The Ethics of Fore-Care of Standing with/Our Students (SOS) in Public Research University


Figure 1 – Heart of Care SOS (Photo and image by D. M. Boje Dec 7 2016, used by permission)

I am a theorist of fore-care. I am a participant in New Mexico State University Standing w/Our Students (SOS). SOS exhibits an ethics of fore-care is caring in advance. SOS is preparing in advance the possible futures of a community of relationality and care. Fore-caring is an antenarrative process that is antecedent to narrative and counternarratives. Fore-caring changes the narratives and counternarratives of the experiences of undocumented students. LGBT students, black, Hispanic, Native American, veteran students, and international students, including Muslim students.


Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs) SOS in fore-caring prepares for moral agency, the becoming of an ethics of care by antenarrative generative mechanisms (AGMs). The AGMs are what I call the ‘heart of care’ that is all about fore-caring in four ways: fore-having, fore-structuring, fore-concepting, and fore-telling.


See Boje (2014) for definitions: Generations of blacksmiths for example, form an historic community grounding in advance the possibilities in “Being of care” the “futural” and in “authentic historicality”; (Heidegger, 1962: #150, p. 191) destining is an “interpretation” “grounded in something we have in advance – in a fore-having … fore-sight … fore-conception”; (#80, p. 110) “A warning signal, what is coming”; (#90, p. 111).


We have had our warning signal of what is coming. SOS is a historic community grounded in advance in possibilities, preparing the Becoming of Care, in an ethics of care that is ready-to-hand, not just present-at-hand. An example is our preparing in advance advising and enrollment materials for undocumented students (


AGMs are what constitute the domain of storytelling. AGMs are fore-events that act and endure independent of the retrospective narrative experience.

Generative mechanisms according to Bhaskar (1975: 13) are distinct, in the ‘real’ and different from the actual and empirical. The ‘real’, the ‘actual’, and positivistic empirical overlap, and are distinct from one another. See blog post: Action Research Needs a Quantum Storytelling Theory of Action and Research


My purpose here is to propose Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs) are ‘real’ and distinct from actual and empirical domains. Quantum storytelling is about the potential of AGMs generating story or narrative, in action-at-a-distance entanglements.


Transcendental realism ontology, both closed and open systemicity are subject to AGMs, which may or may not manifest living story webs of event patterns and sensemaking narrative experiences. This is because AGMs are not events, rather they are self-organizing independent generators of events, and experiences.

AGMs exist in the Real, and can manifest in events and experiences. The empirical domain of actual and experience cannot attain to the Real where AGMs exist.” See blog posts: A ‘Realist’ Shamanic Practice of Soul Retrieval for Wounded Warriors and Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms Are Independent of the Structural Equation Modeling Narrative! There is an ontological distinction between event patterns, experiences & their sensemaking), and the antecedent AGMs which have “real independence” in ‘open systems’ (Bhaskar, 1975: 13). “Hence one of the chief objections to positivism is that it cannot show why or the conditions under which experience is significant in science” (IBID., p. 13, boldness mine).


A dialectically conceived fore-caring for an ethics of care in an ecological community challenges the power of patriarchal leadership practices of higher education. We challenge them with what we call ensemble leadership practices (Rosile, Boje, & Nez, 2016). Ensemble leadership theory (ELT) is rooted in the indigenous world of prehispanic southwest, where leadership was entirely collective relationality process, enacted in storytelling and antenarrative multi-centered and decentered practices that are heterarchical rather than the hierarchy of patriarchy. From its ancient roots ELT breaks new ground as an alternative to patriarchy found in public research universities (PRU). Patriarchy is mono-disciplines, kept separated by hierarchical structures. ELT is interdisciplinarity by heterarchical (plurality of diverse structures, not a university governance rooted in patriarchal leadership hierarchy of command and control).



Figure 2 – Emergence and Dependence of Systems (from Jenneth Parker 2010: 209)


In open systemicity (Boje, 2014) complexity systems, such as a public university are unmerged, unfinalized, and in various states of emergence and dependence (Parker, 2010). A PRU take s “systemic maintenance of care” (Parker, 2010: 206), and what I am calling fore-caring, the preparations in advance to enact an ensemble leadership in a biotic community, an interdependent and emergent community.




Bhaskar, Roy. (1975). A Realist Theory of Science. Leeds, UK: Leeds Books Ltd.


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Boje, D. M. (2011). Storytelling and the Future of Organizations: An Antenarrative Handbook (London: Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society)

Boje, D. M. (2012a). Quantum Storytelling. Free book on line.

Boje, D. M. (2012b) Quantum Spirals for Business Consulting. Free book on line.

Boje, D. M. (2012c). Reflections: What does quantum physics of storytelling mean for change management?. Journal of Change Management, 12(3), 253-271.

Boje, D. M. & Henderson, T. L. (Eds.). (2014). Being Quantum: Ontological Storytelling in the Age of Antenarrative. Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Boje, D. M., Svane, M., Henderson, T. L., & Strevel, H. B. (in press). Critical corporate social responsibility in tamara-land: The role of tetranormalizing fractals. In R. Ocler (Ed.), Book chapter for a Springer collection, Rodolphe Ocler (ed.).

Boje, M., & Svane, M., Gergerich, E. (in press). Counternarrative and Antenarrative Inquiry in Two Cross-Cultural Contexts. Cross Cultural Management.

Rosile, Grace Ann; Boje, David M.; Nez, Carma Claw. (2016). “Ensemble Leadership Theory: Collectivist, Relational, and Heterarchical Roots from Indigenous Contexts.” Leadership journal.CLICK HERE for online prepublication draft

Svane, M., & Boje, D. (2014). Merger strategy, cross-cultural involvement and polyphony. Between Cultures and Paradigms, IACCM 2014, University of Warwick, UK. Conference Proceeding. To be published in: European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management.

Svane, M., & Boje, D.; Gergerich, Erika M. (2015). Counternarrative and Antenarrative Inquiry in Two Cross-Cultural Contexts. Accepted for publication in Special Issue on counternarrative, European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence.

Svane, M., & Boje, D. (2015). Tamara land fractal change management – in between managerialist narrative and polyphonic living stories. Sc’Moi, Standing Conference for Management and Organizational Inquiry, Las Vegas.

Varra, Eero; Sonenshein, Scott; Boje, David. M. (2015). “Narratives as Sources of Stability and Change in Organizations: Approaches and Directions for Future Research”, Academy of Management Annals. Nov 24 2015 published on Taylor & Francis Online. It is available at:

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