Multiplicity, Virtuality and Organization: The Contribution of Gilles Deleuze

Formal organization is often seen as opposed or resistant to change, in theory as well as in practice. Drawing primarily on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze we argue that the reverse is true — that organization is itself a dynamic quality and that change and organization are imbricated in each other. We expand several key concepts of this philosophy in relation to  organization (the multiplicity of order and the multiplicity of organization, strata and meshworks, virtuality and multitude) all of which draw attention to the unstable, but ever-present forces that subvert and disrupt, escape, exceed and change organization. This enables an understanding of organization as creatively autosubversive — not fixed, but in motion, never resting and constantly trembling.

Deleuze’s reworkings of ontology challenge us to think organization differently and in a non-prescriptive way. In so doing he dissolves boundaries and makes connections — between realism and postmodernism, materialism and vitalism, the actual and the virtual, and complexity science, evolutionary thought and creativity. This demonstrates the creative and complexly connective potential of a Deleuzian approach to range across the ‘Empire’ of organization theory and elicit from its sutures its too often suppressed capacity for autosubversive  trembling.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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