Dialectical Storytelling Science in a Multifractal World

Why did the Swainson’s Hawk gift me her wing feather?

Swainson's Hawk Feather

Photo of Egg splatter and a Swainson’s Hawk Feather, a Gift from their School of Wisdom (Photo by David Boje, May 8 2016, Sunday, used by permission).

Perhaps its a Vurt-Feather, and I am part of some multifractal world. The ground with the two eggs splattered and drying on the concrete, part of the university strategy to eliminate the Hawk pair and any fledgling from campus. The chainlink fence shadows of all the constructing activity eliminating Habitat that Humans and Hawk might share.

What Message of Wisdom do the Hawk Pair bring to Humanity? What are we learning form this month-long encounter between University and Hawk? If we fly above and look down on this Situation, look before and beneath it, what antenarratives does the feather tell us? see http://davidboje/hawk for the Situation.

Dialectical Storytelling is a ‘new’ and perhaps ‘revolutionary’ direction in speculative philosophy. Hume is said to have interrupted Kant’s transcendental dialectic, and Hegel interrupted Kant’s a priori by making “the content” and “self-moving concrete” the focus of speculative philosophy (Hegel, 1807: # 56). The implication is to no longer clothe storytelling content in an external emplotment (formalism), and instead study the rhythm of self-moving transitions that are innate in the development of the concrete content itself.

This nature of Dialectical Storytelling’s Scientific Method, is therefore ontological, rather than solely epistemological, and is in other words, “not being separate from the content” while in our understanding of quantum observer effect aware we are “partly spontaneously determining the rhythm of its movement” (# 57).  There have been many speculative philosophies, ours if founded on the ‘ante’ (antenarrative) rhythms of self-movement in spacetimemattering.  Hegel is concerned that his revolution in speculative philosophy is both no longer Kantian transcendental dialectic, and that it is not a “narrative exposition: but rather is a different Notion (# 57). Traditional speculative philosophies have been informed by the impulse to concoct a grand narrative of human experience, and are therefore not concerned with a  critical antenarrative dialectic or an “ultra-revolutionary” storytelling (# 57).

Our speculative philosophy, therefore, takes on the strenuous effort of antenarrative Notion in its Scientific Method, and its grounding in the self-movements of rhythm without a grand narrative or transcendental claim to alien authority, to a priori, or to an obsession with emplotment. There are ‘plots’ available for the dead body in the cemetery.

Rather than the slumber of formalistic emplotment, and all its relativistic social constructivism, antenarrative Notion has its focus on movement and rhythm that are in the spacetimemattering of sociomateriality. This is not naive “material thinking, a contingent consciousness that is absorbed only in material stuff” (# 58), rather it is what our annual conference calls Quantum Storytelling:

Join us at the 5th Annual QUANTUM STORYTELLING CONFERENCE, Dec 15-17 in Las Cruces, New Mexico at Inn of the Arts.

There are different kinds of sociomateriality, and we see them in interplay with one another in organizations  (I am borrowing material below from my other website on fractals):

The first model of sociomateriality is ‘separation.’ It is a Cartesian, agential cut, where socio is seen as apart from materiality, such as in subjective/objective split. René Descares (1596-1650) is the exemplar of the Separation Model. These drawing are from Henderson and Boje (2015) and from http://davidboje/fractal 

Figure 1 – Separation Model of S (social) and M (materiality) – drawing by Boje

The next model is Social Domination, the social dominates the material. It is exemplified on one of Aristotle’s fourfold causalities, efficent cause (the blacksmith forges the material into a desired form, an iron sculpture).

Figure 2 – Social Domination Model of of Socio (S) Materiality (M) – drawing by Boje

The Social Domination Model of sociomaterialism is also known as the SHAPING MODEL, and harkens back to the social constructivist social science theories: the idea human social systems are the primary force in shaping material realities (Aristotle’s material, efficient, form and final fourfold causality.

Next, is the materialism dominance model, where the material dominates the social. In Aristotle’s fourfold causalities, the ‘material cause is the properties of the material itself are agential in limiting what the blacksmith can sculp the iron into. The matererial limits the socio options.

Figure 3 – Materialism Dominance Model – drawing by Boje

The M–>S model can be seen in the ‘affordances’ work done by web technologists, trying to write video games and web sites in ways that afford clues to the social, to the users, on how to navigate web pages. This has resulted in ethnogrpahies of how users learn to use search engines, and complex virtual spaces, and how to make these more usable, so humans can pick their way, and are sort of herded along, to follow the material-symbolic clues (knwoing which button to push, which icon to move your mouse over, etc.).

We contend that S–>M and M–>S models do not hold up. Empirical research by Cohn and Dourish (2014) does not find this sort of unidirectionality of human causal agents and material agency.

The next model attempts to ‘balance’ socio and material as equal forces of sociomaterialism.

Figure 4 – Balance Model of SocioMaterialism – drawing by Boje

This is also known as the harmony or symmetry model of sociomaterialism. In systems theory, it is the common traditional idea that systems are equilibrium-seeking. However, as we shall see this is a gross narrative generalizaiton, and ideal type in search of socio realizaiton.

Next is the model we know form Karen Barad’s (2003, 2007) work on ‘agential realism’ theintra-activity of materiality with socio (discourse). She follows Bruno Latour (1999) in contending that the linguistic turn has gone too far, and there we need to look at quantum sociomateriality as intra-activity, rather than a interaction that is balance, or letting S–>M dominate or M–S dominate. The Posthumanist challenges of Barad, Bennett, Strand, Haraway, Hird, Henderson, and many other feminist sociomaterialists assert that humans have no primacy over other species.

Figure 5 – Intra-Activity Model of Sociomateriality – drawing by Boje

One way to theorize intra-activity is that the socio and the materialism fold into one another in quantum ways, rather than being in balance (equilibrium).

The newest candidate to explain the puzzle of how Socio and Materialism are related is the RE-CON-FIGURING MODEL by Dourish. In Re-Con-Figur-Ation there is a rocking back and forth, where sometimes, material-stuff on the ground matters, the materiality of the products, market sectors, technologies, and so on. And sometimes there are interventions from the degrading technologies forces a reorganization of both SOCIAL and MATERIAL practices.

Figure 6 – Re-Con-Figuring Model – drawing by Boje

Re-Con-Figuring Model looks at social aspects of materiality, and the materiality aspects of the social — seen as projections, rather than simpler SHAPING, SYMMETRY, or SHAPING kind of models. Cohn and Dourish (2014) pay attention to the representationalist practices that the materialism of technologies provide the social with. Things that do material-stuff, by social control of them in the world, and at the same time craft a representation of the world to us, that makes certain kinds of opportunities for action manifest.

At the opposite extreme, Dialectical Storytelling Science and  our Fractal Method is not restricted to the ‘social thinking’ of social constructivism which does treat all ‘material stuff’ as irrelevant. Of course, this does not mean that the obsession with emplotment, grand narrative, master narrative, metanarrative, and proper limits on story, and so on — are not embedded in sociomateriality, rather Dialectical Storytelling Methods, in antenarrative Notion, focuses on the dialectic of this emplotment contagions to other kinds of dis-emplotted rhythms of self-movement.

What is Quantum Storytelling?

We do not worship at the alter of the linguistic turn, and its emplotment sacrament. Quantum storytelling retains the Notion of intuition for more than just sensemaking, and beyond the social as being-for-self encounters and reacts to demands of being-for-another. Rather, in Quantum Storytelling there are larger patterns of selfsameness patterns that are across different magnifications of sociomateriality. And self-moving patterns of selfsameness recurrence are not always utterable or writeable. An emplotment reductionist would call such ‘fractals’ and ‘multifractals’ of selfsameness rhythm ‘plots’ but that is not a theory about aliveness.

For more on fractals of Quantum Storytelling, please see:

dragon book coverAvailable from Routledge May 2014; See Reviews; See Book Signing Flyer

This book is focused on Pragmatism, and Storytelling Practices in the Quantum Age








2014 BOOK edited by David M. Boje and Tonya Wakefield

Being Quantum: Ontological Storytelling in the Age of Antenarrative

Published 2014; Cambridge Scholars Publishing Ltd is registered in England. Reg. No: 4333775; VAT No: 108280727; Available Amazon

Organizational Change and Global Standardization: Solutions to Standards and Norms Overwhelming Organizations (Routledge Studies in Organizational Change & Development)Hardcover – Published 31 Jul 2015

by David M. Boje (Editor)
by Tonya Henderson (Author),David M. Boje (Author)


The Dialectic of Fractal Selfsameness Recurring and that of Differentia the fractal branching of rhizomatics

In many ways, Hegel (1807) anticipates fractal rhythm Notion.

I will define a fractal here, as any pattern of self-similarity, repeated across multiple spatial domains, at different times, and across different scales. These fractals are tacit or explicit, serving to organizing subsystems of the meaning of the storytelling practices.

What is a fractal? “recurrence of self-similar and/or instability processes across scales: individual, unit, inter-unit, organization, inter-organization, regional, international, global” (Boje, 2015). Fractals form in fractal narratives, fractal story webs, and are interconnected by transformative antenarrative fractal processes. More at http://davidboje.com/fractal/

Fractal narrative’ is defined as “a narrative that finds its best accomplished form in the Web” in hyperlink networks (Durate, 2014: 284).  A fractal-narrative is linear or cyclical in form, with a central monologic or monomythic structure, a heroic character, in a complex plot within plots, patterns within patterns — that repeats and repeats, from one telling to the next (Boje, 2015).

Fractal narratives can take different forms, such as branching-fractal that keeps splitting into finer and fine subunits, a spiral-fractal which has amplifying iterations, and/or deviation counteracting iterations.

Some organizations are characterized by systems of rhythm, self-movement in a fractal monologic that is “fixed, general selfsameness” (# 247). This means that they are ’emplotted’ if you like such term, on both the “cognitive side and the things themselves remain selfsame” (IBID.).  It could be akin to the petrified narrative which incorporates the strong corporate values of an enterprise and keeps its strategy on course (Czarniawska, 2004). Such organization systems expansion is by “self-identical determinatenesses, each of which describes the course of its progress unhindered and with scope for free play, leads of necessity equally to its opposite, to the confusion of these determinatenesses: (Hegel, 1807: # 247). In other words, the petrified fractal becomes opposes, becomes dialectical storytelling: “the differentia, the general characteristic, is the unity of opposites, of what is determinate and what is in itself universal; it must therefore split up into this antithesis” (Hegel, 1807: # 247).

Is petrified narrative a kind of monological fractal, a linear narrative fractal?

Much of the organization theory on fractality is linear narrative construction and monologic emplotment. Warnecke (1993) metaphoric use of fractal to envision the ‘fractal company’ became inspiration for work in quality standards-fractals in production, planning and control (PPC) systems doing so-called flexible or agile manufacturing. The approach it top-down, and the focus is on the material resources of the ‘agile enterprise’ accomplishing self-organization and self-optimization, self-similarity, and vitalism dynamics, in a “hierarchical system” (Boje, 2014b; Boje, 2015, in press).  Another version of fractal organization is by Hoverstadt (2008).He defines the fractal organization as a recursive map of an organization, but it is at the same time a hierarchical control. Hoverstadt says “business planning is still rooted in an annual cycle of targets and budget setting that is indistinguishable form the centralized planning systems of soviet Russia under Stalin” (p. 4). He applies fractal thinking to Stafford Beer’s “Viable System Model’. Both Warnecke (1993) and Hoverstadt (2008) have set the stage for Fractal Change Mangement (FCM). However, in order to move ahead we need to understand just what are the variations in fractal-narratives, and how we can change them.

Dialectical Storytelling Method can also change our Understanding of Beginning-Middle-End Narrative emplotment (aka, BME Narrative and Counternarrative).

What if the End in BME is a necessity that its fractality has been there since the beginning but is hidden, is already there (and nothing else issues forth). Alternatively what if the End in BME narrative is the outcome of its [fractal selfsameness moving] action returning only to its own self, for its End, its antenarrative (prius) is and of itself? Hegel (1807: # 257) makes such a distinction about End, its ante (prius).

  • “The necessity in what takes place is hidden, and shows itself only in the End, but in such a way that this very End shows that the necessity has also been there from the beginning. The End, however, shows this priority of itself in the fact that nothing else issues from the alteration resulting from the action than what was already there. Or, if we start from what is first, then this in its End, or in the outcome of its action, returns only to itself; and through this very fact it demonstrates itself to be something that has its own self for its End, and thus, as a prius, has already returned to itself or is in and for itself” (Hegel, 1807: # 257).

Definition: prius means something that precedes or takes precedence : precondition; prius means antenarrative: before (fore-having), between (fore-structuring), bets (fore-sights), beneath (fore-concept) , becoming (fore-caring).

The End arriving only at itself obtains its feeling of self, in the dialectic of what it is and what it seeks as minor distinction, but major one is its own self a Notion. What if the future arrives, of and from the future, and not in the linear Notion of time, as past now, present now, future now not yet.

  • “Therefore, what it arrives at through the process of its action is itself; and in arriving only at itself, it obtains its feeling of self. We have here, it is true, the distinction between what it is and what it seeks, but this is merely the show of a distinction, and consequently it is in its own self a Notion” (Hegel, 1807: # 257).

What is multifractal?

The multifractal exists in the ‘real’ and in the writing of Jeff Noon. It is not just fractal geometry. To get at the multifractal in its environment, its Multifractal-Being-in-the-world, we need to look at some theme alternative methods.

Quantum science has invited new realms of imagination: wave/particle duality, strange attractors, entanglement, observer effects of quantum mechanics. Jeff Noon’s (1993) Vurt novel combines the quantum science with chaos theory and fractal geometry.

We (Henderson & Boje, 2015) theorize and interplay between natural and artificial multifractal. They influence one another at different scalabilities. The theory and practice problem is that many participants regard their organization as a natural (or organic) adaptive and evolving system. However, we contend that many, if not all, complex organizations, are at least partially artificial.

Jeff Noon’s (1993, 1996a,b) multifractal story meshwork of cyberpunk and postmodern surreal fictions constitutes a pattern Boje (2008, 2011, 2014a, b) calls the spiral-antenarrative, and it is always on the verge of becoming rhizomatic. There is often an ensemble of characters, rather than a central hero or heroine.

The multifractal, ontologically, proceeds at both the macro socioeconomic scale of worldhood and at the micro-scale of details, the infinitesimal domain. As I say in the new book: “Tetranormalizing is a method of forensics, finding the sociomaterial patterns (be they random or fractal) and doing something to change norms of practice, while deconstructing the chaos of externally administered standards, and the fractal patterns they are forming. The praxis of Tetranormalizing is what Savall calls intervention research, rather than action research” (Boje, 2015). “Tetranormalization, here, means four processes of normalizing that are local, global, (or glocal-ization), interplays of fractal-norms and fractal-standards over space-time-mattering network” (Boje, 2015: chapter 1).

How to proceed? Select both micro- and macro-scale domains to do ontological (quantum) storytelling mapping. Focus on having direct personal encounters with the multifractal, in various domains, micro and macro.

  1. If we just do ‘picture-thinking’ and study multifractal by looking at it, we are missing hidden involvements (such as Irritability, Reproduction, & Wisdom dialectics), neutralized by a sensemaking viewing.
  2. If we study multifractal by quantitative calculation of its geometry, the pitfall is its Being-in-spacetimemattering, its ontological self-movement rhythm is not investigated directly, or at all.
  3. If we study multifractality by theming it in ways Heidegger (1962) calls the ontic, a kind of empiricist positivism, the pitfall is we miss the kind of multifractal that is actually grounded in Being-ness, in the moments Hegel (1807) calls the dialectic of essence and existence. See Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen (1933) who ask can the quantum-mechanical description ever be complete?
  4. If we theme multifractal horizon by reflective awareness of actions, then we have the self-analytic, not not fractal encounters with ecology, Reproduction, or Wisdom.

Figure 1 – Four ways Not to Study Multifractality in Organizations (drawing by D. Boje May 24 2016, used by permission).

Here are some cases I have been playing with to study fractals

CASE ONE: Fractal-Branching of Departments in a College of Business

CASE TWO: GOLD Graphic Arts Consulting Firm

CASE THREE: Daniel Q. Boje’s entreprenurship, Fractal-Spiral Story of the Trash Compactor (see full article pdf)

CASE FOUR: Fractal Analytics Consulting Company

CASE FIVE: BIGstory and bigDATA, Mike Bonifer’s new consulting company used Quantum and Fractal Storytelling

CASE SIX: Tonya Henderson’s Study of Fractal-Spirals


In BME-Narrative (beginning, middle, end) is the Middle the character of singleness, or the action of the character of universality (agent of action equated with outcome of action). The Middle between Beginning and End, where Middle is contingent necessity with universal and Notion fall outside of it. How can Middle genus be immediate content (uncontrolled by law), or fall outside of it.

What is in the Middle of BME? Is it only a means that connects B and E?  Or, an empty activity of a fractal machine?

  • “On this view, what belongs to the organism itself is the action lying in the middle between its first and last stage, so far as this action bears within it the character of singleness. So far, however, as the action has the character of universality and the agent of the action is equated with the outcome of that action, purposive action as such would not belong to the organism. That single action which is only a means comes through its singleness under the category of an altogether single or contingent necessity. What an organism does to preserve itself as an individual or as a genus is, therefore, as regards this immediate content, quite uncontrolled by any law, for the universal and the Notion fall outside of it. Accordingly, its activity would be an empty activity devoid of any content of its own; it would not be even the activity of a machine, for this has a purpose, and its activity therefore a specific content. Deserted in this way by the universal, it would be the activity merely of something immediate qua immediate, i.e. an activity like that of an acid or base which is not at the same […]” (Hegel, 1807: 260).

Fractals are situated in multifractal worlds, and are dialectically opposed to other fractals.

Henderson and Boje (2015) argue that multifractal management is awareness of the patterns, alignment of actions to change the pattern-processes, and something called ‘antenarrative’ links between fractal-narratives (e.g. monomyth with one mono-plot, one hero or one villain), and multifractal story (e.g. living story webs moving every which way). An example: Jeff Noon’s (1993, 1996a,b) multifractal story meshwork of cyberpunk and postmodern surreal fictions constitutes a pattern Boje (2008, 2011, 2014a, b) calls the spiral-antenarrative, and it is always on the verge of becoming rhizomatic. There is often an ensemble of characters, rather than a central hero or heroine.

Bruce Pugesek (2014) just came out with an article showing that there are fractal cycle turning points in the crises of social, economic, and ecology that when analyzed for patterns, look just like the Fibonacci-spiral fractal. Each interval “cycles forward and backward in time” in relation to the “next lower level in the Fibonacci sequence” (p. 159). Finally, Deleuze and Guattari (1987, chapter 14) apply the Mandelbrot-set fractal to the relation of smooth and striated spaces.  Fractal narratives have become common in Hollywood movies and popular novels. Dune is an example of the centralizing, linear, centripetal fractal narrative, a monomythic saga.


Fractal Storytelling exists in and between organizations and ecosystems!

Fractal storytelling is defined here, as the study of the relationship between many small events in living story webs, brought into antenarrative processes into interactivity with the grander narratives of quite few events. Here we focuse on Awareness, Alighnment, Attunement, and Antenarrative processes that are as Barad (2003, 2007) puts it in dynamic ‘intra-activity.’

Noon’s (1993) Vurt feather feather is a metaphor for the linguistic game of writing within virtual spaces and Manchester places at work in the novel, including the Old French, ‘plume’ signification that informs the story line, and a plume of smoke that splinters (fissions) into wild eddies. This shifting between virtual and city, creates ontological relations that are fractal.  The fractal narrative traces irregular and complex structures. Fractal domes from the Latin adjective fractious and the verb forage (to break). Benoit Mandelbrot combine two cognates (fracture and fraction) in fractal structures.

An alternative is the non-linear fractal and multifractal models such as spiraling. Jeff Noon’s (1993) Vurt gives us insight into the spiraling fractal repetition mixed with linguistic creativity “something akin to a private vocabulary … a chamber of echoes where everyday words embrace new layers of meaning and association” (Santala, “Jeff Noon: as cited in Wenaus, 2011). It is postmodern cyberpunk-flavored writing ‘liquid fiction; marked by a fractal narrative strategy tat decomposes reality by radical fragmentation that does not fall into the usual sci-fi apocalyptic style is offset by faith in science applications. It is also a fractal counternarrative set in opposition to consensus reality narrative. Vurt-World and Spice-World are not so very different. In Vurt world, people place hallucinogenic Vurt feather into their mouths. To enter the Vurt realm. Some become Vurt feath addicts, in search of the ever-increasing potent feathers such as ‘Curious Yellow’ and ‘English Voodoo. We observe new antenarrative fore-structures and fore-concepts – namely antenarrative-fractal that are interacting in Spice-World with other fractal monological-fractal-narratives in ways that create chaos and order for the homeless and for those users of Spice, still home-full.


Figure 2 – Contrast a 3D Nonaka Knowledge Management (slinky-like top figure) Spiral model with a 3D Fibonacci-fractal-spiral model (bottom figure) (Drawings by Boje, used by permission). See Henderson & Boje (2015) for more on this topic.

Antenarrative threads do not come into explicit awareness, yet we are absorbed in antenarrative activities, submersed in the prereflexive, the pre-predicative, the pre-thematic. This is how embodiment works, we have a focal disappearance of narrative (Anton, 2001).  Quantumstorytelling, for me, is all about embodiment that is pre reflexively the picking out, the section of material objects read-to-hand to create assemblages in the sandtray, in tacit awareness of intention threads, antenarrative threads pre-reflexivie not retrospective, to bring meaning into Being-in-the-world.  The live-body touching, seeing the material things calls forth intentional antenarrative threads. These “intentional threads” as Merleau-Ponty (1962) calls them are prereflectively non-cognized.

I think I wrote about this with Henderson (Henderson & Boje) or Boje (2015). Ryu and Jung (2003) differentiate between hierarchical organization and Wearneke’s (1993) ‘fractal-based organization.’ The difference is that hierarchical organizations are structured ‘hierarchically only once, at a specific point of time; it has an administrative higher unit and passive lover [lower?]units; it performs tasks according to specified objectives; each hierarchy’s unit has its own functions according to its position and role” and is ‘rigid’ and only “suitable for stable environment” (Kirkova, 2009: 299). By contrast, the ‘fractal-based organization’ is suited to the turbulent environment, due to its flexibility. This rhetoric smacks of the old mechanistic structural-functionalism contrast to the ‘organic’ networks of Burns and Stalker vintage. It seems also to be a re-issue of the matrix organization of the 1970s, where every unit (or part) as multiple ‘team’ roles and functions in a dynamically changing structure adapting to the ever-turbulent environment.

Fractal Narrative and Entrepreneurship

German Duarte (2014) argues that since Mandelbrot’s fractal geometry, the fractal narrative has become popular in film and novels, and inspired and is currently transforming the social sciences.  The implication for entrepreneurial narrative studies, is that fractal characteristics are creeping with contagion into the theories, methods, and practices. This means that the traditional entrepreneurial narratives, with linear sequence of beginning, middle and end, is changing as fractalization of narrative becomes stronger (Duarte, 2014: 270). The focus shifts to a “fractal narrative space” that is “free from linearity” as the “narrative loses its strict linear way” and the “narrative act” shifts “narrative space” and the “method of navigation” is no longer in the classic monologic plot (p. 270). Rather the participants in the entrepreneurial narrative, can modify the narrative struct, the space and time scales, and navigate through many different trajectories. The fractalization of the entrepreneurial narrative shifts the mono mythic narrative structure from a single Horatio Alger entrepreneur to the fractal process of entrepreneurship, itself, distributed in fractal spaces, in types that change, in narrative places and times, that are more like a hypertext or hyper-textual-network of agents, not following rule of hierarchy, rather than a single narrative ordering one agent in a monologic narrative (Bakhtin, 1981).  Hence, the fractal narrative is changing the spacetime fabric of the entrepreneurial grand narrative (Lyotaard) into a hyper-dialogical process, involving multifractals and multiple agents. “

Consequently, a non linear text develops a different kind of dynamic”  where the number of agents, their intra-activity dynamics, creates a Deleuzian rhizomatic process that does not conform to Aristotelean plot beginning-middle-end construction of linearity, wholeness, and coherence ((Duarte, 2014: 274-6). The advantage of this “hypertextal story space”  (p. 276) is the it affords infinite set of possible network linkages, that are variable, shifting the forces of entrepreneurial processes to multidimensional becoming (emergence). For example Brown University is developing a fractal narrative that recalls the Sierpinskip Carpet, called “Storyspace” in which the reader can add rooms, change the narrative structure, delete former structures, according to various paths and menus (p. 277). In addition, this kind of entrepreneurial Storyspace, means that participants can play with the “materiality” and “fractality” of the narrative space, in hypertextuality that Roland Barthes (1970) theorized (p. 279). Further as Genette (1982) notes in the hypertext, the “transtextualities” are between very different genres: texts, conceptual relations, citations, mimetic, and so on (pp. 279-280). The epesteme of postmodern narrative comes into relation with an ontological short in the construction, navigation, and iterative scalability of narrative. New entrepreneurial narrative hyperspaces of navigating multi-plot become possible as digital technology remediates the field of entrepreneurship. Wikia, for example, is describable as a ‘fractal story’ an articulation of a new way of organizing and navigating narrative spaces, linking processes that can be called a “fractalization of the narrative space” (p. 283).

The fractal paradigm is unsettled in organization studies. We shall take the standpoint that multifractal living story web is enacted bottom-up social norms, and do come up against a strong control by managerialist (or administrative order) to conform to a monomythic and linear fractal narrative of standards and external control. From a dialogical theory perspective, these are heteroglossia forces of deviation-amplification and deviation-counteraction. The living story web is polyphonic, plurivocal and tends towards deviation-amplification. The top-down control of monomythic fractal tends towards deviation-counteraction.

Bygrace (1993, 2007) argues that theory building in the entrepreneurship paradigm can apply nonlinear mathematics to get at the chaos and complexity of the entrepreneurial process. This means a shift in theory (concepts & definitions) from the character-traits and functions of the entrepreneur to the ‘entrepreneurial process. Bygrace and Hofer (1991) suggest that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle imposes limits on observing “mega-entrepreneurial events of the kind that create new industries” (p. 20). the idea is to observe entrepreneurship at different scales called fractal. Processes may be studied as fractal structures, where the entrepreneurial process of self-similarity of small parts forms a scalability of dynamic enterprise, by iterative processing, for example in “portfolio entrepreneurship” of “m multiple local subsidiaries” and in transgenerational entrepreneurship (Plate, Schiede, & von Schlippe, 2010: 117).  Bodunkova and Chernaya (2012) examine embedding entrepreneurial culture in university by implementing ‘fractal organization structure” of self-similar scalability, trust, and reciprocity networks. (p. 74). They apply Warnecke’s (1993) ‘fractal factory theory’ by focusing on how self-similiar units, are integral to the fractal itself, creating cooperative structures, joint efforts.

The fractal company theory (Shin, 2002); Ahmed & Yaxin, 2010; Kuehnle, 2002). A growing number of strategic entrepreneurship theories are addressing fractional differentiations, how fractal captures the repeating, self-similar, and simple rules repeating, at ever-finer scales of analysis — creates emergent complexity patterns that are non-linear. This is constituting a ‘fractal narrative’ as Mandelbrot’s (1982) fractal geometry makes its way into films, novels, and now into the social science of entrepreneurship. Fractal architecture, the ‘cradle-to-cradle fractal triad (or fractal triangle) (McDonough & Braungart, 2002) inspired the design of eco-eeffective products (Schindehutte & Morris, 2009 :264).”The fractal triangle reveals the subtle relation between pattern creation and pattern identification, and shows how, at any level, each action impacts … the opportunity space” of entrepreneurship”  (Schindehutte & Morris, 2009: 265). The challenge is to trace emergent fractal patterns and structures in the flux and flow of the entrepreneurial process in spacetimemattering contexts. Carayannis and Campbell (2009, 2012) apply Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff (2000) Triple Helix theory of university-industry-government, in a fractal approach to entrepreneurship at a scale of analysis beyond the individual entrepreneur, and beyond the single entrepreneur organization, to a inter-organization network of communication. Modes of co-evolution co-specialization, and co-optation integrate media-based and culture-based ecosystem entrepreneurship that emphasize natural environments at local, national, and global scales.

The fractal has become a metaphor for postmodern structures and spaces that cannot be described using traditional Cartesian cuts.  The grand narrative mono-fractal structures receive a new ontological delve in Dialectical Storytelling, shifts in and out of ontological spaces and places that destabilizes grand narratives of consensus and monologic. This is akin to Lyotards (1979): 60 paradigm shift from universal grand narratives of legitimation to localizes ‘little’ narratives that render consensus grand narratives inadequate.

Organizations tidies remains fervently committed to emplotment. We can begin to imagine and create alternative paraspaces, virtuality-places where people “endure, observe, learn, and change —and sometimes die” (citing Delany (168).

The emphasis in fractal storytelling is on enduring, observing, learning, and changing into new ways of Being-in-the-world by shifting between ontological realms of reality in-order-to challenge the authenticity of dominant grand narratives with the new fractal narrative structures that allow movement between ontological realms. This is akin to the MATRIX, where Neo moves between the ‘real’ and the simulacra, and has to decide which is the authentic one. The Vurt and the Matrix have multiple ontological layers, in which the Mandelbrot fractal set is “an object that is not an object, bounded form which contains the infinite” (Citing Scott Bukatman, 114).

Quantum storytelling awakens us to the limitations of  linearity thinking, Euclidian geometry, bureaucratic administrative order and Cartesian spacetime grids. We enter the fractal world of narrative recursion, iterations of irregular, and antenarrative transformations of “infinite self-similar complexity of fractal structures” (Wenaus, online http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/113/wenaus.html).




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Published by Antenarrative Blog for True Storytelling

Antenarrative is a blog working the big challenges of a sustainable future for my five grandchildren. I am a storytelling researcher. The storytelling path we are on is no longer sustainable. You can read more about my writing at https://davidboje.com/vita

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