The rise of the phoenix : methodological innovation as a discourse of renewal

Wastell, DG, McMaster, T and Kawalek, P 2016, 'The rise of the phoenix : methodological innovation as a discourse of renewal' , in: Enacting Research Methods in Information Systems , Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 191-212.

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Every 500 years (or 540, 1000, 1461, even 12,994, depending on the cultural context!), the legendary and beautifully plumaged Phoenix1 self-cremates in its nest of cinnamon twigs, rising again to embalm its predecessor in an egg of myrrh. Something of a Jungian archetype, the Phoenix symbolizes the universal cycle of birth, death and re-birth, figuring widely in religious and secular imagery, and in classical and popular culture. Renewal is the theme of this paper, but in the more mundane context of organizational resilience. Resilience is a cosmopolitan idea, encountered in many disparate domains, ranging from ecological policy (e.g. Folke et al., 2002) to child welfare (Newman and Blackburn, 2002). Although its definition is elusive (Cho et al., 2006) and its utility contested (even in seemingly well-entrenched terrain),2 the concept has gained recent prominence in the management literature, especially among the enthusiasts of ‘positive psychology’ (Luthans, 2002). Its proselytizers see resilience as an organizational capacity that can be designed and fostered as a protective shield against the apocalyptic turbulence and uncertainty of the contemporary business environment (Mallik, 1998; Hamel and Välikangas, 2003; Sheffi, 2005). Resilience is ‘the key skill for surviving in the multitude of changes as we move into the digital economy … [leaders] must cultivate the resilience of the workforce and create appropriate systems. If an organization does not create new strategies and systems that enhance organizational resilience, it will not adapt’ (Pulley, 1997).

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Willcocks, LP, Sauer, C and Lacity, MC
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9783319292687
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Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2017 09:16
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 20:43

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