8: Social Role Systems

3rd cybernetic, Multi-minded, Purposeful, non-linear processes (Ackoff's purposeful; Savall's socio-economic; Bakhtin's architectonic systemicity; Boje, 2008a)

The problem, once again, with the levels approach to systemicity complexity is 'there are no levels and there is no hierarchy of systems', rather the different kinds of systemicities are entangled without hierarchical ordering. If we adopt a pragmatist hermeneutic standpoint, then the levels of system framework begins to breakdown.

Table 4: Pragmatist Hermeneutic Agency Grid  (adapted by Boje from Shalin syllabus)

Rhetorical Agency 
Dimension (2)
Function (3)
Function (4)
Media (5)
Peircean Sign
Type (6)
Vita Voluptuousa
(Living in the flesh)
(To delight)
(Emotional comprehension)
(Body work)
(Embodied sign)
Vita Contemplativa
(Living in spirit)
(To enlighten)
(Verbal articulation)
(Linguistic activity)
(Logical sign)
Vita Activa
(Living in deeds)
(To motivate)
(Pragmatic appropriation)
(Role performance)
Behavioral Icon
(Performative sign)

Pathos, logos and ethos are from Aristotle's Rhetoric books. Logos is representational (discursive-symbolic materialist rhetoric). Charles Sanders Peirce has a triad sign theory: index, symbol, & icon. "For it is the essence of an index to be in real connection with its object; so that it cannot be mendacious in so far as it is indexical" (Pierce, 1904 New Elements). The index (or indexicality) is embodied in pointing to, whereas the symbol is epistemic (language) in representing, and icon is ontologically behavioral-perfomative resembling of something (iconic). Pathos, logos, and ethos perform rhetorical functions that we find in the pragmatic hermeneutics of antesystemicity theory. Symbol: "Every sufficiently complete symbol is a final cause of, and "influences," real events, in precisely the same sense in which my desire to have the window open, that is, the symbol in my mind of the agreeability of it, influences the physical facts of my rising from my chair, going to the window, and opening it" (ibid). Lines, cycles, spirals, rhizomes are iconic. " A diagram is an icon or schematic image embodying the meaning of a general predicate; and from the observation of this icon we are supposed to construct a new general predicate" (ibid).

Aristotle, besides the pathos-logos-ethos rhetorical triad posited a second triad: forensic, deliberative, and epididic.


Table11Kenneth Burke's Pentad and Five Philosophies

Burke's (1947) Pentad Philosophies (Burke, 1947: 128) Definition in Systemicity Terms
1. Act Realism What is, what things actually are in terms of acts (action), event sequences that constitute the whole system being greater than its parts
2. Agent Idealism Ultimate basis of 'real' is based on ideals (ideas) of the social agents of a closed or an open system
3. Purpose Mysticism Spiritual (or transcendental) experience of a vitalism, elan vital that is Hegel is dialectical to the social experience
4. Agency Pragmatism So what? The practical consequences of one part of experience for another; makes monist experience of one system whole a hypothesis, with counter-hypothesis of pluralism of systemicities
5. Scene Materialism Burke (1947: 201) posits a plurality of materialism: Marxian dialectical materialist, idealist materialist, vulgar materialist, mechanical materialist
  Frame Burke (1972) wanted to revise Pentad to include frame: Dialectic between "Frames of Acceptance"  and "Frames of Rejection."  The frame of situation leadership is narrow, down to the level of the small group, type of technology, the characteristics of followers (counter-agents), etc. For Burke, Frames are grander, more about the paradigm or grand narrative in which something happens (source)

in the agency-scene ratio, pragmatist and materialist philosophies are interactive in the theatre of organizations.

Table 12: Poetic, Pentad, Septet in relation to the philosophies

Poetic (Aristotle)

Pentad (Burke)

Septet (Boje)


1. Plot

1. Act

1. Plots

1. Realist event sequences

2. Character

2. Agent

2. Characterizations

2. Idealist

3. Theme

3. Purpose

3. Themes


4. Dialog

4. & 5.Agency


4. Metascripts

4. Pragmatic rhetoric scripts

5. Rhythm

5. Rhythms

5. Pragmatic movement; momentum

6. Spectacle

6. Scene

6. Spectacles

6. Materialist

* Frame of Mind of spectator

* Frames

7. Frames

7. Grander Frames of acceptance and of rejection

The scene in its multi-materialist rhetoric is interactive with the dialog and rhythms (agency) of pragmatist rhetoric. If the scene is partly economic materiality, and the social is partly agents (characters) with idealism, we can define the socioeconomic approach (Savall et al, 2008), as the social with the economic, the idealist with economic spectacle. The social agents withe their idealist character, and their purpose (themes of mysticisms) construct "potentialities, unplanted seeds" that take root in a "materialist philosophy" of the economic scene of material conditions (Burke, 1947" 19). The pragmatist agency, its dialogs and rhythms constitute what Henri Savall (2000) calls the 'metascript' defined as a tangle of partial and conflicting scripts that make up an organization theater (see SEAM Socio Economic Approach to Management study guide). SEAM can be interpreted as a pragmatist intervention method into systemicity plurality.

SEAM stands for the socio economic approach to management. It was created by Henri Savall, who built the ISEOR Institute in Lyon France, and with his colleagues has USED SEAM in over 1,000 organizational transformations, worldwide. Savall did a dissertation on the need for sociotechnical systems to incorporate financial and accounting understanding of untapped revenues and hidden costs. Thus while sociotechnical system is situated in an environment of other organizations, SEAM develops a pragmatist approach to social-technical-economic-environment. It is pragmatist in a William James (1907) sense of moving beyond monist-open systems understanding (parts integrated into whole-system adapting to environment), or the evolutionary-adaptive-system (I.e. Herbert Spencer). It is pragmatist in addressing a plurality of systemicities (systemicity defined in Boje, 2008a as partial systems, partially implemented, partially abandoned, as new ones are layered on the partially dissolved ones). It is pragmatist in a John Dewey (1929) interpretation of Heisenberg's (1927) uncertainty principle and observer effect that is basis of some quantum theories. Dewey builds on James' work on plurality of systemicities, by insisting on a reflexive teleology, where it is not just successive pasts, swelling into the present, rather the selection and integration of possible future paths, in acts of choice that get beyond instrumentalism of "relations of succession" (The Philosophy of John Dewey edited by McDermott, 1973/1981). In other words, SEAM adopts a pragmatist approach to the plurality of systemicities beyond just social and technical, but including accounting, economics, finance, and other disciplines. As John Dewey (ibid, p. 598-9) wrote in 1930, his strategy for change is transformative, because "only by economic revision can the found element in the older individualism — equality of opportunity — be made a reality". In SEAM, this translates to a diagnostic of plurality of systemicities in-order-to develop a succession of intervention projects and a long-term negotiation among stakeholders to transform autocratic (hierarchical) administrative processes into democratically negotiated contracts for action.

In the Septet, I de-collapse Burke's agency, so that we can look at the relation between pragmatic [meta] scripts that are not working so well in organizations, and the kinds of rhythms (movements, momentums) that are taking place. In denying rhythm a place and time of agency, systemicity is missing out on the study of movement and momentum, such as in the spiral-antenarrative, or the rhizomatic-antenarrative. Spiral-antenarrative is a complex of processes, motions, and directionalities.

Quantum Rhetoric

Our next task is to integrate pragmatist and quantum hermeneutics. We can begin this with the D's which I developed from Heidegger's writings. If we trace the rhythms of an organization, in its [sub] atomistic quanta realm, we find that it is more than what Hobbes thought of as "mechanical motion" (Burke, 1947: 136) or Newton as mechanistic physics., or Frederick Taylor's mechanistic time and motion organization science. Instead of pure Taylorian automata, a plurality of possible futures are actualized out of potentials. Open systems theory (OST) is what Burke (1947: 59) calls "the representative anecdote," a vocabulary constructed "with a strongly linguistic bias" positing universalistic deductions that deny the variability, what James (1907) called pragmatist pluralism. Quanta accounts for a range of variability in animals, fish, plants, an humans.

The 11 D's - Directionality (D1) connects your formal, efficient, and material cause via telos to final cause. Keep in mind your focus: to help systemicity move out of many dysfunctions and poor choices, and find potential step-by-step (an Updraft-Spiral). Put simply, you turn potentiality you sculpt by your conversations with your field project folks, into actual. You make it so. This means sorting out direction in the Upsurge-spiralness, asking about choice-points, when at the cross-roads (decisions), which will materialize in the kids turning healthier. Ask about the directionality, not from the past to present, but from the future. Datability is the datable moments as you move to connect your fourfold causes together, doing your diagnostic, having a feedback meeting to give your systemicity recommendations for the first loop in the upward spiralness. Duration is how long particular processes have been unfolding in the client's organization, so you get some sense of the future disclosing itself in processes arriving into the present. Destining is not fate. Destining means fore-telling that several future paths are better 'bets' (antes) than others, then fore-structuring what you fore-conceive as 'befores' (antes) by acts of food workers, venders and you fore-caring what is coming into existence Paper Project systemicity by your fourfold causal change actions. The in-order-to deployment is all four causes to bring telos. Dwelling is an easy question to ask, what is your place in New Mexico in this sort of organization?

The other steps are found in 11 D's table below and in a chapter in Quantum Spiral Book on line

Another huge problem with this open systems model is that it is based on what Abbott (1988) calls the six general linear reality assumptions about Newtonian physics being applied to organizations (source, Boje & Baca-Greif, working paper). It has what we and others (Van de Ven & Poole, 2005) call Type 1 Linear Process assumptions which below I temper with Aristotle's fourfold and James (1907) Pragmatism:

1. That the social world consists of fixed entities with variable attributes (one can summarize in environment, input, throughout, output, and feedback variables) to represent an open system.

2. That cause cannot flow from “small” to “large” attributes/events, such as in the butterfly effect.

3. That causal attributes have only one causal pattern at once, rather than, for example, Aristotle's fourfold causes acting pluralistically and simultaneously.

4. That the sequence of events does not influence their outcome, whereas in Tamara-land (Boje, 1995, AMJ) the sequence does matter to what meaning you make depending upon what sequence of events you have just experienced compared to others arriving from a different sequence..

5. That the “careers” of entities are largely independent, rather than a plurality of paths of process-complexes that hang together here and there yet not everywhere the same.

6. That causal attributes are generally independent of each other, rather than the pragmatic hypothesis of plurality rather than monoism.

With a linear narrative approach to open systems, as Abbott (1990) ,puts it "Historians write their narratives to follow the causal action. If that action now seems to involve one or two principal causes and not other causes central just one or two events ago, then the historian simply ignores the present of those prior causes."

In other words, the antecedent processes (antenarratives) get left out, along with the living stories unfolding that to not fit into the retrospective-narrative-monoism of causal action plot. Because stuff gets left out, and this is what can be called a 'weak process' model of open systems analysis. In a strong process model, there is a plurality of causes, including antecedents (antesystemicity processes, pluralistic and discontinuous manyness, the systemicities of process-complex, as I will call them).

Van de Ven and Poole (2005), for example, theorize that in addition to Type 1 (general linear reality assumptions) such as in Open Systems Model above, there are at least three other models to explore.

In Type 1, the Open System is an abstract process of dependent and independent variables (five of them in the above figure). Open systems model assumes causes are from larger to smaller units, time is scaled the same in the five variables, sequence of events does not matter, etc.

Types II and IV involve what Van de Ven and Poole (2005) classify as "weak process" variance models of systems. In type two the "week process model" involves marking out several phasic stages (birth, metamorphosis, growth, decline, etc.) as an organization develops and transacts with its environment. However, those phases are usually defined by an observer, whose observations (unlike observer effect in quantum mechanics) has no impact on the processes observed. In

Type IV we come across a second sort of "weak process model" the complex adaptive systems (CAS) in what Stuart Kaufman calls a fitness landscape (environment). CAS is self-organizing, as produced by local action, however it is not a process that participants can easily describe verbally or writing, such as in storytelling.

This leaves us with Type III, which is called the 'strong process' model of systemicity. It is called "strong process" because the ontological assumption is that the world is made up of processes (including organizations and their environments), rather than the 'weak process view' where systems are made up of entities, measurable by variables, or describable by an observer in stages of linear or as we shall describe shortly, in the phases of cyclic process. In Type III, the systemicity is a verb, what Weick calls organizing, or Giddens, structuration. In Type III (strong process model), there is a process-complex instead of discrete phases/stages, agent-based modeling, or thing-entities open systems modeling.

Tablle13: Van de Ven and Poole's (2005) Four Approaches to Systemic Processes (source).

Van de Ven and Poole 2005 AMR model of 4 process approaches

According to Abbott (1990) "stochastic models generally assume that causes work 'at equal speed' across all cases. Whole-career models, by contrast, imagine causal pacing as potentially varying."

Type III is the strong process (whole-career model), where causal pacing varies (as in double spiral- or rhizomatic-antenarrative models), the systemicity is non continuous, and time is polychronic, not monochronic as in Type I (open systems variable models), the transformations do not follow one line as in Type II (stage by stage linear/cynical antenarrative models).

I have been teaching systems theory along side storytelling courses since 1979, when I taught them for the first time at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. As some students such as Stew Leonard Jr. took both courses (systems, and ethnographic storytelling) at the same time, systems and storytelling came together in our work. I approached systems theory initially from this Pondy-ian systems meets storytelling, then more Weberian (see image from Mgt388g), then from a Lou Davis sociotechnical systems perspective, which incorporated a Parsonian understanding of goal attainment structural functionalism with variance method (Type I above). Click here for example of variance analysis. Jobs were redesigned using an action research approach by first charting the variances, where process steps had dysfunctions, then redesigning to work flow and personnel assignments so that people were responsible directly for the highest variance locations in the sociotechnical system.

While teaching systems seminars at New Mexico State, I developed the Narrative Methods book and the theory of antenarrative (Boje, 2001). I approached systems with a hermeneutic circle, notably the three mimetic moments in Paul Ricoeur's work: memisis1 (antecedents), memesis2 (emplotments), and memesis3 (post-understandings). Again, hermeneutics means the science of interpretation, that occurs in place, in time.

Boje's 2001 rendition of RIcoeur's Hermeneutic Cirlce of Narrative and Time

Figure 8 - Depiction of Ricoeur's Structuralist-Hermeneutic Circle of Narrative and Time

The three mimetic moments (Mimesis1 2 3) was my initial formulation of antenarrative, the 'before'-narrative-emplotment coheres, and the second meaning of antenarrative, the 'bet of transformation' that we anticipate in a futurity arriving present (Boje, 2001). Ricoeur's structuralist-hermeneutic asserts we cannot have Memesis2 (emplotments) without having the preconceptions (shared concepts, language, symbols, experience) to make sensible plots, and that after we emplot, there are post-understandings that then become antecedent-understandings to the next emplotment. What it does not show is the spiraling process of amplification-counteraction. I therefore want to develop a different kind of hermeneutic of systemicity (Bauman, 1978 lists about eight hermeneutics, from Hegel, Marx, Weber, Husserl, Heidegger, Parsons, Garfinkel, and a few others).

When I taught MBAs, I did so with an appreciation of critical theory, and once only taught from the Harry Braverman text, about a 'critical theory' dialectic materialism and labor process. Marx, then Braverman got away from a Hegelian hermeneutic way of interpreting historical materialism by exorcising 'spiritual' from the Hegelian teleology. In Hegel the spirit guided the synthesis, whereas in Marx it is surplus value ideology of class politics in dialectic relation to the material conditions of work. Critical theorists such as Adorno deny that there is synthesizes, in a modified hermeneutic that just has thesis-antithesis, repeated without synthesis. Note how different a synthesis hermeneutics of systemicity from one that has no synthesis, where changes keep happening in dialectic to most recent changes, without solidifying. The modernity systemicity has solidity, whereas liquid modern systemicity, according to Zygmunt Bauman is fluid, without dialectic back and forth. Further, in a post-Marxist critical theory, it is consumption in a consumption society rather than production and class differences that explain the systemicity of organization behavior.

HEgelian System Hermeneutics depiction

Figure 9 - Hegelian Dialectic Hermeneutics Framework (source)

Recently I have moved into Heideggerian and Bauman approaches to the hermeneutics of systems. Hermeneutics means the science of interpretation. As we begin to understand the parts of a systemicity, and how instead of one means of parts being connected together, there is plurality, and parts are there, but not incorporated, then we get some sense of the Liquid Modernity.

These three moments of systemicity (antesystemicity, systemicity, & antisystemicity) comprise my own pragmatics hermeneutics of systemicity thinking.

An example may be helpful at this point. For example, the Las Cruces middle schools' lunch and food is already part of a hermeneutics of antesystemicity (all the antecedent preconceptions, language, pre-understandings by children brought up in fast food consumerism), the systemicity (the ways the space, times, & materialities of lunch, people, nutritionists, USDA, school board, etc. hang together or they are more pluralistic and contentious), and antisystemicity (the aftermath of resistance to school lunch, such as organic farm movement, slow food movement, plant-based food movement, anti-fast food movement, etc. are resistant to the ways of fast food, and read the USDA guidelines a corporate induced propaganda). These triadic (antesystem-system-antisystem) is already constituted, negotiating school lunch systemicity hermeneutics ontologically, empirically, and epistemically. Ontology means the study of Being-in-the-world. Epistemology means the knowledge by our five senses and for Kantians our transcendental understanding a priori conceptions of space and time.

In recent years, I have been turning the hermeneutic circle into a spiral understanding of systemicity. The text is not just what is written, it is what is spoken, and it is what is gestured in behavior. And each text is intertextual in the hermeneutic relation to other texts that it references that came before, implies that are now, answers for other stakeholder's text, and anticipates that are text coming after this one. The text has antecedent texts intertextual to current and anticipated prospective texts and this is the hermeneutics of texts about systems.

Gadamer, a student of Heidegger, approaches hermeneutics as "the constant process that consists of the revision of the anticipations of understanding in the light of a better and more cogent understanding of the whole" (Grondin, 2002, p.47) (source). Grondin, Jean (2002). Gadamer's basic understanding of understanding. In Robert J. Dostal (Ed.), Cambridge companion to Gadamer (pp.36-51). West Nyack, NY: Cambridge University Press.

From Hermeneutic Circle to Hermeneutic Spiral of Systemicity

Figure 10 - Moving from Hermeneutic Circle to Hermeneutic Spiral Interpretation of Systemicity (source).

I propose to move systemicity thinking for hermeneutic circle to a hermeneutic spiral understanding. The difference is that in the hermeneutic spiral, there is a an amplification-contraction process rather than repetitions of sameness as in the hermeneutic circle. The hermeneutic spiral is the way prefiguration (understanding), configuration (explanation), and appropriation (refiguration), is taking place ontologically. It moves beyond hermeneutic circle method by its focus on amplification from one loop to the next, whereas, the hermeneutic circle is the repetition of the cycle of sameness without amplification (or contraction). You can attempt distanciation (suspension of judgment) yet you cannot achieve any unbiased un-preconceived explanation. In quantum mechanics terms, there is an observer effect. The appropriations (reconfigurations) you make to systemicity transform your understanding (preconfiguration), and as you approach the systemicity differently, you are also in participation with that systemicity with your observer devices or measurement devices, bringing about disturbances which get read by others. By the time you research a systemicity, you have already been involved with several or many different discourses (consumerism, food science, slow food movement, etc.) about any systemicity you may choose to understand, explain, and appropriate. As you read about systemicity thinking this semester, each reading is a new part you use to anticipate the meaning of the whole universe of systemicity thinking. Even though you have not yet read everything, you anticipate what wholeness is like, and that anticipated wholeness potentiality changes as you add more readings of parts. This is an example of the hermeneutic spiral of grasping systemicity thinking, inspection of its details, getting a more anticipated global inspection of its whole-environs, and entering by reflection some deeper understanding (what Heidegger calls Disclosability) that there may not be a whole, just more parts revising your anticipation of the whole. An alternative, from quantum theory, is that as you do a reading of a new systemicity article, you develop a wider set of potentialities, what Gary Saul Morson refers to as foreshadows. The complete Morson model is that the past becomes a set of backshadows, the present a set of sideshadows, and the future a set of foreshadows. These three temporal horizons are interactive, so as you read one more part in the present, it not only adds a sideshadow, but changes the backshadow and foreshadow arrays. Similarly, rereading the backshadows, shifts understanding and interpretation of the sideshadow and foreshadow arrays.

The hermeneutic spiral assumes one moves in our example of the readings of systemicity in this course, from a first grasp to a wider inspection of parts in detail, to some deeper anticipatory understanding of the wholeness or the lack of wholeness of systemicity. In open systems theory, we have accepted the mantra that the 'whole is greater than the sum of its parts' but what if it is not, and there are just parts, and we treat the unification of the whole as a hypothesis? Then we have made our first pragmatist hermeneutic spiral move (see William James, 1907 chapter on One or the Many).

Hermeneutic SpiralLogrithmic spiral

Figure 11 - Hermeneutic Spirals (source1; source2)

The above is a particular kind of spiral, called Logarithmic (with deviation-counteracting or deviation-amplifying loops). What about this idea of experiencing the systemicity without bias of our past experience backshadows or without sideshadows or without foreshadowing. In quantum mechanics, such unbiased, distancing from influencing systemicity just is not possible. Can we have a primordial direct experience of systemicity? In spiral hermeneutics, there is of course no primordial first grasp because our global inspection of, say a school lunch systemicity, already has antesystemicity preconceptions (linguistic terms, shared symbols, experiences of school lunch growing up, etc.) that are used to make a first grasp interpretation of the ontology of school lunch systemicity we are studying. The research process can be understood as a hermeneutic spiral, where the observer's perspective is part of systemicity understanding, part of the dialogue and experiencing perspective, that from our quantum perspective is the pre-understanding of antesystemicity that is dialogic to systemicity and antisystemicity.

Alvesson & Sköldberg Hermeneutic Spiral

Figure 12 - Hermeneutic Spiral of the Research Process (inspired by
    Alvesson & Sköldberg, 1994, p. 174) (source)

Above examples are Archimedian spirals (they have even spacing between loops, amplifying at constant rate). To properly study systemicity theory I would like to spend the semester having us trying to combine hermeneutic spiral with a William James pragmatist methodology.




Pragmatist Antesytsemicity, Systemicity, and Antisystemicity Method.

Let me summarize to this point. There is something missing in traditional 'open systems theory,' and I will assert it is the need for an opposing antisystems theory, and for antesystems understanding of the antecedents to system-antisystemicity. This takes us into the topic of hermeneutics of backshadow-antesystemicities feeding into sideshadow-systemicities, and these into foreshadow-antisystemicities. For Martin Heidegger, interpretation of systemicity is an ontological encounter that is antecedent to epistemic and ontic (think of it as empiric for now) understanding. However, we can also toss out the linear arrow of time (past->present->future), and go to a radical temporal conception of where the three are in any order, such as antisystemicities arriving from the future, disrupting the sideshadow-systemicities, and rehistoricizing the backshadow-antesystemicities. Or, we can assume the now is affecting the past and the future more than the other ways around. In Heideggerian hermeneutics, the future arrives ahead in the non-yet-present. In Bergsonian hermeneutics there is no future, and only the past-nows affect the present now. Heidegger, as well as Bakhtin, and George Herbert Mead totally reject the retrospective sensemaking hypothesis (see Boje 2012 a to g, or http://peaceaware.com for more on that topic). The Antesystemicity Spiral I will present here, in this class, is based on the Pragmatism of William James (1907). James sets pragmatism as the mediator between rationalist and empiricist systems thinking. He also makes eight challenges to [open] systems thinking, based on his disagreements with Herbert Spencer's evolutionary systems thinking of survival of the fittest. For James, Spence was a rationalist, turning a rationalist closed system into a rationalist evolutionary system.

"The optimism of present-day rationalism sounds just as shallow to the fact-loving mind. The actual universe is a thing wide open, but rationalism makes systems, and systems must be closed. For men in practical life perfection is something far off and still in process of achievement. This for rationalism is but the illusion of the finite and relative: the absolute ground of things is a perfection eternally complete" (James, 1907).

By implication the rationalism of opens systems theory is quite shallow to the empiricist mind that measures and calculates systemicity. Pragmatist lean more towards the empirical facts than to the idealism of rationalist explanations of systems.

"The case of Herbert Spencer's system is much to the point here. Rationalists feel his fearful array of insufficiencies. His dry schoolmaster temperament, the hurdy-gurdy monotony of him, his preference for cheap makeshifts in argument, his lack of education even in mechanical principles, and in general the vagueness of all his fundamental ideas, his whole system wooden, as if knocked together out of cracked hemlock boards- and yet the half of England wants to bury him in Westminster Abbey" (James, 1907).

In other words, open systems theory being rationalist thinking is insufficient, a makeshift argument, that is vague and abstract representation of what we are calling systemicity.

The pragmatist, by contrast, according to James, "turns away from abstraction and insufficiency, from verbal solutions, from bad a priori reasons, from fixed principles, closed systems, and pretended absolutes and origins. He turns towards concreteness and adequacy, towards facts, towards action and towards power. That means the empiricist temper regnant and the rationalist temper sincerely given up. It means the open air and possibilities of nature, as against dogma, artificiality, and the pretence of finality in truth" (James, 1907).

Still left to choose between rationialistic-intellectualism (or as Heidegger calls it, the epistemic) understanding of systemicity and the empiricist (or as Heidegger calls it, the ontic) understanding, the pragmatist leans more towards the empiricist systemicity interpretation than the other two. Both James and Heidegger see the ontological as a way to heal the divide between epistemic (intellectualism in James) and ontic (empiric in James). The difference is James asks the pragmatic question, what difference does it make practically? That is, if we assume more intellectualist systemicity instead of the empiricist, what practical difference does it make? Or vice versa, if we heed the systemicity of the empiricists over the rationalist-intellectualist abstract open systems theory, what practical difference does it make to our understanding of organizational behavior?

"Acquaintance with the details of fact is always reckoned, along with their reduction to system, as an indispensable mark of mental greatness. ... Curiosity goes pari passu with the systematizing passion" (James, 1907: 91).

    Table 14: The 11 D's Boje Reads in Heidegger, with associated antesystemicity questions one can research in organizations

    11 D's
    Q to ask about Antesystemicity


    1. What is the directionality of the small organization processes; to what future are they headed?


    2. What is the Datability of the small organization process developments?


    3. What is the duration of various small organization processes?


    4. What is the disclosability of the future small organization processes revealed to you?


    5. What is the destining of the processes unfolding in ways you can foretell? Follow up, in fore-caring, fore-structuring, fore-having, fore-conceiving.


    6. What is the deployment of small organization processes, in-order-to, for-the-sake-of?


    7. What is the dwelling, in-place in the world of small organization processes?


    8. What is the de-severance (de-distancing) of space-time-mattering?


    9. What are the drafts, updraft, and downdraft, into tighter (down) orbits, or into more open outer orbits (up), and the turning points from one draft to another?


    10. What is the dispersion of processes, too diverse, or consolidating them?


    11. What is the detaching from being drawn into they-ness, they-relations, they-self and finding a path of ownmost authentic potentiality-for-Being-a-whole-Self?

    For transcribed examples of answers to questions, please see http://peaceaware.com/lille/Lille_Storytelling_Methodology.pdf. Also view Boje's YouTube film on blacksmithing small organizations for definitions of 11 D's. Qualia, quantum, substance, and potentiality follow antesystemiciity pathways of influence (Aristotle's "On the Soul"). Some things, some places, and some times interrupt antenarratives paths of influence, creating discontinuities, disconnection, disruption, or dysfunction to more systematic connections. An antesystemicity is an ensemble of these connections that "forms one sort of system by which things are conjoined" before they are generalized to a monological systems understanding (p. 93).

    The pragmatist approach to systemicity-antisystemicity-antesystemicity has everything to do with moving from monologic, abstractness, continuous assumptions of open systems theory to a manyness, plurality understanding situated ontologically, Being-in-the-world. This means assessing the reticulated and and concatenated forms of systemicity (p. 94).

  1. Problems with Causal Unity The antesystemicity paths of influence and non-influence can be co-listed under the general problem of causal unity. In organizations, (Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2008: 6). "human efforts are dealing with unifying the world more and more in definite systematic ways" (94). Yet, this systematic administrative force is met with the not only anti-systemic influences, but also with antesystemicity that is being ignored, where the causal unity is antesystemic, more micro quantum, more qualia, more in quantities no coexistent in spacetime. In some places, some times, some things that have minor antesystemic causal influences converge ontologically into some "absolute causal unity" (p. 95). The pragmatic question is 'so what' are the practical implications of antesystemic path influence and more absolute causal unity? By looking at rationalistic or transcendental open systems idealism, that sort of unity is not ontologically realized in things Being-in-the-world. Against this abstract unity, James (1907: 95-96) posits "pluralistic notion of an eternal self-existing many in the shape of atoms or even of spiritual units of some sort" in other words a pluralistic unity. Each antenarrative has its own sort of causal unity:
    • Linear-antenarrative causality: fig 3 boje “If with some raw material, applying some process of transformation, we produce some consumer object, we are in a frame of linear causality: z cause produces y effects” (Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2008 p. 61). A good example of linear causal is PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) for specifying the Critical Path (the longest time sequence).
    • Figure 11 - Building a Rack for my Harley-Davidson using blacksmithing forge process
    • Cyclic-antenarrative causality fig 4 boje (feedback loop causality): “An enterprise needs to be regulated. It must carry out its production based on external needs, from the power of its work and its internal energy capacity. But we know – have known for about 40 years now, thanks to cybernetics – that the effect (sales or slumps) can feed back to stimulate or slow the production of objects and services in the enterprise” (Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2008 p. 61).
    • Spiral-antenarrative causality fig 5 boje (recursive causality): “In the recursive process, the effects and products are necessary to the process that creates them. The product is producer of that which produces it. …  Society itself, as an organized and organizing whole, feeds back to produce the individuals through education, language, and school. The individuals, in their interactions, produce society, which produces the individuals that produce it. This creates a spiral circuit through historical evolution” (Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2008 p. 61). 
    • Rhizomatic-antenarrative causality, (aka Assemblage or network causality) fig 6 boje (relational/mutual and recursive): cause and effects are in an assemblage network, or ‘rhizome’ of relationships, in a repetition of difference that deterritorializes and reterritorializes the landscape (see Deleuze & Guattari, 1987).

    Linear- and cyclic-antenarratives tend to be more abstract understanding of open system theorists, where as the spiral- and rhizomatic-antenarrative may be approached ontologically, as linear- and cyclical-antenarraives that are no longer behaving with sameness of repetition from space to space, and time to time. Linear becomes rhizomatic, and cyclic-sameness becomes amplifications and contractions of spiral-antenarrating, in practice, in situ.

  2. Problems with Generic Unity For example, a spiral-antenarrative is generic, and has instead of a singular logic, or experience, rather there are subspecies, the Archimedian Spiral, Logarithmic Spiral, Quantum Spiral, Fractal Spiral, and Hybrid Spiral.
  3. Archimedian spiral

    Figure 12 - This is example of Archimedian Spiral (it has equal spaced turns).


    Figure 13 Logarithmic Spiral of Three amplifying loops- This is example of Logarithmic Spiral (it has ever increasing or ever decreasing turns of Diagnostic-Project-Implement-Evaluate phases, where each twirl, in this illustration, amplifies, to change game rules, expand breadth and potential of antesystemicity interventions over space, times, materialities).

    Next is basic Quantum Spiral (Q-spiral) by itself, then in a situated landscape of space-time-material performance.

    Figure 14 - Basic Q-spiral without situated environment, and below in situatedness.

    Figure 15 Quantum Double Spiral in Context of Environment in Three Dimensions- This is example of Quantum-Spiral (or Q-spiral, for short). It has upward and downward directions in the same spiral-antesystemiciity, and it is mobile (moving) in trajectory of an entity in its environment that has three dimensions (landscape, timescape, and material-performance)

    David Boje's Q-Spiral model of Business Processes

    Figure 16 - Mandelbrot Fractal Spiral is also a hybrid of several other sorts of antenarrative, linear-, cyclic-, and rhizomatic-antenarratives.

    See Tonya Wakefield's (2012) dissertation on quantum fractal spirals in organizations. The pragmatic implication is that instead of Generic Unity, there is in fact, in spiral organization life, a plurality of antenarrative fractals, or in short, antesystemicity that is way beyond the classic open systems monological model that completely trivializes, marginalizes, ignores, or is ignorant about fractals. Wakefield (2012: 214) for example, combines antenarrative with fractal systemicity.

    Tonya Wakefield (2013) antenarrative fractal drawing


  4. Problems with Unity of Purpose It is just too simplistic, and dangerous, to declare open systems theory is be definition a unity of purpose. Antisystem is subversive to it, and administrative, industrial, university, military, school, and other so-called open systems exist in a systemicity-antisystemicity relata. Each individual has their purposes, as do groups or departments, and to think that some "climacteric purpose" (p. 97), that is a psychic condition, will unify the whole system is entirely naive, as is the idea of "Purposed in advance" (ibid). All the details are not worked out in advance, in some vague notion of climacteric purpose. That is why the is antisystemic and antesystemic. One problemitization of Unity of Purpose, by James is the implication of a teleological unity for organization open systems being highly unlikely.
  5. Problems with Aesthetic Unity This is where James (1907: 98) makes a most important contribution, in declaring "things tell a story." The things of an organization tell a living story of living things in their antesystemicity, their directionality, deseverance, and so forth (see 11 D's Table above). "retrospectively, we can see that al tho no definite purpose presided over a chain of events, yet the events fell into a dramatic form, with a start, a middle, and a finish" in short an "aesthetic union" (p. 98). Yet, making his pragmatist point, James (1907: 98) says' "the world is full of partial stories that run parallel to one another, beginning and ending at odd times. They mutually interlace and interfere at points, but we can not unify them completely in our minds." To follow your living story, I must turn my attention from my own, encounter yours in the middle, and my own unfinishedness. It is monoistic dogma to declare the organization tells one story, and that leaders can learn it like some sort of stump speech or elevator pitch to persuade angel investors, or find that lost control of their institutions. Storytelling is a pluralistic enterprise, where in Tamara-land (Boje, 1995) the path taken or not taken, from room-to-room, in an organization matter, so meaning gleaned by those in the same room at the same time, will be different depending on path-sequences before arrival to hear a telling. Absolute aesthetic unity of narrative is grossly overrated, a barely abstract ideal, in a world of antesystemicity, cross-purposes, in web of living stories.
  6. Problems with Monistic Knower The contribution of quantum mechanics, the observer effect, is that you cannot separate the knower from the systemicity. Reading one system is done by one knower, "as he knows them, they have one purpose, form one system, tell one tale for him" (p. 99). This is also called the "all enveloping noetic unit in things" and is a gross naive understanding by opens system theory, aka, the monological all-knower (p. 99). Prgamatically-speaking this has far-reaching practical consequences of organization studies. If we question the All-Knower hypothesi of the open-systems framework (input-throughput-output-feedback) then we have a way to move from that abstraction to a pluralist notion of antesystemicity.

What is antesystem theory? Antesystem is defined here as what is antecedent to systemicity, the play of antisystem with systemicity. Antesystem is the antecedent systemicity (Boje 2008 has references to systemicity). We in organization studies have theorized system in relation to nothingness, or system in relation to entropy, disorder, or chaos. Rather, antesystem is the quantumness the is being systematized, rendered systemic. Antisystem is a Althusserian materiality, some call it a postmodern materiality rhetoric.

What is Quantum Antesystemicity? Nick Herbert (1985, Quantum Reality: beyond the New Physics) gives us eight ways to look at quantum reality, that will now develop in to quantum systemicities (QS).

  1. Quantum Systemicity #1 (QS1) There is no deep reality systemicity beneath or beyond, rather just the measurement device's measurements (Neils Bohr)
  2. QS #2 Reality of systemicity is created by observation, by an observer, but there is no elephant in the room (Wolf).
  3. QS #3 Reality of organizations is an undivided whole unity system and its parts (Fritjof Capra)
  4. QS #4 Reality is that there are many worlds with many systems (Hugh Everett)
  5. QS #5 Quantum logic is not same as human logic, rather it is posthumanist systemicity quantum logic (Boole, Einstein)
  6. QS #6 Neorealism, the systemicity is mare up of ordinary things, and we just hallucinate, in our illusions ( DeBroglie)
  7. QS #7 Consciousness creates systemicity reality (Postel; Von Neumann)
  8. QS #8 Systemicity is a duplex world, the twofold of potentialities and actualities (Heisenberg)

We can summarize by saying between Bohr's QS#1 and Heisenberg's QS#2, as applied to systemicity of organizations, there are eight degrees of separation. Your challenge in your assignments is to utilize James (1907) pragmatist critiques of (open) systems theory, along with the quantum antesystemicity theories as I have adapted them for Herbert (1985). This should result in our being able to grasp and use a pragmatist hermeneutics and if we are lucky a quantum hermeneutics. Each hermeneutic is a way of defining what is the relation of systemicity-antisystemicity, and antesystemicity.

What is Pragmatist Hermeneutics?

  1. Hermeneutics in a Nutshell - YouTube

    Mar 17, 2011 - Uploaded by Ryshu
    The true purpose of Hermeneutics explained in Robotz form. Story: After reading that ridiculously overly ...
  2. 3. Ways In and Out of the Hermeneutic Circle - YouTube

    As quote in the film, "In. . . an interpretation, the way in which the entity we are interpreting is to be conceived can be drawn from the entity itself, or the interpretation can force the entity into concepts to which it is opposed in its manner of Being. In either case, the interpretation has already decided for a definite way of conceiving it, either with finality or with reservations; it is grounded in something we grasp in advance—in a fore-conception" (Heidegger, Being and Time). (more quotes used in the film)

    Sep 1, 2009 - Uploaded by YaleCourses
    Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry examines acts of reading and ...
  3. Where Heidegger wrote? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Quv4wUvvYIU
  4. Hans Georg Gadamer Hermeneutics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ7NlM9NBU0 Truth & Method (1960).

What is Pragmatism? See James, W. (1907). Pragmatism. Lecture 2: What Pragmatism Means

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkOZ4IyAbNA


Plastic Planet

Figure 23 - Plastic Planet

Example of Antisystem and Antesystem in Physics of Water. What is a sustainable beverage antisystem that opposes the bottled water system? What are the antesystemicity forces of consciousness in relation to the materiality of water? When water becomes commodity, how does such a system run counter to the ecosystem? Few people know that the water coming out of tap is tested to a higher quality than is our bottle water. Marketing of bottle water as safer, purer than tap water has created global water wars, and this 'system' is opposed by 'antisystem' of stainless steel refillable bottles. Few people realize that "three liters of water are required to bottle just one" (source). The antesystem is what was water drinking like before bottled water by Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Nestle developed systems of water consumption. What was it like before billions in advertising dollars and lobbying went into converting people from tap water to bottled water?. Instead of developing better municipal water supplies, and testing, US has turned to consuming 27.6 gallons a year per capita (2006) of bottled water. Instead of protecting source water, corporate bottle water plants are buying property and leases in rural communities, bottling it and selling it. The US has become the largest consumers of bottled water in the world. The antisystem is opposing the system of $22 billion retail packaged-water industry in the U.S, petrochemical and oil industries, as they influence the EPA, FDA, USDA, and state agencies. Plastic bottles are becoming a contaminant of our desert, rivers, lakes, and oceans. Mile wide trolls of plastic soup circulate in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The antisystem is fending off the bottle water industries that are becoming a major threat to plant, marine, animal, and human life. The bottled water industry spends billions annually to convince the public that they cannot live without bottled water. The antisystem is demanding nickel or dime deposits on plastic water bottles (only 6 states have plastic bottle; with 5 cent deposit, 70% return rate; with 10 cent deposit there is a 97% return rate). In the US, 80 million single server bottles are discarded, and of these 30 million wind up in land fills. While in the US 20% of plastic water bottles are recycles, the worldwide average is 50%. If we look at the quantum physics of bottle water, there are scientific findings from non-industry-sponsored (independent) studies, there are petrochemicals that leach out into the water. Bisphonol A (BPA) is not healthy. Tests of bottled water have found Toluene, Styrene, and other dangerous toxics. "In third-party testing, bottled water showed traces of bacteria, chemicals, fluoride, endocrine disrupters such as BPA and PETE (or PET)" and "In 2007, Americans consumed over 50 billion single serve bottles of water. With a recycling rate of only 23%, over 38 billion bottles end up in landfills" (source). The testing of bottled water is done by the bottling industry goes to just one overworked person in EPA, whereas the tap water of each municipality goes through hundreds of test samples. The antisystem opposes the commodification of water, the corporate control of water, the aggravation of the global water crisis. Here in New Mexico the Rio Grande River is rationed for agriculture, wildlife, and household uses.


FILMED NOV 2010 • POSTED JAN 2011 • TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch

Figure 24 - Van Jones: The economic injustice of plastic

250 billion of small water bottles consumed in US last year. If bottled water is heated up, by leaving them in the car in New Mexico, stuff leaches out. The PET1 and PETE is in Benzene family, which has been shown to cause cancer. BP, Exxon, and Chevron operate the petrochemical plants making these water bottles, and lobbying the regulators. Coke pushes Dasani as its bottled water, and Pepsi the Aquafina. Nestle, a Swiss conglomerate, has divided the US into regions. New Mexico is in the Arrowhead region. These bottlers get permits to do water mining in rural communities. Bottled water costs 6 cents a gallon and is sold for $6 a gallon. 75% of the Earth's surface is water, however only 1% is drinkable. Often the bottled water is just filtered and osmosis-treated municipal tap water.


North Pacific Gyre, the giant mass of plastic soup in the Pacific Ocean that is about twice the size of Texas? See what happens to a good deal of the plastic we produce:


Figure 25 - Captain Moore

Capt.. Charles Moore Ted Talk on the seas of plastic (2009)

Can’t see the video? Go here.

We can do a similar analysis for Aqufina. It's symbolic system "Pure Water, Perfect Tasted," Purified Drinking water," "Purified through a seven step process..." The symbolism is as before, Aquafina leaves out an indexical, that it is a Pepsi Cola product. The iconic system would include the history, how the Pepsi market share (and Coke's) soft drinks were shrinking, so water become the new commodity, or the advertising dollars and university research funded to show that bottled water was purer, safer, tastier that tap water. The 'real' Pepsi challenge would be to compare Aquafina to tap water, to have an independent science lab to the quantum physics analysis of the water, the trace elements, the leaching from the plastic, the nutritional value.

What if NMSU banned plastic bottled water sales. "To date, more than 90 schools, among them Brown University, Seattle University and Harvard University are banning the sale or restricting the use of plastic water bottles on campus... Cornell and Yale both have reduction campaigns in effect, and the University of Pennsylvania encourages administrative offices to use hydration stations rather than bottled water." (Sustainable Business Practices). Also University of Portland, University of Vermont, and Loyola University-Chicago , Princeton university, UC-Berkeley, and many others have now banned bottled water sales. There are also campus-wide campaigns promoting sustainability including Take Back the Tap at University of Nevada Las Vegas and Tap That at Vassar College. Currently NMSU is promoting alternatives to plastic bottled water, such as refill stations for stainless steel containers. "As a result of criticism raised against the environmental footprint of bottled water and its health issues, many university campuses across the United States have banned the sale of bottled water" (carbon footprint).

"Gioia Thompson, sustainability director at the University of Vermont, says that the movement was started by students in the Vermont Student Environmental Program as an effort to reduce waste on campus" (source).

The storytelling works both ways, e.g.: "In response to the growing movement, the water industry released a video on YouTube last month poking fun at “Ban the Bottle,” an organization that advocates banning one-time-use plastic water bottles. The spot, which features “Star Wars”- like music and flashbacks of antiwar demonstrations, says bottled water is a safe, convenient product that is “one of the healthiest drinks on the shelf” and that its packaging is recyclable."

What is the history?

Antesystem is antecedent to the ongoing interplay of systemicity and antisystem of an organization. Antisystem does not mean 'not system, and is not just nothingness that interanimates with systemicity, rather it is relationality of antisystemicity and antesystem. (Mandarini, 2006:74) refers to the "anti-systemic temporal heterogeneity of the system, the hemorrhaging of totality into a multiplicity of temporal practices." We can add to that the spatial heterogeneity, and the plurality of agencies (such as in Latourian actor-network-theory).

Latour Actory Network Thoery Star Model

Figure 26 - A Star Model of Actor Network Theory - graphic by D. M. Boje Jan 1, 2013.

System wholeness and concreteness in organizations is countered by the antisystems: multiple places, multiple types, multiple optics, multiple materialities, and multiple pressures. Unity of systems has attained mythic proportions in organization studies. When we inquiry into the ontology of systems of organizations, and the ontic (empirical) actuality, we begin to notice that what our idea of system as whole, as so many parts in one place, time, materiality, agency, and pressure breaks down.

An example of antisystemic relation to systems may help at this point. Watch Vandana Shiva Bill Moyers interview, critical analysis by Vandana Shiva of global food production and Monsanto's GMO seeds, and how it has lead to more hunger, more farmer suicides, the devastation of the Earth's natural living system. Despite the use of words like 'living systems' or 'organic systems' or 'open systems' in organization studies, these have little to do with natured, ecological systems, and all to do with economic growth models of corporate systemicity that is counter to the ecosystem's sustainability. This next one of the Shiva YouTubes has cases of Arthur Anderson calculation of water markets, more on Monsanto, and critiques of full cost of globalization of water industry. When we take a look at the Being-in-the-world of organization's systemicity, we find lots of examples of antisystemic. The antisystemic is all the overlooked, marginalized aspects, such as how massive agribusiness, pharmachemical and others destroy family farms, etc. When we do a critical study of global systems, we begin to see their antisystemic (their breakdowns, blind-spots and ways the antisystemic opposes the systemic). There is more than entropy going on here, more then negontropy. Take for example the Quantum Physics of the Food Systems and its Antisystemics: "Our studies have been biased and skewed towards the big corporation, the globalization model, and away from life on the planet. Food is beset by anti-food. Our water and seeds of life are being privatized. Our land is being turned over to rasing feed for meat production. We are on a downward spiral, without the counter-spiral that would bring balance.... There is a "quantum food physics" which if we follow Aristotle's "On the Soul"." For Aristotle, plants, animals, and not just humans have souls. The human soul has more intellect (rationality) than souls of plants and animals. For many indigenous the water of lakes and rivers the mountains and the stones have soul. This sort of vitalism has been vehemently opposed by open systems theory, and it has led to dire consequences for human, animal, plant and planetary health. The "soul" of system includes plant growth and renewal, the renewal of clean water and air, the plight of animals, revitalization of the soil, is a posthumanist understanding of antisystems. The move to quantum systems-antisystems theory is a posthuman standpoint.

A system-antisystem relationship is defined by its materiality-substance,its quantities, as well as its qualia, and potentia. What is call complex adaptive system is managerial slang for a system in an environment that is just other foraging organizations rather than an ecological environment. If complex adaptive systems thinking took 'whole system' seriously, the ecosystem would not be left out of the analyses. A system has material substance, quantities, qualia, potentiality, relations to place, relation to time of next seven generations. Qualia is a tipping point between system and antisystem, between the heterogeneity of spaces, times, optics, material agencies, and pressures. Limiting system thinking to economic efficacy, to shareholder value, is a recipe for antisystemic disaster. Recent documentary films like "Hungry for Change," "Foodmatters," "Farmageddon," and "Forks Over Knives" are challenging systems to take into account a more comprehensive, accurate, ontological, and sustainable horizon. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has proven to be more addictive than cocaine. Sugar (& substitutes) is so overused in American food manufacturing systems, that the human consequence is Americans are the most obese and unhealthy people on the planet (Parker, 2010; Ifland, Preuss, Marcuss, Rourke, Taylor, & Burau, 2009). A Type 2 diabetes is an epidemic that is affecting an ever-increasing proportion of the US population (Gross, Li, Ford and Lau, 2004).In the quantum systems-antisystems analysis of the food system, it is important to study the subatomic processes: "a keto group attached to carbon 2 of the molecule, while glucose presents an aldehyde group at carbon" (Lê & Tappy, 2006). And this sort of system is becoming a worldwide pandemic. For example instead of look at schools as closed or open systems, and antisystemic hermeneutics addresses the downside of addictions that systems promote:

"Sugar-sweetened beverages obtained at school contributed a daily mean of 29 kcal in middle school children and 46 kcal in high school children across all school children. Attending a school without stores or snack bars was estimated to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by 22 kcal per school day in middle school children (P<0.01) and by 28 kcal in high school children (P<0.01). The lack of a pouring rights contract in a school reduced sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by 16 kcal (P<0.05), and no à la carte offerings in a school reduced consumption by 52 kcal (P<0.001) in middle school children. The most effective practices for reducing energy from low-energy, energy-dense foods were characteristics of the school meal program; not offering french fries reduced low-nutrient, energy-dense foods consumption by 43 kcal in elementary school children (P<0.01) and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by 41 kcal in high school children (P<0.001)" (Briefel, Crepinsek, Cabili, Wilson, & Gleason, 2009: 775).

Briefel, R. R., Crepinsek, M. K., Cabili, C., Wilson, A., & Gleason, P. M. (2009). School food environments and practices affect dietary behaviors of US public school children. Journal of the American Dietetic Association109(2), S91-S107.Gross, L. S., Li, L., Ford, E. S., & Liu, S. (2004). Increased consumption of refined carbohydrates and the epidemic of type 2 diabetes in the United States: an ecologic assessment. The American journal of clinical nutrition79(5), 774-779.

Ifland, J. R., Preuss, H. G., Marcus, M. T., Rourke, K. M., Taylor, W. C., Burau, K., ... & Manso, G. (2009). Refined food addiction: a classic substance use disorder. Medical hypotheses72(5), 518-526

Lê, K. A., & Tappy, L. (2006). Metabolic effects of fructose. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care9(4), 469-475.

Related questions for 655: What is this system and antisystemic, and its (un) sustainability?  What is this systemic and antisystemic used for? What is ontological-inquiry? How is this systemic and antisystemic in-Being into the environing world? see overview part IV Ontological

What is Liquid Modernity?We are witnesses to a shift from systems thinking of Solid Modernity to antisystems thinking. Zygmunt Bauman (2000, 2007) says we have moved from the ‘solid’ modernity of Weberian iron cage of bureaucratic organizations into the Liquid Modernity, where space and time routines don’t last nearly as long as before.

What is Quantum Hermeneutics? It is defined as a posthuman hermeneutics, a hermeneutics of systems-antisystems where instead of billiard-ball physicks, materiality has several definitions: representationalist, historical materialist, postmodern materialist, Althusserian materialist, and quantum materialist (Boje, 2013). Instead of hermeneutic circle, its endless sameness cycle, quantum hermeneutics is a double spiral process. Quantum hermeneutic spiral includes the upward spiraling and the downward spiraling forces of substantive, quantitative, qualia, and potentia.

James, W. (1907). Pragmatism. Lecture 5: Pragmatism and Common Sense. This is a good place to begin to sort out pragmatist hermeneutics in relation to quantum hermeneutics and then to sort out the relation to the 11 D's.

Table 19: Pragmatist and Quantum Hermeneutics

1 Thing; Thing is changling (p. 121), in successive apparitions, appearances, alterations; in existences we do not see

Directionality: Heidegger (1962 BT, # 109, p. 143) “out of directionality arise the fixed direction of right and left” & “left and right are not something ‘subjective’ from which the subject has a feeling; they are directions of one’s directedness into a world that is ready-to-hand already”;

2 The same or different; Flux "no one experiences occurring twice: (p. 119) [Hericlitus]

Datability: Heidegger (1962 BT, #407, p. 459) “seemingly obvious relational structures which we call ‘datability’”; (#408, p. 441) Datability “is the most primordial way of assigning a time”; (#409, p. 462) “allowing oneself time concernfully”; (# 422, p. 474) instead of a succession or a “ ‘flowing stream’ of nows’” in “the course of time” that is a “present-at-hand) “world-time” he proposes “the datable ‘now’”, “In the ordinary interpretation of time as a sequence of ‘nows, both datability and significance are missing” and “covered-up” in a “datability” that “gets leveled off”;  (#413, p. 466)

3 Kinds; Differerent kinds of things; manyness kinds exist (p. 120)

Deployment: Heidegger (1962 BT, p. 89) “the ‘in-order-to’, the ‘for-the-sake-of’, and the ‘with-which; of an involvement” are “relationships in which concernful circumspection as such already dwells” [see dwelling-in]

4 Minds; Minds change in spots, a soaking in of novelty; Ways of thinking of remote ancestors can survive to present;

Disclosability: Heidegger (#75, p. 105) says “‘disclose’ and ‘disclosedness’ will be used as technical terms in the passages that follow, and shall signify ‘to lay open’ and ‘the character of having been laid open.’ Thus ‘to disclose’ never means anything like to obtain indirectly by inference’”;  (#110, p. 145) “co-disclosedness of space”; (#75, p. 105) “disclosedness:, i.e. of a “whole ‘workshop’ – as that wherein concern always dwells” and “context of equipment is lit up” and “world announces itself”; (#175; p. 219) “The disclosedness of Being-in-the-world”; (#180, p. 224)

5 Bodies; Rather than static bodies, a pragmatist embodiment, in relation to others, in relation to the world & universe

Destining: Heidegger (QCT, p. 57) destining is not a succession of eras; (PLT) destining; (1962 BT, #56, p. 82) “Being-in-the-world” is bound up with “destiny” of Being of entities encountered, such as metal of corporeality of Being; (#344, p. 436) Destiny is not something that puts itself together out of individual fates, any more than Being-with-one-another can be conceived as the occurring together of several Subjects”; (#385, p. 437) Generations of blacksmiths for example, form an historic community grounding in advance the possibilities in “Being of care” the “futural” and in “authentic historicality”; (#150, p. 191) destining is an “interpretation” “grounded in something we have in advance – in a fore-havingfore-sight … fore-conception”; (#80, p. 110) “A warning signal, what is coming”; (#90, p. 111)

6 One Time Plurality of times; not equally flowing times; everything has its own duration & extension to next thing

Duration: Heidegger (1962 BT, 18, p. 39) “Aristotle to Bergson and even later”; (ibid) “as against Bergson’s thesis that the time one has in mind in this conception is space” and is “ontic” and no longer has “authentic ontological relevance”; (#26, p. 49) duration is present-at-hand, as with Parmenides it is ontic. Kant and Bergson are too influenced by Aristotle’s essay on time in Physics book; (#47, p. 73) Bergson understands duration as “philosophical anthropology” of experiences; (#333, p. 382) critique of Bergson – “it is not an externalization of a ‘qualitative time’ into space, as Bergson’s Interpretation of time – which is ontologically quite indefinite and inadequate – would have us believe”; (# 106, p. 140) “‘half an hour’ is not thirty minutes but a duration which has no ‘length’ at all in the sense of a quantitative stretch” (ibid) duration is “the pathways we take: that “vary in length from day to day”; (ibid) Duration is not a stretch of space or time, or “corporeal Thing” present-at-hand, rather it is ready-at-hand “a kind of concernful Being:; (#106, pp. 140-1) “a pathway which is long ‘Objectively; can be, much shorter than one which is ‘Objectively’ shorter still but which is perhaps ‘hard going’ and comes before us as interminably long” yet is “authentically ready-to-hand

7 One Space Plurality of spaces; map is not the territory

Dwelling: Heidegger (1962 BT, #54, p. 80) “to dwell” signifies Being-in and means “I reside” or “dwell alongside” the world; (# 61, p. 89) we can look at the work from a view-point, “such looking-at enters the mode of dwelling autonomously alongside entities within-the-world. In this kind of ‘dwelling’ as a holding-oneself-back from any manipulation or utilization, the perception of the present-at-hand is consummated”; (#80, p. 111) “Signs always indicate primarily ‘wherein’ one lives, where one’s concern dwells, what sort of involvement there is with something”  such as equipment “ready-to-hand”; (#107, p. 141)

8 Subjects and attributes; Rather than unit-subjects with interchangeable attributes, pragmatist looks to sense-qualities in concrete experiences

De-severance: Heidegger (1962 BT, # 107) “Because Dasein is essentially spatial in the way of de-severance, its dealings always keep within an ‘environment; which is desevered from it with a certain leeway…. Accordingly our seeing and hearing always go proximally beyond what is distantially ‘closest.’”. “Occupying a place must be conceived as a desevering of the environmentally ready-to-hand into a region which has been circumspectively discovered in advance”; (#108: p. 143) “Both directionality and de-severance, as modes of Being-in-the-world, are guided beforehand by the circumspection of concern”;  (#109, p. 144) “De-severance and directionality as constitutive characteristics of Being-in are determinative for Dasein’s spatiality – for being concernfully and circumspectively in space, in space discovered and within-the-world”; (#299-300, p. 346) “Being-in-the-world has a spatiality of its own, characterized by the phenomena of de-severance and directionality”

9 Causal influences; Antediluvian (time before the flood) where every thing is significant & exserts influence

Drafts: Heidegger (1971 PLT: 130) Boje’s spiral-antenarrative processes of the thingness of things is in the path of caring, of what Heidegger calls the widest "orbit of the whole draft" (PLT, 1971, 130). The widest orbit of the spiral-antenarrative is an unshieldedness, Boje calls “inner ♥-space of our worldly existence” based on Heidegger’s “heart’s space” concept, "inward the true interior of the heart's space" (p. 130). The spiral-antenarrative is a primordial path from birth through death, downward "where all ground breaks off- into the abyss" (PLT, 1971: 119), and upwards, into that end of this life, and into the afterlife. The above figure integrates Heidegger's (PLT, 1971: 128) ideas of a draft-center as attracting our path, draft-center, within the entire Being-in-the-world of the spherical forces of the whole integral draft space-time. The other attractor is the whole sphere (space-time) forces of integral draft. These define the simultaneous forces of the spiral-sphere. The spiral-antenarrative activities and processes are in the "sphereicity of the unifying" a sort of lightning" (PLT, 1971: p. 123). This is the draft attraction of place. The well-roundedness of the spiral-sphere can be "thought of as the Being of beings in the sense of the unconcealing-lightning unifying" (ibid, p. 123). "The widest orbit is the wholeness of the whole draft of attraction: (ibid, p. 124). "When we are touched from out of the widest orbit, the touch goes to our very nature" (ibid, p. 125), in the "globe of Being" (p. 124). For more see Boje (2012b, on line, http://peaceaware.com/Boje/index.htm

10 The fancied; Primitive people believed fancies and real were inextricably related; liveliness pursues influenced real; dreams and real related

Dispersion: Heidegger (1962 BT, # 109, p. 144) “the equipment-context of a world”; (#110; p. 145) “equipment-context ready-to-hand”; (#112, p. 147) “totality of places belonging to equipment ready-to-hand”; (#390, p. 442 “dispersion” and “disconnectedness” arises in an “inauthentic historicality”; (#390, p. 442) “dispersal” of “unity” “our lostness” in the “they”; (#391, p. 442) “The Self’s resolution against the inconstancy of distraction”; Another dispersion of processes is a “dispersal” away from “unity” in a shop by following too many other people’s ways of doing blacksmithing, which is the “they-self” mimicking of other iron artists (Heidegger 1962 BT, #392, p. 444).

11 The real. Instead of representational real, or here are many realities, some good & some bad; a flux of energetic (energies); discontinuity of experiences

Detaching: Heidegger (1962 BT): Detaching - the process is no longer useful (# 82, p. 113), a severing takes place. Detaching is also something to do with getting out of inauthentic relations to ‘they-self’ so a Self can form. When the process is a part of disclosability, and directionality, it is not detachable (#95, p. 127). (#130, p.168) “Authentic Being-one’s-Self does not rest upon an exceptional condition of the subject, a condition that has been detached from the ‘they’’ it is rather an existentiale modification of the ‘they’ – as an essential existentiale.”; (#177, p. 221) “Idle talk is not something present-at-hand for itself within the world, as a product detached from Being-with-one-another.”;  (#298, p. 344) “Resoluteness, as authentic Being-one’s-Self, does not detach Dasein from its world, nor does it isolate it so that it becomes a free-floating ‘I’.”; (#397: p. 449) “”But in so far as this ‘today’ has been interpreted in terms of understanding a possibility of existence which has been seized upon – an understanding which is repetitive in a futural manner – authentic historiology becomes a way in which the ‘today’ gets deprives of its character as present’ in other words, it becomes a way of painfully detaching oneself from the falling publicness of the ‘today’.”;

Note: The Pragmatic Hermeneutic Spiralness and the Quantum Hermeneutic Spiralness are not in one-to-one relations. You will need to work such a framing out yourself.

Heidegger Abbreviations:

BT Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and Time. Translated by John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson. NY: Harper Row.

BT Heidegger (1996). Being and Time. Translated by Joan Stambaugh. State University of New York Press, Albany NY.

HCT Heidegger, M. (1992). History of the Concept of Time: Prolegomena. Translated by Theodore Kisiel. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Originally, 1925.

PLT Heidegger, M. (1971). Poetry, Language, Thought, trans. A. Hofstadter.  NY: Harper and Row.

QCT Heidegger, M. (1977). The Question Concerning Technology, trans. William Lovitt. NY: Harper and Row. The Turning; The Word of Nietzsche: "God is Dead"; The Age of the World Picture; Science and Reflection --- are essays in the QCT book.


Life does not transact itself in a purely epistemological or rationalistic dimension. The epistemic turns towards the past, in acts of retrospective-sense-giving, the make prospective (telos) towards repetition of sameness of the past. Empiric verifies the correctness if ides in a "mass of verification experience" (James, 1907: 146). Pragmatists turn towards the future, in relation of some experience to the "sum total of the world's experience" (p. 146). The pragmatist faces forward, while the epistemologist places backwards, and the empiricist faces the present.

"We life forwards, a Danish thinker has said, but we understand backwards. The present sheds a backward light on the world's previous processes. They may have been truth-processes for the actors in them They are not for one who knows the later revelations of the story" (James, 1907: 146).

Take the case of spiralization. The epistemologist names some vague, partial and naive ideas about Archemeian-spiral, or Logrithmic-spiral. The empiricist sets up verification processes of the ideas in the what is of the present observations of spiralization. That verification process can be as vague and naive as the epistemic ideas of spiral forms. The pragmatist connects the spiralization with life, the practical value-added results of the spiralization transaction be they 'subjective' ways of idealizing, or 'objective' ways of measuring spiralness. This deranges commonsense epistemic and vague empiricist verification attempts. The pragmatist makes the monist spiral (Archimedean or Logarithmic) an hypothesis, by positing the possibility of a plurality of spiralization-kinds. This ungears the monoism-spiral-ideas, so that direct face-to-face verification of present spiralness can take place. Since the pragmatist faces forward towards the future, the prolongations of the past is treated as a hypothesis, alongside the future arriving present, and matches up to the Heideggerian hermeneutics. The pragmatist and the ontologist assume that the understanding of the spiralization processes is only partial. Spiralizations are "the antediluvian monsters" (James, 1907: 141) with the datability of "dates and settings." Those antediluvian spiralization monsters of ancient past time, cohere everything in the present, as well as constituting a "leading-process" from future into the present (ibid). Rather than behave according to the naive-spiral ideals, the spiralization process conforms its rootlets to the surrounding environmental contexts (landscape, timescapes, & materialscapes), and this affects the spiral-complexes' trajectory, its path through the environment.

In the usual business of all spiralizations exist in kinds and not in monist-singularity of Archimedean or Logarithmic spiral epistemology. There is spiralness to spiralization that is so far without empirical verification. We need empiric process of verification to move beyond the niave-spiral-abstractions. Pragmatists conclude that epistemic and empiric are not the only stock in trade (p. 138). We can do more than attempt to verify the epistemic spiral (mental) ideas. We can compare kinds of spiralizations to one another. Does this one have three stable orbits and that one only two? Does this one have more updrafts, and that one more downdrafts? Does this one have fewer bridges that leap between orbits, than that other one? Does this one have more movement along a path in its surrounding environment? These concrete empiric verifications would take our spiralization scholarship beyond the naive and vague, and into "sensible facts of experience" (James, 1907: 138).

Spiralization awaits an ontological verification of its waywardness, plurality, fractal connections, and disclosability of its hidden workings, by eye-witness evidence, a precise verifiability of movements of the orbits upward and downward, inward and outward of the entire systemicity, as well as the movement of the spiralization along a trajectory in context of Being-in-the-world, dwelling in space, in time. This would be the pragmatist exploration of the superstructure of spiralization, in the diameter of the orbits, their simultaneous directionalities, and the mutations, we can call shape-shifting.

When you experience a spiralization event, please write it down in a notebook. Describe and document the particulars of the spiralization experience. Is the spiralness shot through with regularities, recurrences of sameness cycles, or is it orbits of difference that amplify or contract, in some sort of sequence? A loose spiralization description will miss the connections between the orbits, be vague about places, dates, distances, activities, hidden working, and paths, including the movement of paths in the environment.

The epistemology of representation of the 'real' in spiral-model, awaits the sphere of vari-fication and valid-ation (p. 123) of the empiricist. Pragmatist hermeneutics instigates towards ways the parts of experience, past-present-future hang together in ways that are practical, useful, important, invaluable to human life. A more posthumanist pragmatist hermeneutics treats human as only one of many species, all spatially-important, temporally-imporant, and materially-important to the life of the planet, to all life of the planet. I therefore want us to explain the particular spiralizations and spiralness of the antesystemicties-systemicities-antisystemicities in a pragmatist discussion that moves beyond epistemic materialist-representationism, beyond empiric materialist-conditions, and towards the practical ways of Being-in-the-world, ontologically (not in what is, rather in how understanding is hermeneutic). I am put off by the vague and naive epistemic open systems theorizing. An ethnographic inquiry that takes a pragmatist description seriously, would question open systems thinking, as too rationalistic, monist, too much unity of causality, too much unity of the aesthetic narrative into ins monological beginning-middle-end emplotment (a rather shallow hermeneutics). Instead of the 1-to-1 representationalism of epistomic retrospection (looking backward), there is a quantum field beyond the "naif realism" of materialist-representationism approach (James, 1907: 122). Pragmatist hermeneutics wreaks havoc with the common-sense spiral-representations of the epistemologists. Here we have focused on what happens with the scope of practical control of Nature's food and drinks, is put in the hands of agribusiness in ways that is beyond the ground of common-sense, as children and the planet's ecosystemicity are being crushed by the antediluvian monster. Historicity and historicality are not the same. Epistemic has too much historicity (shallow rendition of surface history of a few heros), while the empiric denies history altogether in the cross-section mania. A pragmatist-ontological-hermeneutics would be refreshing, since it would be a study of historicaliness, not historicity.


STAGE ONE: Question the common-sense retrospective (backward-looking) epistemic models (such as naive & vague Archemedian-spiral or Logrithmic-spiral shapes) that makes language (the naming of things) its ally (James, 1907:124).

STAGE TWO: Question the vagueness of the empiric verification process of these epistemic models. From a pragmatist hermeneutics, "no one experience [is] occurring twice" (James, 1907: 119). There are different kinds of things, in manyness, with their own durations and extension, in flux of energetic experience, and episodes are successive, rather than independent, and therefore consequential one episode to the next (p 116-117).

STAGE THREE: Do a pragmatist criticism of the monoism, by searching out plurality of action, situated in environment (not in blankness) What are the quanta, qualia, the substances, and the quantities that make up what Aristotle calls the 'soul' of a process-complex.

STAGE FOUR: Do a materialities analysis, looking at the negotiations among multiple materiality rhetorics, including the quantum versions of materiality rhetorics.

STAGE FIVE: Do a deconstructive-hermeneutics, a resituation (Boje & Tyler, 2009 Click here for pre-press PDF), a restorying (Rosile & Boje, 2002  Click here for pre-publication pdf).

Rather than a hermeneutic circle, how could James' stages be a hermeneutic-spiralizaiton-antesystemicity? Instead of noetic monism (p. 112), a "noetic pluralism" hypothesis is put forth by a pragmatist hermeneutic spiralization. Instead of system being eternally complete, a hermeneutic spiralization occurs in gradual grafting on an soaking in of novelty experiences onto unaltered knowledge and unchanged habits of action, so that spiralization is describing a dynamic "changling" (p. 121) that "grows in spots" (p. 112) while "some old knowledge remains what is was" (p. 112). Perhaps systemicity is not whole it all, merely loosely connect parts on a copula-assemblage. In that case, we would need a pragmatist rhizomatic-hermeneutics instead of a spiralization-hermeneutics. Anything but a cyclic-hermeneutics.


To develop something I am calling 'ontological-storytelling-inquiry' into antesystemicity theory and method. Ontological is according to Martin Heidegger (1962, 1991, 1999), an 'in'-Being. It is not 'ontic' which means to exist or not, in-the-world, a corporeal-being. Rather, ontology is what is meant by 'in'-Being. Another word for ontology is 'worldhood, Being-There in-worldhood. Dwelling, Being-in-the-world. This term we will look at Liquid-Modernity, and Liquid Times (Bauman's books), as well as something I will call Liquid-Quantum, how not only time, but space and materiality have liquefied, in our systems of Late-Modern Consumer-Capitalism. Excerpts from Boje's (2013) new book, underway for Routledge will be part of the seminar.

Systemic and Antisystemic are in relationship with Antesystemicity.

Systemic: "social space as homogenous", "singular economic logic", "functionally reducing the dynamics of all social processes... to the developmental logic of the 'laws' of space" (Callari & Russio, 1996: 15-16).

Antisystemic: a critical postmodernist challenge to open systems theory, to its system-building grand narrative. The postmodernist materialist rhetoric (Boje) develops a theory of agency in that is the opposition of antisystemic to systemic. "antisystem carries the implications of conjuncture, openness, change, even disorder" (Callari & Ruccio, 1996: 9). See Freire's dialogic and anti-dialogic as one version of antisystemicity.

Practical Applications: Learning to Live with Complexity, Harvard Business Review  http://hbr.org/2011/09/embracing-complexity/ar/1
Excerpt: "Complex organizations are far more difficult to manage than merely complicated ones. It’s harder to predict what will happen, because complex systems interact in unexpected ways. It’s harder to make sense of things, because the degree of complexity may lie beyond our cognitive limits. And it’s harder to place bets, because the past behavior of a complex system may not predict its future behavior. In a complex system the outlier is often more significant than the average.
HBR: How do you think about complexity? Prigogine and Stengers (1984) give us insight into reenchanting open systems theory, and moving into the implications of Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and its relation to Heidegger's Ontological hermeneutics.

These two discursive claims are about the praxis of system-antisystem, how they bring about change and transformation in a Heidegger ontology includes antesystemicity (transformative bets on the future). Here we go beyond the tradition trilogy of rationalist, mechanistic, and organic systems, and beyond open systems theory. Boje (2008) has a critique of open systems theory its obsession with levels (9 of them). Ironically, as Zizek (2007, Parallex View) argues, that level 9 is the Kantian transcendental level. The Kantian parallex (Critique of Pure Reason) is antinomic (reduced to a single aspect of cognitive system architectonic):

"Human reason is by nature architectonic. That is to say, it regards all cognitions as parts of a possible system and hence accepts only such principles as at least do not incapacitate a cognition to which we may have attained from being placed along with others in a general system" (Kant, p. 337).

'By the term architectonic I mean the art of constructing a system. Without systematic unity, our knowledge cannot become science; it will be an aggregate, and not a system. Thus architectonic is the doctrine of the scientific in cognition, and therefore necessarily forms part of our methodology (ibid, p. 551).

Kant is referring to an architextonic general systems of transcendental unity that as a parallex is a priori (transcendental). Zizek (2007) proposes a different hermeneutics of the parallex, a gap between epistemic and ontic (p. 10), that is, the ontological, read in a Marxian dialectic. He proposes a "parallex shift" from the superego-parallex (Kantian or Marxian), and from nothingness (Sartre), to an ontological difference between physical and Metaphysical, such as the gap between humanity and its own inhumane excess (p. 5) or the parallex of wave-particle in quantum physics (p. 7).

Bauman (1978) says that Talcott Parsons "disenchanted systems theory." The next to the last section of Prigogine and Stengers' (1984) Order out of Chaos is a reenchantment of nature. Here in Mgt 655 we will re-enchant systems theory with antisystems and antesystemicity theory. You will learn how von Bertallanffy disenchanted open systems theory, not just Parsons. We will look at living system theory, but unfortunately, it to is disenchanted. This will not do. After all this is New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment!

For Parsons, the hermeneutic was that of a 'weak process model' (type 1 in Van de Ven & Poole, 2005) where social system had four key components:

(1) adaptation: the need to relate to the environment by taking resources from it;

(2) goal attainment: the setting of goals for the system;

(3) integration: the maintenance of internal order;

(4) latency or pattern maintenance: the generation of sufficient motivation to perform tasks

Beyond Complex Adaptive Systems Theory

A complex adaptive system (CAS), such as in Stuart Kaufman's work (see Type IV model in Van de Ven & Poole, 2005) has three characteristics. The first is that the system consists of a number of heterogeneous agents, and each of those agents makes decisions about how to behave. The most important dimension here is that those decisions will evolve over time. The second characteristic is that the agents interact with one another. That interaction leads to the third—something that scientists call emergence: In a very real way, the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. The key issue is that you can’t really understand the whole system by simply looking at its individual parts.

"The observer is part of the system of description; his/her language is one among several possible others" (van Foerster, 1981, as sited in Antonacopoulou & Tsoukas, 2002: 858). Along with the living stories, include yourself, your voice and stance as Observer who is also Intervening in the system you are studying this semester. According to the Quantum Physics of Storytelling (Boje), the observer just by observing is intervening in the process, so might as well stand answerable for it, and include that in your living storying. This is know as your personal reflection on what is happening.

"Moreover, if it is accepted that the observer is not detached from the system observed, then the observer should indeed get as close to the system as possible, for only in that way, will its internal life an development be properly understood" (Antonacopoulou & Tsoukas, 2002: 859).

Your Challenge

You will carry out questioning in some antesystem, systemicity, and antisystem of your choosing, and question all the processes, not at the level of abstract process, but the micro-processes. Include sustainability critique. See work in strategy-as-practice in our initial readings.

Past Results of 655: Members of the last Mgt 655 doctoral seminar in systems theory, did a seminar project, which was accepted for publication at International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior. The journal has a 90% rejection rate, so receiving a first round accept, was good news. The article is titled: “University Sustainability and System Ontology.” Coauthors are from Management and Marketing departments, and are listed in alphabetical order:Grant Aguirre, David Boje, Melissa Cast, Suzanne Conner, Catherine Helmuth, Rakesh Mittal, Rohny Saylors, Nazanin Tourani, Sebastien Vendette, and Tony Qiang Yan.

The article was for special Issue: Organizational Innovations and Responses for Universal Equilibrium (Special-Theme Editor: Shiv K. Tripathi). Co-authors secured an IRB approval and did a case study of sustainability at New Mexico State University. The theory is an ontological approach to dialogic of sustainability, as it relates to the balancing of competing needs, such as efficiency, heart, and brand identity at NMSU. Another aspect is intervention, thus bringing top administrators new possibilities regarding the university’s goals and environmentalities.  Students and faculty made a presentation to the President, Provost and VP of Research at NMSU, showing how the seven building-the-vision goals are interspersed with sustainability identity and projects. Data for the study were collected through in-depth interviews with university members from all hierarchical levels. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and provided to the interviewees for their approval prior to inclusion. In sum, ontological storytelling is a powerful way for individuals interested in sustainability to effect system change in an organization. From this paper’s perspective, sustainability is initiated and sustained through the meaning of authentic care as participants in the process realize the potentiality-for-Being-whole-in-systemic-sustainability . Specifically, colleges are one-by-one embracing sustainability in curriculum and research. This article raises interesting ontological issues for sustainability researchers, and has implications for strategy as practice.

Work from these Mgt 655 students was part of the intervention to move Sustainability along from Bronze Star to Gold Star.

Ruby's Double Sprial

Figure 24 - Double Spiral-antenarrative of NMSU Sustainability - drawing by Ruby Galindo (2012, for Mgt 448).

Read the storytelling at http://business.nmsu.edu/2012/12/03/nmsu-earns-gold-star-rating-for-sustainability/

The Double spiral-antenarrative is a way to look at the relation of the green path up-spiral for wider orbits of sustainability, and the brown down-path of flushing out unsustainability. The systemic and the antisystemic forces are in double-spiral relationship. The systemic and the antisystemic processes are part of the double spiral antenarrating of organizations.

The double spiral is two antes (the before) of spiral-potential, and (the bet) of transformation of this potential into actual. It's contribution is to move beyond dualizing organizational spiralness as either upward or downward, and show these as emplaced together simultaneously. The assumption is that systemicity includes both amplification (defined as two or more successive cycles that amplify into wider orbits) as well as contractions (two or more cycles that contract into tighter orbits). The double spiral-antenarrative has oscillations both in upward and downward orbits of amplification and contraction. There are also quantum leaps, such as,depicted in red in the figure, when NMSU jumped silver going directly from bronze to gold star (datable events). It is possible that spiralness degenerates into successive cycles of sameness (without amplification-contraction). I assume this is unusual, and that sightings of cyclicity are aggregated, thus a way to keep spiralness from disclosability. Further rather than ordinary depictions of one-directional spiralness, as in the double-spiral I assume there are multiple directionalities.

The Challenge to Open and General System theories comes from Ontological studies, from antisystems approaches: "Plato carried out a mode of questioning, setting up starting points, and making claims to knowledge" (Heidegger, 1999: 34). General systems and open systems and organic systems forfeited this sort of inquiry into the ontological, the primordial, long ago. Instead open system theory, in particular, has become the static juxtaposition of classification ways in presupposed concepts. Boulding and my mentor Pondy, for example, use an external framework of classification of system levels, with the ninth being transcendental. Emery and Trist and their followers since, work out an open systems classification with DP1 and DP2 as core principles, yet the posing of questions about the very existences of open systems and their turbulent environment is conducted in workshops, as the environmental scan, on a flip chart, not in the manner of Socratic questioning of the in-Being or worldhood of open system or turbulence themselves. Open system is done in a dialectic fashion, of a "dialectical system" (Heidegger, 1999: 36).

In short, the question of the relation between open systems and ontological-inquiry is left unstudied. Here we will concretely work out the ontological-storytelling inquiry into the worldhood of open systems, and their encounters with their environs.

New Paradigm: Pragmatic Ontological Inquiry into Antesystem relation to Systemicity-Antisystemicity in Organizations

For this semester, or focus is to look at General System Theory (GST), Living System Theory (LST), and what I will call Quantum-Ontological System Theory (Q-OST) in relation to one another, and in interanimation to antisystems. GST (Bertalanffy, 1968) has a virtual idea, of parts-whole that is worked out in all scientific and cultural fields of study, including organization studies. Living system is both empirical, ontic (it exists), and not merely virtual.  Point-of-fact, the work on living systems, is not all that livable, not much is living in the theory of living systems. Both open systems and living systems theories have become thoroughly disenchanted (Bauman, 1978, Hermeneutics book). Heidegger (1962) differentiates ontology (the meaning of Being) from ontic.  An ontological system therefore is about a field of possibilities in relation to its antisystemic processes. Heidegger’s Dasein means ‘Being-there’ (and is also translated as Being-here).  I am adding the word quantum, in the Heisenberg's (1958) sense observer effect.  See Study Guide. What is an observer effect in quantum physics?

"Of course the introduction of the observer must not be misunderstood to imply that some kind of subjective features are to be brought into the description of nature. The observer has, rather, only the function of registering decisions, i.e., processes in space and time, and it does not matter whether the observer is an apparatus or a human being; but the registration, i.e., the transition from the `possible' to the `actual, 'is absolutely necessary here and cannot be omitted from the interpretation of quantum theory. At this point quantum theory is intrinsically connected with thermodynamics in so far as every act of observation is by its very nature an irreversible process; it is only through such irreversible processes that the formalism of quantum theory can be consistently connected with actual events in space and time" (Heisenberg, 1958: pp 89-90).

The three sorts of systems: GST, LST, and Q-OST are related, as depicted in Figure 1. It is the quantum system that is ontological, in that systemicity and antisystem are interactive in not only quantum materiality, but also quantum storytelling (intra-activity of quantum-materiality with storytelling discourse), and what is called 'quantum consciousness.' General Systems Theory (von Bertalanffy) has a virtual system, one that is not living, not vitalistic, without enchantment, without soul. Living system that is ontic (physical, present-at-hand, empirical) lacks soul.  

Fig 2 3 sorts of systems

Figure 25 -General, Living and Quantum System theory Personalities

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, in next to last chapter introduces one of the early treatments of systems theory, the architectonic."By the term architectonic I mean the art of constructing a system" ... "Thus architectonic is the doctrine of the scientific in cognition" (p. 551). Bakhtin does not buy into this approach to systems as merely cognitive, and wants to interanimate architectonic with ethical and aesthetic discourses (resulting in architectonic dialogism, see chapter in Boje, 2008a).

It is all cognitive (rationalist) and earlier in same book space and time are transcendental, not Being-in-the-world, as they are in Heidegger. Bergson's is all about duration (how long is now)? However his theory of duration is opposed strongly by George Herbert Mead, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Martin Heidegger. Bergson's sensemaking is all retrospective, and Heidegger allows the future to come into the present, and change it, lure it. In the center is the ontology of Deleuze, the repetition of sameness is cyclic-antenarrative, and the repetition of difference, is of course, the spiral, sometimes the double-spiral (see Figure 1).


  1. What is the awhileness of this system, in our Present (immediate Now)? What is the mode in which open system makes itself present, Today, in an "open space of publicness" (italics in original, Heidegger, 1999: 38). Awhileness refers to the primordial temporality of the system, tarrying for a while, being-there-invovled-in its environs (Heidegger, 19991: 5). This has the sense of system-encounters with its environs. "Getting a grasp of facticity depends on the degrees of primordiality with which the reference is taken up and followed through to the end" (ibid, p. 24).
  2. Do systems exist in levels? What kind of being stands in for ]behaving here? (ibid, p. 34). Boulding (1956) has the idea of nine system levels. It is a conceptual framework, a classification that places various system constructions into relation. It rules and organizes the "trans-temporal in-itself" its validity, value and substance is transcendental, in a dialectic sense of each level above affecting the one below it.
  3. What is the 'factial' life of the system Being-there? This is the ontic (being or not) of system, being-in-the-world. It is more of a spatial (container) conception of time. This has more of a categorical or a sensemaking sense of the ontic, its factial life.
  4. What is the factical mode of the actualizing of system, its How? Facial is not the same as factial. Facial as the meaning of an interpretation. Some interpretations are inauthentic (most of the ones for closed, organic, open, mechanistic, and levels are not facial in any authentic sense).
  5. What is the relation of inauthentic and authentic system? This is not about being true or not, or ontic or not. Here inauthentic is in the sense of a cover-up of in-Being, of the 'worldhood' of the system, and its storytelling can also be inauthentic or authentic, and there is a relationship between them, to be investigated.
  6. In antenarrative terms, what is the forehaving in advance, of the system, the future ahead of the present? Many systems are an anticipatory leap forward and running in advance (Heidegger, 1999: 13). An antenarrative (bet) is positing an end-state for the system in advance, and is common in much of strategy. The anteriority-antenarrative, by contrast, has the meaning of "being-in-the-way" (ibid, p. 13) a disclosure, a directionality, a dissevering, etc. There is ontic-forehaving, of a prediction, the bet, and there is ontological forehaving, the being-possible of being ahead in factical understanding that "cannot ever be calculated and word out in advance" (ibid, p. 14). In the 2008 (Boje, Storytelling Organizations) I would out the concept of systemicity, which has I think more of the ontic sense. There are many anticipated, half-implemented, partially abandoned and yet still in play systemicities, with factial engagement.
  7. What are the system's encounters, its factical life in worldhood? Arash Adezegen of NMSU, is working on a project describing organizational behavior based on a theory we know as “Great Systems Theory”. GST in essence would be manifest as a system that performs very well or is “high performing”. This in turn because of certain characteristics of the system. http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2005 Here we begin to see the system by virtue of its encounters with its environs, in worldhood. This is a wakefulness for facticity and faciality.


Systems-antisystems-antesystems is part of a material world. I got a lot out of an article by Robert Chia and Brad MacKay (2007) Post-processual challenges for the emerging strategy-as-practice perspective: Discovering strategy in the logic of practice. Human Relations, Vol. 60 (1): 217-242.

For your purpose, the methodology chapters you are writing, need to address the problems with asking retrospective-sensemaking-narrative questions in the interviews.  As you know much of my early work in in storytelling (1991) involved in situ ethnography, in the field, amidst the daily practices of the storytelling. It is not until recently that I got into the area of ontological-storytelling and have had to differentiate it from sensemaking, social constructivism, and so forth.

Why in situ storytelling inquiry?  Answer: In "transmitted fields of practice" (Chia & MacKay, 2007" 236), the practitioner unreflective mindless copying, improvised action.  It is not by acts of retrospective sensemaking. Now if you ask retrospective-sensemaking [narrative] questions, then you get the person to make the [tacit] knowledge explicit. The assumption across several approaches (systems, strategy, sensemaking, and especially knowledge management) is this is a good thing to make knowledge explicit. However, in Chia and MacKay (2007) the act of the questioning itself, results in a decrease in "efficacious disposition" (p. 235).  Answer: Because there is a difference between the "purposive mindless coping" and the intentionality of "purposive goal-directed action" (p. 235). 

What kind of methodological approach can one use in ontological-storytelling? 

Answer" Don't ask for a retrospective-narrative-sensemaking account of the practitioner's practices. Or if you must, get beyond it.

Follow the practitioner through "apparent patterned consistency of everyday absorbed practical coping" (p. 234).  Why? Because the retrospective sensemaking gets the practitioner to invent rationalities, to revert to school-book recitation of rules and principles not in use in the everyday coping thereby missing the actual character of a practice.  The narrative explanation provided is even counterproductive because it is a "regress to the level of the beginner and states the rules learnt in school" (Dreyfus & Dreyfus, 2005: 788), as cited in Chia and Mackay, 2007: 234).

From Heidegger, Chia and MacKay draw upon several Heidegger ontological concepts that we can re-craft into an understanding of storytelling-ontological inquiry for your methodology chapters:

  1. Dwelling. One of the 5 D’s in the article I sent you. It is through the everyday dwelling activity, Being-in-the-world, that a familiarity emerges. Polanyi (1969) calls this 'indwelling' a kind of tacit knowing.  Bourdieu calls it habitus. Shotter and Katz (1966) call it "witness thinking" about the livelihood of everyday activity of practice. 
  2.  Primordial. This is about the lived practical engagement. It is what I try to get at in the new concepts of antenarrative (anteriority and antecedent) in relation to the living story.  Now what Chia and MacKay don't get at is the difference Heidegger has between being-in-the-world and the worldhood of in-Being.  And it is in-Being that is the primordial conception of spacetimemattering. 
  3. Non-primordial spatiality. For Heidegger there is a huge problem with equation space to a container theory, such as we have talked about as the Chinese doll, a doll inside another doll.  Chia and MacKay get at this Heideggerian critique in talking about a content approach to strategy, and again in the dualizing of macro and micro.
  4. Critique of sensemaking. Heidegger does not dismiss sensemaking (a critique of Descartes) or conscious thinking (Kant). Rather these are the first and second folds, but there is a third fold, the primordial. 
  5. Critique of intentionality, that Chia and MacKay treat under the heading of 'Methodological Individualism.'  This includes the "individual is valued as self-contained, self-motivating human agent who acts on its external environment" (p. 226, acts italicized in original). It is a form of what Michel de Certeau, !984: xi) a storytelling scholar, calls "social atomism" which refers to this spatiality critique (# 3, above); de Certeau refers to this as "descriptive fixity" treating people and social entities as 'epi-phenomenal' categories, narrative concepts, narrative representations, in an "epistemology of representationalism" (. 227).  The epistemological assumption carries an unexamined essential purposefulness and intentionality of human action, stemming from the legacy of Descartes internal mental consciousness (cognitive sensory) duality model.  There are of course deliberate intentionality assumptions in the fields of knowledge management, sensemaking, and appreciative inquiry. 
  6.  Ontological practices.  There are historically transmitted dispositions, mannerisms, and predispositions that are trans-individual. Again there are references made to Bourdieu's (1990) habitus as an alternative to theories of individual agency. The focus is on primacy of primary practice-complexes, which in my work comes under the heading of spiral-antenarratives (Boje, 2011a, b, c, d, etc.). This means ontological-storytelling is tracking the micro-practices longitudinally and in situ, in work setting to get at embodied lived experiences, at capacities and dispositions (so-called tacit understandings) in living stories in relation to spiral-antenarratives (and assemblage ones). These antenarratives are by definition process-complexes. These are historically shaped regularities, such as in the spiral that are trans-individualities.
  7. Directionality. There is in Heidegger (1962. 1991, 1999, 2003) a focus on directionality, in what we can term the unseen or the less visible flow. What Deborah is calling the ‘unseen’ i.e. "Sensitivity to the less visible but detectable propensities and tendencies of human situations" (Chia & MacKay, 2007: 227).  The propensity spiral-directionality is the focus of my work (Boje, 2011 references). But to get there requires overcoming several entrenched dualisms (mind|body, macro|micro, subjective|objective internal|external and so forth in what Heidegger calls an act of de-severance – and not covered in Chia & MacKay) so that the ontological primacy of processes and practices is not seen as a causal efficacy attributed to individuals, but to the immanent in things and people in the flow. For me, I am looking beyond the linear causality models to causal efficacy that is spiral causal and mutual causality (in assemblage antenarrative causality).


You are each investigating some kind of systemic phenomena. For example, in explaining efficacy, sensemaking (and intentionality) "posits a holistic network of intentional states, tacit belief systems and values that provide explanatory adequacy for accounting for the meaning of action" (Chia & MacKay, 2007: 228).  The problem for methodology is how to ask the questions in ways that get at the ontological, and where possible how to observe and participate.

The ontological-storytelling inquiry can use diaries, archival, ethnographic, interviews, observation, etc. However it is a matter of the kinds of ontological questions and observations being conducted. 

In sum, what this means is a focus on the everyday, the situated, the minutiae of micro-processes, micro-activities, micro-strategy, etc. It means a focus on habits, the socialized activities of actors that are more or less mindless absorption in life that gets glossed over by the concepts, categories, etc. of systems, the one or two-day seminar retreats, traditional strategy thinking, and knowledge management. In short, a focus on the "Unheroic work of ordinary strategy practitioners in their day-today routines" (p. 222).

For more see (Anteriority and Spiral-antenarrative) Boje (2011g).


See http://peaceaware.com/655/ for the readings we will select for the class. also gloss through the overview, especially part IV Ontological Inquiry

Our format is to do 3 readings, in depth, each week, plus any Boje study guides.


[Online BOOK until you get your own copy] Being and Time [DOC] from joyeurs.com only first 77 pages, not all by Martin Heidegger - 1978. This translation 6 1962 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd BLACKWELL PUBLISHING 350 Main Street, Maiden, MA; Prefer you get the 1962 Maquarrie & Robinson translation, so we are all using the same text, and one that is most widely cited. Value of the on line one is that it is searchable Word document and Free.

Please do some searches on words like 'primordial' and "temporality" to get at differences in time conceptions, so you can begin to see the difference between primordial time and clock time, and how the two can be related in Deseverance. Search other words, and do precise citation.

Here are some favorite quotes for primordial:

p. 31 "Ontological inquiry is indeed more primordial, as over against the ontical 3 inquiry of the positive sciences."

p. 33 "Thus Dasein's understanding of Being pertains with equal primordiality both to an understanding of something like a 'world', and to the understanding of the Being of those entities which become accessible within the world. 3 "

p. 40 "Thus the way in which Being and its modes and characteristics have their meaning determined primordially in terms of time, is what we shall call its "Temporal" determinateness. 1 Thus the fundamental ontological task of Interpreting Being as such includes working out the Temporality of Being."

p. 76 "Primitive Dasein often speaks to us more directly in terms of a primordial absorption in 'phenomena' (taken in a pre-phenomenological sense). A way of conceiving things which seems, perhaps, rather clumsy and crude from our standpoint, can be positively helpful in bringing out the ontological structures of phenomena in a genuine way."

Heidegger (1962) makes reference to story and to narrative (in other books):

Heidegger (1962: 26) "If we are to understand the problem of Being, our first philosophical step consists in not μûϑóν τινα διηγεîσϑαι, v in not 'telling a story'—that is to say, in not defining entities as entities by tracing them back in their origin to some other entities, as if Being had the character of some possible entity. "

His point, as I read it, is that 'story' and 'narrative' can oversimplify historicity. e.g. "But historiology—or more precisely historicity 3 —is possible as a kind of Being which the inquiring Dasein may possess, only because historicality is a determining characteristic for Dasein in the very basis of its Being. If this historicality remains hidden from Dasein, and as long as it so remains, Dasein is also denied the possibility of historiological inquiry or the discovery of history. If historiology is wanting, this is not evidence against Dasein's historicality; on the contrary, as a deficient mode 1 of this state of Being, it is evidence for it. Only because it is 'historical' can an era be unhistoriological" (Heidegger, 1962: 41-2).

To me, storying the how, the worldhood of systemicity is not about narrative"
lay open in its structure the how of the encounter, drawn from that encounter, of the entity in which Dasein is as in-being in accord with its basis constitution, in short to lay open the structure of being of this entity" and as Heidegger emphasizes this does "not mean a narrative description reporting on the outward appearance of things in the world, that there really are mountains, streams, houses, stairs, tables, and the like, and how all of this stands" (Heidegger, 1999, Conception of Time book, p. 169). To me, then the ontological-storying is deepen in-Being than retrospective-narrative, and deeper than 'living story' relationality webs which get at the ontic.


More Online Resources:

Stories of the storytelling organization: a postmodern analysis of Disney as" Tamara-Land"

[PDF] from google.com DM Boje - Academy of Management Journal, 1995

[PDF] Third cybernetic revolution: beyond open to dialogic system theories

[PDF] from peaceaware.com Special Issue: Manufacturing Identity (ies)- …, 2005 - peaceaware.com ©: Tamara: Journal of Critical Postmodern Organization Science Vol 3 (5) 2005 136 Third Cybernetic Revolution: Beyond Open to Dialogic System Theories by David Boje & Khadija Al Arkoubi New Mexico State University

Toward a Dialogic System Theory

[DOC] from peaceaware.com DM Boje… - 16th annual meeting of Standing Conference Management and Organization Inquiry sc'MOI, 2005 - peaceaware.com This paper questions General Systems Theory (GST) and reveals its drawbacks adopting a Bakhtinian approach based on dialogism. It also provides the alternative by setting the ground for a new dialogic system theory based on cognition, axiology and emotions.


Architectonics of McDonald's cohabitation with Wal-Mart: An exploratory study of ethnocentricity

[PDF] from peaceaware.com
Full-Text @ NMSUD Boje, E Enríquez, MT González… - critical perspectives on …, 2005 - emeraldinsight.com
Purpose – Architectonics is proposed as a dialogic theory and method to research three discursive
spheres: McDonald's corporation, McDonaldization, and McDonaldland.





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