Between the Saying and the Said: from self-reflexivity to other-vulnerability in the research process

Kjersti Bjørkeng, Arne Carlsen, Carl Rhodes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter takes a process approach to language use, power relations, and the ethics of response in organizational research. The chapter starts with a discussion of reflexivity in research and show how it needs a radical contestation of the subjectivity–objectivity divide that is key to the process philosophy of pragmatism. A reflexive approach still harbors the danger of an excessive one-sidedness that fails to account for the alterity and reflexivity of the other and also continues to serve power asymmetries privileging the researcher. In response, and following in particular Lévinas, the chapter explores the possibilities that are open to researchers if they approach the research process from a position of other-vulnerability. The chapter uses two illustrative examples and discuss implications for research collaboration, conversations, and participation in theorizing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage and communication at work
Subtitle of host publicationdiscourse, narrativity, and organizing
EditorsFrançois Cooren, Eero Vaara, Ann Langley, Haridimos Tsoukas
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780191007583
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePerspectives on process organization studies
PublisherOxford University Press


  • Lévinas
  • process theory
  • reflexivity
  • research process
  • vulnerability


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