How to Implement Ensemble Leadership Practices at a Public University?

ensembleleadershipnmsu Several people wrote to me and suggested I step up and suggest ways NMSU might implement Ensemble Leadership (Rosile, Boje, & Nez, 2016). See blog post (click here). How, for example, could departments of faculty, units of staff, faculty senate, and ASNMSU senate work with administration (Board of Regents, Chancellor, Provost, Deans, Department & Unit Heads) to enact Ensemble Leadership?

Let me start with a story of Integrative Conflict Resolution. In the Leadership In Society (Mgt 388v) class yesterday, a teaching opportunity emerged. A student said, “Boje, you are a bully.” I invited him to the front of the room to dialogue. “What are you seeing that leads you to this conclusion?” I decided to use Follett’s integration. I encouraged, and was silent. “When you state opinions, and not facts, it’s bullying.” “I read some of your articles, and I agree with much of it. But, in class its stories of experiences with the university.” I said, “I see your point. Facts do matter, and the Chancellor told me the same thing, to not rant or state opinions, but get at the facts of the matter.” He asked the rest of the students if they also say this. One student said, “Sure, Boje is a liberal, I get that. At first I was annoyed. Then I realized, he knows his stuff, and he is not doing cookie cutter class.” Another said, “you called Boje out, so glad two of you are standing up to work it through.” I asked what else he observed. “When you agree with my ideas, it’s bullying.” This took some time to unpack. I had agreed to an idea he had about saving paper by just showing the document in Smart Phone or computer rather than printing it. I said, “I really thought it was a great idea, and agreed we could do that.” “I know, he said, but it just infuriates me.” I was silent. As he explained, we found more and more points of agreement. “I am doing project on climate change, and there are many persuasive facts” (referring to my study guide). I agreed. We talked about how it’s important to let students opt out of a class event. I learned I could be liberal and progressive in the facts, but to a conservative venturing into opinion or quickly agreeing was irritating. I concluded with some Mary Parker Follett, how important it is to avoid domination and forcing compromise, and instead to really listen and engage in dialogue so there can be an integration of the differences. The class seemed tuned in, attentive, engaged with the teaching moment. By listening to criticism, taking it to heart, I hoped to let the student vent, to get whatever it was, out of his system, so we might integrate around some points of agreement, learn to work through differences, and get so some deeper ground.

To me, this comes out in Follett’s appreciation of Hegel’s dialectic. Its not the tired old saw of these-antithesis-synthesis. The point of Hegelian dialectic is there is no synthesis, as Follett puts it, just continuously evolving Situation in a play of differences in the Whole Situation.

To answer these questions I will relate our work on Ensemble Leadership to Mary Parker Follett (1941, a collection of her writings put together after she died in 1933). Follett can be applied to Ensemble Leadership because she proposed to bring all kinds and ways of leading into a scientific understanding of the ‘whole situation’ and how that complex situation is constantly evolving, changing, and developing. Her work challenges traditional notions of conflict and power. For Follett, power-over others is less effective leadership that ‘power-with.’ No one can delegate power, or empower someone else. Rather power is a capacity one has to build, a responsibility for the whole situation that one has to embrace them selves. For conflict resolution, she believed that the traditional ways of using domination or compromise were less effective than to integrate differences, to use face-to-face communication to work out ways to fit diverse interests together, in which she called ‘integrative unity.’ This integration was always attendant to the ‘whole situation’ and how it emerged and evolved. The unity of a diversity of differences means that we cannot “stay too long crystallized” in our conflicts ore we enter permanent divisions, irreconcilable differences (1941: 35). Her Law of the Situation means that by subordinating our conflict and power to the situation rather than making it about winner take all or personal power, we have a way to integrate differences. The basis of this integration is “to bring the differences into the open” (1941: 36). The idea is to get into the conflict as early as possible, before it festers, and crystalizes into opposing sides.


The Practices of Ensemble Leadership


In traditional university leadership, whoever holds the position and/or has personal power (persuasion) in the hierarchy is the leader, and everyone else is a follower. In Ensemble Leadership, the key practices are power-with and conflict resolution by integrative unity. Ensemble Leadership adapts to the Situation with is continually evolving, changing, and developing. It takes not only retrospective sensemaking (a knowledge of history of the Situation), but for-caring in advance for choices among waves of potential, arriving from the future. This is what we call prospective sensemaking in ‘fore-caring.’ ‘Fore-caring’ for the Whole Situation requires an Ensemble Leadership knowledgeable of the local, state, and even national politics. Ensemble Leadership is fore-caring for differences, harmonizing differences, integrating around joint fact-finding, and uniting powerful players around “common purpose for mutual benefit” (Follett, 1941: 271).

Ensemble Leadership at NMSU would be faculty, staff, students, and administrators (from Governor to Regents to Heads of departments) coming together to combine knowledge of every detail of NMSU. It would include the Faculty Senate and the ASNMSU Senate bodies, the staff and employee unions in an entire Ensemble of Leadership. But that is only the beginning. An Ensemble of Leadership is more than hierarchical positions, or heads of various social bodies, it is diffusing all kinds of leadership throughout the faculty body, student body, employee body, staff body, and community groups of all sorts. People possess leadership (self-empower) when they have knowledge of their own job, their own daily activities, and find better ways (new methods) of time, quality, training, and take responsibility for the local and the Total Situation.

The act of bossing, being in a hierarchical position of authority, is power-over, but does not come near to the efficiency and effectiveness of power-with inter-relationships, interweaving local knowledge and local answerability that constitutes Ensemble Leadership. Instead of blind obedience in a university bureaucracy its an active power-with others. “Our conception of [Ensemble] leadership is everywhere restricted by the persistence of the fallacy in the old idea of obedience, namely that obedience is necessarily passive” (Follett, 1941: 275, bracketed additions, mine). For Ensemble Leadership to be effective there is an active obedience, a testing of consent, an intelligent self-direction, an empowered action to be reciprocally involved, in the group process in order to accomplish what is “integral to the situation” (IBID.). Being actively obedient to the Whole Situation means checking out an order from above, sideways, and below, and being exigent with our voice of fore-caring, assertive in our dialogues with other leaders of every kind.

Ensemble Leadership at NMSU would mean establishing an “education system” of leadership development, not just positions, but every kind of leader getting trained in “inner authority” in co-active participation, in the power-with and in conflict resolution by integration (Follett, 1941: 276). It is a t least five kinds of training in leadership:

  1. To consider the outcomes of actions for the Whole Situation
  2. Inter-relating information in regard to students, faculty, community, administration, and so on
  3. Training in Ensemble Leadership
  4. Methods of doing things the right way the first time
  5. Obeying the Law of the Situation

The assumption is that 1 to 5 would be an alternative, perhaps better, than hierarchical bureaucracy at NMSU. It’s worth an experiment, a scientific study, and an analysis of results. Given opportunity, faculty have leader actions, can inter-relate information, can be trained in leadership, have new methods for doing things right, and can obey the Law of the Situation. So can students, and staff, and employees.

Instead of what Henri Fayol (1949, in French in 1920s) calls the ‘Scalar Chain’ the up and down line of authority of an enterprise, what Ensemble Leadership does is more degrees of leadership more dispersed leadership. An ‘Ensemble Leadership’ works out

  1. Forms of self-organizing
  2. Methods of doing things better
  3. Knowledge of the evolving Whole Situation
  4. Adapting by co-ordination and integration
  5. It still has people in formal leader positions (but in multiple hierarchies called Heterarchy)
  6. There are still forceful personal power (charismatic) leaders
  7. There is also the leader power of knowing your job, being competent and professional, rather than passively obedient.

The Situation becomes the key. It is not the same as Situation Leadership, because that is just the formalized Scalar Chain of command adapted to each situation by easing up or tightening the reins (on we the horses).

In Ensemble Leadership every leader has to be flexible, to be agile, to self-organize to keep up with the evolving Situation, and it means less power-over by bosses, and more power-with to be effective together. Applying Follett, it means diverse leaders “grasp the essential of an experience, and as we say, set it whole” (p. 279).

  1. To see the unity of the data, the patterns emerging
  2. To see the relationality and inter-relatedness to Others
  3. TO control the While Process
  4. To use power-with with insight into the past coming present
  5. To use fore-caring, including fore-sight that is essential to Ensemble Leadership

Fore-caring is something I have been writing about since my time at NMSU. It has four facets my colleagues and I draw form Heidegger (1962) that are about the ethics of care, by caring in advance, preparing antecedent to action and decision. Heidegger does not use the term fore-care, and I think it has these four qualities:

  1. Fore-having (before) an event by getting ready
  2. Fore-structuring (between) so that the relationships and inter-relatedness operations are in place
  3. Fore-concepts (below) because its takes new symbols and images, and new Notions to communicate what is arriving in the not-yet
  4. Fore-sight (bets on the future) because many waves of potential futures are arriving, and we choose which one worthy of collapsing into event-ness

Follett (1941: 280) puts this last point this way: “foresight is essential to leadership” and if you are not ‘fore-caring’ in Ensemble Leadership, outcomes (results) are disastrous. It is a ‘fore-caring’ for the Whole Situation, to its constant changes, to new trends. It is an “uncanny approach to the complexity” of the emerging Situation, the ability of leaders to interrelate and co-ordinate to “organize its essential elements” (p. 281). Ensemble Leadership is captured by Follett (1941: 281) when she says “anticipating the problems of to-morrow” and “solving the problems today” Situations that are “complex, intricate, far-reaching.” That is the Law of the Situation as it relates to Ensemble Leadership.

If the Governor, the Legislature, and the Board of Regents are dissatisfied with the cost of higher education, the old way to handle it is to “blame the head of department” (Follett, 1941: 281-2).

What would be the Ensemble Leadership way for Governor, Legislature, and Board of Regents to lead cost control? Start with the Whole Situation and the budget.

“The budget objectivies the whole situation” (Follett, 1941: 282).

Ensemble Leadership would actually “meet the situation” (IBID.). Teach budgeting to faculty, to students, staff, and employees. It is “how to control a situation themselves, helping your subordinates to develop their own ideas rather than exploiting your own” (IBID.).   I know many faculty and students and staff with great ideas on how to control the budget, and thereby the Situation.

It is my job to teach students (at all levels) how to lead themselves, how to budget, how to fore-care for and to jointly co-actively control the Whole Situation. As a teacher, going back to the ‘teaching moment’ above, I have learned not to exploit my own idea, and instead help the student discern for themselves their own responsibility for the Situation, of which they are apart. Ensemble Leadership is fore-caring in an ethics of care about the scientific methods of diagnosis of the Situation, experimentation with change projects, evaluation of results (something I teach in small business consulting).   In the sustainability development and leadership in society courses I place students in project teams, to learn how to cope with complexity, how to adapt to change, how to be and combine themselves in Ensemble Leadership. This means experiential teach to “learn the way themselves, to combine experience and judgment” and to learn to become “habitually integrative” and to “create a group power rather than express a personal power” (p. 283).

“They penetrate to the subtlest connections of the forces at their command, and make all these forces available, and most effectively available, for the accomplishment of their purpose” (Follett, 1941: 283).

I love this quote! She captures what it is to create Ensemble Leadership power-with, and integrative unity conflict resolution. A university needs political Ensemble Leadership along with all other kinds of leadership to “bring into harmonious relation” women and men often with “antagonistic temperaments then the ability to reconcile conflicting interests, team ability to make a working unit out of many diverse elements” (IBID).

Each political leader at NMSU is “predominantly an organizer” creating a unity that breaks down opposition by integration. The ability to focus power, to do power-with, and training power to certain end creates a new demand for university education. It can mean we learn to generate revenue while being co-active come up with cost-control by control of the Whole Situation in all its evolving dynamic complexity. Mary Parker Follett was one of key founders of open systems thinking, and did this at a time when others promoted Taylorism, Fayolism, and Weberian bureaucratic division of labor, span of control, scalar principle, and expert planners designing everyone else’s job. She had a whole different conception of open systems based on the Law of the Situation and the democratic participation of an Ensemble of Leaders.

She wrote, lectured, and consulted with government and business on ways to foretell the Situation, to make decisions the unified experience, with scientific methods of experimenting, sharing results, coming up with news ways of communication, co-ordination, and co-operation among diverse Ensemble Leadership system bent on facing the Situation.

The students we teach to-day are the leaders of to-morrow. We can teach hierarchy and submission to authority or we can teach co-power, power-with, to be self-organizing, and submit by obeying the Law of the Situation.

It would mean our current NMSU leaders would need to teach leadership, and to become “the invisible leader” to engage power-with, to interweave many leaderly activities more widely and more anticipatively than ever before at NMSU. The outcome is worth it to “take part in the regeneration of society” (p. 289).

We can begin to-day to enact Ensemble Leadership among thousands of students, hundreds of faculty, staff, employees, and administrators. Why not Ensemble Leadership to control and be agile with the Whole Situation? This is our place and time to integrate diverse differences, heal conflicts, and to make society Whole in New Mexico, in U.S. in the world. We can be that higher education university that trains its students to be leaders. There is good reason for training students in leadership in all the colleges, because it is a desirable aim for higher education.

How can our administration “draw forth” the organizing of co-operative and co-ordinated Ensemble Leadership? Face the Whole Situation as a pragmatist. Mary Parker Follett write in the time of John Dewey and William James, and she was also, if I might mend an omission in history, and American Pragmatist. She wrote she had to “believe that eh great leader can show me the correspondence, can arouse the latent possibilities, can reveal to me new posers in myself, can quicken and give direction to some force within me” (p. 375). A science approach, being fact-based, co-operatively getting to the facts, beyond opinion, is sound advice from my student and from Follett.

Follett, the Hegelian, believed in the power of the spirit, the recesses of the spirit and the spirit’s call to life and the sense of life (p. 294). Marx, balked at this, so Follett and Hegel’s dialectic is quite different. Certainly in the Land of Enchantment, there spirit has something to do with the play of difference, integrative unity, the ethic of care, the fore-caring in advance to face the Whole Situation.




Follett, M. P. (1941). Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett, edited by Metcalf, H. C., & Urwick, L. F. NY/London: Harper and Brothers.


Heidegger, M. (1929/1962/2008). Being and Time. Translated by John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson in 1962 from the 1929 German, with 2008 introduction by Taylor Carmon. NY: Harper Row.


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


More on this topic at


















Implementing Mary Parker Follett’s and Bernie Sanders’ Social Democracy Practices could SAVE New Mexico State University!

David M. Boje, Ph.D.


Berniecrats are joining efforts to bring unity and solidarity among diverse organizations at New Mexico State University and the Las Cruces community. I will give a soapbox speech Tuesday Feb 14th 11 AM at Love Trumps Hate I march. The speech will be 5 minutes, and these are my notes.


Love Trumps Hate At NMSU

David Boje speech at NMSU at Valentine a Day March. Full text at


More than 50 students, faculty and community members gathered Tuesday — Valentine’s Day — on the campus of New Mexico State University for the Love Trumps Hate march. Representatives from several student clubs and campus organizations came together to stand unified in opposition to policies of President Trump’s administration”   and video at 

Adjuncts and doctoral students are being exploited not just at NMSU but in most all Public Universities. If Bernie Sanders of Mary Parker Follett were taken seriously, we would fund K-12 and Higher Education, we would forget tuition, pay agents their due, and recruit more tenure-line faculty. New Mexico would get off oil and gas tax base for education (bad bet) and we would install a Governor that cares about education.

The adjunct professor has a sincere and dedicated commitment to education, to teaching, but are paid the most minimum wage, with no benefits, and alongside we the research professors that have higher pay, benefits, and more reasoned workload.

Nationwide 25% of adjunct professors are on some kind of public assistance. In metropolitan areas, they may need to work for several universities to make ends meet.

I had lunch with an adjunct who had lived homeless, while working at NMSU, when only one course instead of two was made available.

Let me tell you one story, then another. First story: My wife Grace Ann Rosile, came with me to NMSU in 1996 when I took a department head position. They promised that a tenure track position was available to her, but when we moved here, NMSU changed its mind, and said no such position. So Grace Ann, after being an assistant professor for 14 years at a university that refused to promote anyone from the business college, become an adjunct, a part-timer, often teach three and four courses a semester. This went on for over a decade, and finally a college-track position, a teaching track opened up and she was about the only one in the department teaching an excess load. She took the assistant professor track, made associate and then full. The department realized she was publishing as much in quality journals as anyone, and for one or two terms, got the same load. Now she is back to excess load, along with yours truly, because full time tenured or tenure track faculty in the two Ph.D. departments were assigned an extra course to teach, while no such load increase happened elsewhere. I tell you this story and one more to let you know that I know about adjuncts being exploited. The second story is that at one time NMSU opened up its Ph.D. programs to college faculty without Ph.D.s so they could get their Ph.D. and get on tenure track. I helped by chairing Ph.D. committees. Now that is gone away, back our Ph.D. program is being sacrificed, is no more, so that NMSu can avoid paying medical cost of its TA/GAs that will remain in other departments. Sacrifices must be made. I way change the financing plan of K-12 and Higher Education in New Mexico. Instead of only financing more buildings, and a 27 hole  planned golf course, and a shopping mall, and a cafe in Zuhl, how about we get back to basics, and put tenured and tenure track faculty in the classroom?

I want to respond to Larry Blank “Please join us who are looking for ways to make more money in a constrained environment.  If you have complaints about the budget, please take those directly to the legislature and ask them to reform the tax system with the intent of increasing tax revenues.  The current tax structure implemented under the watch of the Bill Richardson democratic governor, as the legislature increased reliance on oil and natural gas and reduced taxes elsewhere; thereby increasing the volatility of tax revenues based on market forces and increased the risk exposure for NMSU and all other state departments.” “In 2013 Richardson joined the Board of Advisors for the Fuel Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit campaign that advocates for the end of the oil monopoly.”

And I want to respond to AL Berryman. First apologies to all adjuncts – you are exploited, and I work in the university that exploits you. This next chart from shows the actuality of the oil and gas severance tax situation in New Mexico:

Table 1: Oil and Gas Severance Tax is too low with too many loopholes


New Mexico has enacted oil and gas loopholes, tax credits, and tax exemptions to encourage production from certain well types or to encourage producers to donate money to support areas like education. But the boom is over.

Let me tell it like it is.  We can change the budget and the tax system, get it off the bet that oil and gas is going to make a comeback in New Mexico, but it will take actual democratic participative leadership (see below to deal with the constrained environment of NMSU).

Since our Republican Governor Martinez won’t change the way universities (& K-12) are funded by the gas and oil severance taxes, or close all the gapping loop holes so ones extracting gas and oil are not really paying a just tax, we have a real situation here in New Mexico that is called ‘speculative capitalism’ or lets be clear ‘gambling with the future of the children New Mexico.

Consider the situation of New Mexico:

New Mexico governor cuts school reserves to fix deficit

And its not about Republicans and Democrats.  Both parties are against Public Education, unwilling to invest in education that would raise New Mexico from #50.

This is a speculative capitalist bet by both sides, that gas and oil severance taxes can fund education, while the Governor continues to drain school reserves so she can claim she did not raise taxes. Its a bet on the future, that gas and oil will boom again, and never go bust.  Sorry, but its was a bad bet, and its still a sucker’s bet! The boom days of gas and oil are over. The loopholes are still there, so that money is going out of state. Yes, there may be a war, and gas and oil may be in demand, and that will mean more money for NMSU. Do you really want to bet the future of the education of children in New Mexico on that? Make a smart intelligent bet, and reform the tax base on a productive capitalism. Speculative capitalism is like what happens on Wall Street (remember to stock market crash). Productive capitalism is investing in enterprises that make things, sell things, not selling speculation or gambling which way commodity prices will go.

Al is right, a major problem in New Mexico. We are overly dependent on oil and gas for revenue. “The biggest problem part of that problem is that over the last 50 years the legislature (for what it is worth almost entirely democratic) has created a system that is full of special interest loopholes.” New Mexico legislature has 300 exemptions to corporate (and personal) taxes, which includes spaceship fuel, horse winnings and events at Pan Am Center at NMSU. There is tax pyramiding that discourages small business. Let’s ask that State of New Mexico stop giving us golf courses and buildings at NMSU and instead change the tax structure so it does not handicap the university, the small business community, the small ranch and farm. Tax reform to eliminate special interests so there is adequate financing of K-12 and higher education. I vote yes.

For the economists, I am speaking about German Bernacer’s kind of distinction, a contemporary of Keynes, and Schumpeter, but it is Schumpeter’s long cycle (creative destruction) we have in U.S. when what we need is Bernacer’s productive economics. For more on this see

Boje, D. M. (in press) “Global Capitalism is Unsustainable”, PREFACE to the Savall, Péron, Zardet & Bonnet book Socially Responsible Capitalism” London: Routledge. Click here for pdf

Contingent faculty are being exploited in New Mexico? Yes they are real teachers, real professionals.  I got this from Al, and from someone who wants to be anonymous.:

“I started at NMSU in 2000 as an adjunct professor.  I am now working on becoming a full college professor.  I have 20+ years of ‘real’ world experience, experience that my students value.  I am not however tenured. I believe that our students, and our land grant university, benefits most from a well rounded faculty – those that have done, and those that have read and researched about doing.  Being ‘tenured’ does not in itself prove the effectiveness of ones teaching ability.  In fact in my time at NMSU, I am always dismayed that the faculty that attend teaching academy events tend to be mostly college track faculty and adjuncts – maybe ‘real; faculty already know all the best practices in teaching, although I sincerely doubt it.  They maybe academic experts in their fields, but this doesn’t automatically translate into being expert teachers, or for that matter, expert professionals.”
I say this person is right on. Let’s support adjunct professors, with a real wage, real benefits, and get them tenured ‘expert professionals.’ Go for it.
In my opinion, “quality of teaching and learning goes up” when students receive a well rounded education that prepares them to think and function in the ‘real’ world.  Teaching that comes from tenured faculty, college faculty and adjuncts.


Figure 3: Tenure-line and contingent as it is now

At it says “Who are “contingent faculty”? Depending on the institution, they can be known as adjuncts, postdocs, TAs, non-tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty, part-timers, lecturers, instructors, or nonsenate faculty. What they all have in common: they serve in insecure, unsupported positions with little job security and few protections for academic freedom. And they are the vast majority of US faculty today. Something needs to change.” Her at NMSU adjuncts are senate faculty. That is a good thing, but not enough.

Over the past five decades we have more and more contingent faculty and fewer and fewer tenure-line faculty. That way, you don’t have tenured full time faculty who actually have a voice, can speak out, like yours truly, and not lose their job. We can be assigned more classes to teach, we can lose our doctoral program future, by cutting off funding of our future GA/TAs. Sacrifices must be made.

Here is another view, a trend line of what has happened to tenure-line and adjunct positions, to full and to part time positions over the last 5 decades


Figure 4: Trend lines in full and part-time and graduate student employment since Reaganomics took hold of both parties

Notice the changes above coincide with the Thatcher/Reagan economics which switched over from a knowledge society where public university education was a social good to a knowledge economy where public university education became a social commodity.

My recommendation is that NMSU is one faculty, and that instead of contingent appointments we get people on tenure-lines, pay our teaching assistants actual medical benefits, instead of cutting out the Management Department’s graduate assistants, to pay the remaining TA/GAs $500 to purchase Obama care insurance (which by the way, I am told by the remaining TA/GAs its costs $850 a year, not $500). To kill the future of the Management Ph.D. program so NMSU does not have to pay medical benefits, its unethical, in my view. To have adjuncts and TA/GAs teaching more students in more classes (e.g. two of our remaining TA/GAs teach 45 and 55 students in online classes, and they need to be in classroom learning how to teach, not exploited, to keep the enrollment counts up).

“In the 1970s, 80 percent of college professors were full-time employees, according to the National Education Association. Today, part-time adjunct professors represent more than 50 percent of college faculty, says the American Association of University Professors”

Adjuncts offer NMSU huge saving, typically paid several time less that tenure track faculty and with no benefits, paid less (about $3000 each course), double or quadruple the teaching load, and lots of committee work.  Nationwide, except at NMSU, adjuncts are fighting back by unionizing (e.g Duke University.

With the Great Recession of 2007, came still more New Mexico legislative funding cuts, and the steady growth of adjunct professors to keep university enrollment up.  “The only reason most are adjuncts is because there is not a place for them in the tenure track system” Carmichael President of North Carolin conference of AAUP said.

Ifs pathetic to have no voice in the department, the college, or the university, because speaking out, ends your adjunct employment contract. In Charlotte (UNC) 541 of 1450 professors are adjuncts.

NMSU also hires adjuncts because as part-time faculty they have specific skills and competencies to bring to the classroom, you don’t have to provide them office, or benefits. Not providing our GA/TA with medical benefits, so they must go on Obama care, is not, in my view, a responsible leadership act.

Here is what I propose:. Let’s implement a new kind of leadership, called ‘Ensemble Leadership.’ Rosile, Grace Ann; Boje, David M.; Nez, Carma Claw. (2016). “Ensemble Leadership Theory:…” published in the Leadership journal. CLICK HERE for online prepublication draft,

Mary Parker Follett’s (1941: 247) new conception of leadership, is what Rosile et al are calling Ensemble Leadership. It is a new conception of human relations, and its is a doctrine of the consent of the governed by energizing the entire student body, faculty body, and staff body at NMSU. Mary Parker Follett had a new conception of power and conflict, a democratic leadership she called “circular response” by which she meant that the currents of influence, power, and conflict resolutions ahve to go both ways, in a continuous flow of democratic participation. It a new idea of power: 

1. Power of arms and force to dominate

2. Power of Kings divine right to rule, or power of position in a bureaucratic institution

3. Power of Priests divine right to lead

4. Power of majority rule (what passes for democracy these days)

5. Power of ‘real’ participative democracy (the new conception of Ensemble Leadership).

Instead of 1 through 4, lets try Ensemble Leadership at NMSU. Instead of the domination model or the compromise model of conflict resolution at NMSU, lets try integrative unity, fitting together our diversity, our play of differences into workable scientific methods of experiments with change, rather than autocratic #2 or old style #4, try #5.  The leader is not that person in the group or department sitting in the appointed or anointed position as ‘leader.’ Rather in Ensemble Leadership, everyone is trained to be a responsible leader.  Instead of leaders with will to power, or will to dominate, lets move past autocratic, strongman submission leadership to participative leadership, to Ensemble Leadership.  Ensemble Leadership means working out a system of leadership in a new kind of human relations, in what Mary Park Follett called the Law of the Situation. 

The current system of autocratic leadership at NMSU works as badly as possible, with according to Deloitte consulting’s ($622,700) report, six layers of authority (bureaucratic hierarchy) when efficient university of 21st Century can run on three. “We must learn to integrate” (Follett, p. 251), to co-operatively combine our differences, to work in diversity as celebration if we are to work without three layers of administrative order, and find that new form and system of democratic governance we call Ensemble Leadership.

Ensemble Leadership is not what Team 6 is doing. It is not training us in participative democracy. It is more as Follett says, “the way you manage an unruly horse” (p. 252) or hitch doctoral students to excessive teaching loads (45 and 55 students in their distance ed course, is kind of abusive). It is not brining students, faculty, staff, and three remaining layers of administration into -co-operative or fore-caring leadership. 

In doing leadership teaching, in Mgt388v, and my own research, I do not buy into the old superstition: “Leaders are born, not made”  and neither did Follett (p. 260). In Ensemble Leadership, NMSU would be training its students, faculty, and staff to be leaders of a varity of diverse specialities, and to make leaders of tomorrow.

Fore-caring for the future of New Mexico, and the nation, and the world (last two aspects have disappeared for NMSU mission statement in past four years, but our Faculty Senate is bringing back the old mission statement, in full).

Ensemble Leadership is about democratic participative leadership displacing top-down leadership in the public university, and in society.  It is closing the circle, so there is two=way influence, not one-way influence. By closing the circle, Mary Parker Follett is referring to Hegel, to a dialectic that had a manifesting spirit, in the spirit of reason, and that included scientific methods of working out a Situation. Ensemble Leadership is dialectic, and it is the Law of the Situation, surrender to the situation, just like Alice in Wonderland. What is a university if not a Wonderland? “”You must remember how Alice in Wonderland had to run as fast as she could to stand still” (Follett, p. 264). Is that not how fast our adjuncts and graduate student teachers are running?

Ensemble Leadership is fore-caring for the good of the New Mexico Community (the nation, the world) and its fore-caring for the ecology, it’s fore-caring for the Total Situation of NMSU. That Situation is evolving, changing, and developing in ways where there are many potential futures NMSU has to choose among. My advice as a leadership researcher, and a leadership teacher at NMSU, is give Ensemble Leadership a chance. Organize lots and lots of students, faculty, and staff working with our administrators to use scientific methods to study the Situation of NMSU and New Mexicans, the nation, and the world.

Why not create the best public university on Earth, instead of paying for expensive outsider consultant advice, why not train the leaders of tomorrow, and do it today.

My Key Points.

I make ten suggestions I believe will help create a Sustainable University of the Future in New Mexico:

1. Adopt Bernie Sanders’ recommendation that no tuition for students attending public universities and colleges. This would actually increase enrollment. The strategy of spending one million on marketing ads in movie theaters, billboards, and four-color brochures has been implemented, and guess what, enrollment has fallen. Students want quality teaching and learning moments, not a business marketing spectacle.
2. Adopt Bernie Sanders’ recommendation that number of full-time tenure line faculty be increased instead of adding more adjuncts. Hire ‘real’ faculty and the enrollment will go up because the quality of teaching and learning goes up.
3. Adopt Mary Parker Follett’s (1941: 94) recommendation to have the imagination to see the possibilities of enterprise democracy to ‘integrative unity.” Both Sanders and Follett advocated democratic socialism as an alternative to what is not happening in higher education that would “get at the facts” “irrespective of sides” (Follett, 1941: 74). As Follett puts it we need to implement the Principle of the Situation, in a process of scientific discovery, experiment, and evaluation of the results. The facts of the case, the Situation at NMSU is that change strategies are being implemented at NMSU that lack any scientific foundation. Instead of actually studying the evolving, changing Situation, NMSU is implementing expert consultation, and arbitrary top-down, power-over, and domination rather than engaging in democratic participation to get the fact, using scientific methods.
4. I recommend that Mary Parker Follett’s consulting approach be adopted and NMSU never again hire the Deloitte consulting firm, who were paid $622,700 dollars of tax payer money for 10 weeks and one PowerPoint presentation to the Republican Board of Regent and the Republican Chancellor, are not scientifically proven to be best practice, are actually discredited in the peer reviewed literature. I should know I have published three articles with colleagues, challenging the efficacy of their business process reengineering approach. See the Deloitte Consulting study which recommended NMSU develop task teams, to study the Situation, and the result was each team only wrote 2 to 4 pages (far less that Follett would recommend), then the downsizing, dismantling the employee health, destroying equestrian program, letting go faculty in survey engineering, and so on, began, without proper democratic participation, and without any scientific method. Follett’s Principle of the Situation was wholly ignored.
5. I recommend democratic socialism that would stop the practice of a Republican Governor, appointing Republican Board of Regents, who appoints a form Republican Governor as Chancellor, who then appoints deans of the two professional colleges (Engineering and Business) to head up ‘Team Six.’ My alternative is science, fact-gathering by scores of teams that are face-to-face meetings of students, with faculty, with staff, with administrators the jointly do science according to Follett’s Law of the Situation, engage in co-operative study, making actual experiments, evaluate results, and only then make an informed decision about university reorganization. As Follett (1941: 51) puts it “we should try experiments, and note whether they succeed or fail, most important of all, why they succeed or fail.”
6. I recommend NMSU disband Team Six! Team 6 is in charge of reorganizing the colleges, collapsing departments, etc. “Work will begin in February to form a new Team – called Team 6- which will lead our efforts to redesign and streamline our College operations, much as we did with 19 units on the administrative side” This Team 6 is not participative democracy. Rather, it is a rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic, instead of doing ‘real’ scientific methods of university change. What Follett proposes is a joint responsibility for integrative unity, implementing democratic participation by everyone taking responsibility, and jointly analyzing the Total Situation, scientifically.
7. I recommend that NMSU stop using tax money to develop a 27-hole golf course, and in the name of transparency put the reports back on line of how golf at NMSU with 18 holes used one million gallons of water a day, that could be better used by agriculture, keeping the Rio Grande River flowing all year round, getting water to the colonias on both sides of Mexico-New Mexico border. Colonias are considered semi-rural subdivisions of substandard housing lacking basic physical infrastructure, potable water, sanitary sewage, and adequate roads.
8. I recommend that NMSU and New Mexico citizens, deconstruct the TINA Narrative. TINA stands for ‘There Is No Alternative’ a favorite saying of Margaret Thatcher, and repeated by Ronald Ragan, was they went after Public Education budgets. There is an alternative to TINA! The Republican governor and the legislature of New Mexico, the Republican Board of Regents, and the Republican Chancellor, and his Republican economists, say TINA! And NMSU just downsize. I say there is an alternative to TINA! Just stop using roulette speculative capital funding of K-12 and higher education with gas and oil severance taxes. This is the Situation, the facts of the case: Gas and oil is boom and bust cycles, which serve to send public education into downward spiral. Stop TINA narrative. It’s a broken record. Instead, do some democratic participation and problem solving of the root causes of our Situation in New Mexico. The Republican Governor and the legislature need to change the funding to gas and oil taxes, tobacco taxes, etc. so we get off the boom and bust cycle. Hoping for the next gas and oil boom is a form of gambling addition, and its playing casino games with tax payer money.
9. I recommend the Republican governor appoint bipartisan Board of Regents, each of whom has a masters degrees or Ph.D., preferably in Education. The current practice is to appoint Republicans with no degree, or a business background. In this way the Board of Regents would have the requisite competencies to make decisions. The university is not a business and should not be run like one.
10. I recommend we follow Mary Parker Follett’s ways of resolving conflict. There are three ways to resolve conflict. First, by domination, the administrative order (from the Republican Governor to the Republican Board of Regents, to the Republican Chancellor) can implement by domination, by power-over, by top-down authoritarian rule, appoint task teams of narrow or no participation, to decide all the changes made. Second, conflict can be resolved by compromise, where there are sides, and one side wins while the other loses.


Right now students, faculty and staff on losing, forced to comprise to the administrative order. The third way is by integration of the diverse differences that make up a university, and a multicultural state in this land of enchantment. By integrative unity, conflicts are resolves by face-to-face communication, by jointly investigating the facts and values, then jointly fitting the interests into one another (Follett, 1941: 39). Fact-finding in integrative approach to conflict resolution means going beneath the surface, into the whole “field of desire” (Ibid.). NMSU needs to stop with the domination and compromise, and the TINA narrative, and get down to root cause analysis, and using imagination to come up with creative alternatives, then experiment, then analyze results, and only then reorganize the university. That is why Deloitte and Team Six are the biggest mistakes NMSU and the State of New Mexico have made in public administration. It is not democratic. It is not participation. It is not integrative conflict resolution. It is not the science of administration of a public university.

It is through genuine democratic participation in scientific methods, not by Taylorism, and not by administrative coercion, domination, and compromise that New Mexico State University (NMSU) can be saved from ruination.

Mary Parker Follett advocated coactive control as an alternative to Taylor’ scientific management, the expert reengineering of the labor process that treated humans as if they were nothing more than machines. Follett (1941: 117) offered a different foundation of science than Taylorism. Bernie Sanders’ and Follett’s democratic socialism is a viable alternative to the autocratic, strongman, Tweeting leadership of Donald J. Trump and the reengineering downsizing, tuition raising, and tenured faculty displacement with lesser paid and less trained adjunct replacement practices of NMSU. I have been publishing articles with colleagues on why reengineering is the wrong consultative practice to apply to any Public University (PU) (Boje & Hillon, 2017; Boje, Hillon, & Mele, 2017). The wrong models of organizational development are being used to reorganize public universities. NMSU’s business Process Reengineering (BPR) won’t get us to their goal of a 21st Century University. There are predictable consequences of the reengineering. A  Mary Park Follett and Benie Sanders inspired socioeconomic approach is decidedly against reengineering, and is proposed here as an alternative path forward. A socioeconomic approach, so inspired, (Worley et al, 2015) builds human potential and launches revenue development projects self-financed by diagnosing and redressing hidden costs.

What will the future of higher education be in New Mexico?

Will the public university go the way of the dinosaur, becoming extinct, unable to adapt to the ‘free market’ Laissez-faire (or neoliberal, or knowledge economy) capitalism? Or, will the democratic socialism practices of Mary Parker Follett and the Bernie Sanders’ promises free tuition for all students attending public universities (and colleges) win out?

NMSU is betting its future on privatization, cost-control, displacing full-time tenure lines with adjusts, mallification (turning universities into malls of shopping at Barnes & Noble, Starbuck, and fast food joints), more marketing budgets, and expanding athletics and golf courses to by the adaptive strategy of laissez-faire capitalism. This is also called academic capitalism (Slaughter & Leslie, 1997: 11) defined as  “market and market-like behaviors on the part of universities and faculty”, a focus on for-profit activity and market competition for every facet of the university.

The Public University (PU) is facing major problems and may not survive. Since the Thatcher/Reagan years, funding for PU has been declining, and a neoliberal agenda has appealed to state legislatures in the US to defund them (Plant, 2010; Newfield, 2008, 2016). The PU was declared to be a commodity, rather than a ‘public good’ that would be central to democracy of educated citizens. Tuitions increased steadily since the 1980s, and in California, a PU education can exceed $250,000 to earn an undergraduate diploma. Specific aspects of Pus need analysis. For example, with neoliberalism, and a lack of state funding, the PU responded by engaging in academic capitalism (Slaughter & Leslie, 1997).

NMSU has been hiring experts in downsizing, outsourcing, and reengineering to bring about its academic capitalism. For instance, Deloitte consulting was paid $618,905 for 10- week study to address its organizing problems at New Mexico State University. NMSU has 6 layers of bureaucracy, with too many people doing financial ret tape meddling, and too few people reporting to administrative posts that have mushroomed in past decades (Williams, 2015; Villagram, 2015). The outside expert consultancy is combined with strange “arbitrary authority” of the Republican President, the Republican Governor, the appointed Republican Board of Regents, and the Republican Chancellor, has created a state of public education disaster in New Mexico. At each level in this chain of command, leaders are carrying out domination by sheer force of strongman (or strongwoman) personality. The problem is the personality cult of leadership is divorced from science. “A trembling subordinate enters, states his problem; snap goes the decision from the chair” (Follett, 1941: 119).

Snap goes the decision from Trump about stranding students in airports who have valid visa, and the court swiftly reversed his executive order. Snap goes the decision by Governor Suzanne Martinez, to continue to tie k-12 and higher education funding to gas and oil severance taxes, rather than put education in New Mexico on a solid funding foundation. Snap goes the decision of the Regents to eliminate the equestrian sport, but to invest more an more in football, to eliminate survey engineering department without any study at all, and to build more buildings on campus while defunding faculty and staff lines, and in their latest snap decision to tear out the 18 hole golf course in order for a developer to construct a 27 hole golf course. Snap goes the decision from Chancellor Carruthers to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic by bringing in Deloitte consultants to eliminate faculty and staff lines, and appoint Team Six that will combine any departments across the university that each have fewer than eight faculty left after the downsizing. “ “consolidating or eliminating managerial positions with fewer than three direct reports — while aiming for a target of at least 8-to-1, and ideally 12-to-1” (Williams, 2015, online).

These massive brain ‘administrative heads’ sit in their swivel chairs all day Tweeting and emailing followers their special knowledge, without any scientific research.

NMSU is a vast, complex organization that needs daily and hourly co-ordination that is very different from rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking ship. These co-ordination decisions should rest more than a claim to position ‘rights’ of office, and more than ‘hunch.’ Rather, the need is to have actual scientific foundations for co-ordination. The fatalistic rhythms, the enrollment and funding cycles are now considered susceptible to study, not mysteries beyond the comprehension of humans (Follett, 1941: 120, paraphrase).

Take enrollment, you can calculate pretty well the demand for higher education in New Mexico. Birth rates are falling. “Colleges across New Mexico are seeing falling enrollment, and NMSU has been hit hard. On the main campus in Las Cruces, enrollment dropped to 15,490 students this fall compared with a peak of 18,024 students in fall 2011 – a 14 percent decline”(Villagram, 2015, online). We are told by the Republican economists that education revenue is a function of gas and oil revenue, and as Margaret Thatcher put it “There Is No Alternative” but to downsize, which we now abbreviate as the TINA narrative. However, there are important calculations left out of this TINA narrative. ‘Yes There Are Alternatives’ to pegging education funding in New Mexico to gas and oil revenues. ‘Yes There Are Alternatives’ to the lack of science in Deloitte consulting advice. ‘Yes There Are Alternatives’ to the doctrine of free market capitalism, and it’s what Bernie Sanders calls ‘socialism.’

“A recent YouGov survey found that 43 percent of respondents under the age of 30 had a favorable view of socialism. Only 32 percent had a favorable view of capitalism. Another recent survey, this one by Republican pollster Frank Luntz, found in the words of U.S. News’s Ken Walsh that “[58] percent of young people choose socialism over capitalism [which was chosen by 33 percent of young people] … as the most compassionate system. Sixty-six percent say corporate America ‘embodies everything that is wrong with America,’ compared with 34 percent who say corporate America embodies what’s right with America” (Tupy, 2016: online).

Sanders is not a socialist, he is a ‘social democrat’ advocating democratic socialism (wealth redistribution to achieve income equality brought about by democratic participation). US does not have a pure capitalist economy, it has a mixed economy of private ownership mixed with regulation and taxation. Rather than capitalism separated from government, with the lobbying, the subsidies for oil and gas industries, and so on we have a corporate-government mixture. “Sanders is not a typical socialist. Sure, he believes in a highly regulated and heavily taxed private enterprise, but he does not seem to want the state to own banks and make cars” (Tupy, 2016).

Like Sanders, Mary Parker Follett (1941: 121) was in “favor of deliberate, conscious control of economic forces for the sake of the general social good”. She was not in favor of the “speculative enterprise” so touted in the “doctrine of laissez-faire” or bailing out bankers, “unscrupulousness of competitors, the abominable behavior of trade unions” (IBID., p 121).

To increase staff and faculty salaries without raising tuition is a scientifically solvable problem. The solution is change State of New Mexico’s founding policies, and stop funding buildings at the expense of funding the people who actually deliver education. Stop the formula founding that demands 3% growth in enrollment per year, or cuts of millions in funds. Scientifically, we know that birth rates, and migration into New Mexico have both declined.

New Mexico’s population growth was 1.3% compared to 9.2% in Texas, 8.5% in Colorado, 8.4% in Utah, and 6.8% in Arizona (Quigley, 2016).


Figure 5: New Mexico Population Changes (source Quigley, 2016, online)

“The picture is worse than people think,” Sanderoff said in an interview (Quigley, 2016). The population increase was due entirely to nature; 53,000 more people were born in New Mexico than died. At the same time, 27,000 more people moved out of New Mexico than moved into New Mexico. In 2013-2014 there was negative (-.1%) growth, and in 2014-2015 there was no population growth at all (Quigley, 2016). People with college education are moving out of New Mexico. Jim Peach, for NMSU economics department, testified, “From 2010 to 2014, 21 of the state’s 33 counties lost population. The demographic trends are not the sign of a healthy economy” (Quigley, 2016).

With scientific management (not Taylor’s brand of reengineering), there are several priorities (Follett, 1941: 122):

  1. Efficient management has to take the place of that exploitation of our natural resources whose day is now nearly over.
  2. Keener competition;
  3. Scarcity of labor
  4. Broader conception of the ethics of human relations
  5. Growing idea of business as a public service, which carries with it a sense of responsibility for its efficient conduct.

Follett lived and wrote at a time when U.S. and U.K. were devoted to Taylorism scientific management, to the engineers doing time and motion studies of labor, to get the most efficiency, with no regard to human potential. Fayol created special way of organizing, by a functional system of organization, and established unity of command and centralized direction, which is again the opposite of Follett’s participative, self-organizing, power-sharing approach. Weberian ‘ideal’ bureaucracy form stress a rational functional structure with clear lines of hierarchical authority, technical qualification for jobs, in what Worley et al. (2015: 26) call the ‘soulless iron cage’ that traps individual initiative. This TFW virus systems notion dominates the contemporary organization from the multi-divisional corporation, to the university, and government agencyIn this way we can see how both approaches combine to counteract what Henri Savall and colleagues call the TFW virus (Savall, 1973, 1975, 2003, 2010; Worley, Zardet, Bonnet, & Savall, 2015). TFW stands for Taylorism, Fayolism, and Weberianism, which combine into a sort of virus of public administration that has infected the Public University (PU).

The century old TFW doctrines need to be distinguished from Follett’s focus on human potential (human well being), co-active participation (participation leadership), self-organizing teams, and shared power in a system of organization adaptation to continuously shifting environment. Follett viewed organizational systems as communities of diverse individuals (and networks of self-managed teams) that need not have dominance over one another. The innovative ideas of Follett, her focus in humanizing organizations, building human potential, developing participative leadership systems of co-action and power sharing need to be situated as an alternative to the TFW virus.

O’Connor (2000), Boje and Rosile (2001), and many others have developed the Hegelian dialectic grounding of Follett’s concept. Follett (1924) develops the law of the situation in its “total situation: (p. 152) and “as part of a total process” and “of the continuous process of self-renewal” (p. 153). The total situation is within the “total environment: the “immediate relation to the individual that its forces can be reckoned with both as cause of and effect of his activity, that is, that much of environment which comes within the appreciable range of circular behavior” (p. 109). Circular or integrative behavior is considered “seminal for our future thinking, a conception which is surely destined to influence largely the social sciences: (p. xv).

“Follett’s views are in concert with feminist approaches to the ethical resolution of conflict, which focus on dialectical communication between participants to reach an integrative solution that attends to the needs of all” (Monin & Bathurst, 2008: online). It is a Feminist ontology, the relational aspects of world [and] self without being dualistic (oppositional). Follett’s ontology is the relationality and diversity of industrial democracy, which has no meaningful existence in individualism or in domination in power-over. “Give your difference, welcome my difference, unify all difference in the larger whole–such is the law of growth. The unifying of difference is the eternal process of life–the creative synthesis, the highest act of creation” (Follett, 1918/1926, p. 40).

Follett (p. 163) refers to Hebert Spencer’s social darwinism (survival of the fittest) as a “false political philosophy built on an unrelated individual” and to the “disastrous results of laissez-faire” (p. 163). Follett is looking at dialectics as complex interpenetration in a social process “out of the intermingling, interacting activities of men and women surge up the forces of life” powers are born which we had not dreamed of, ideas take shape and grow, forces are generated which act and react on each other. This is the dialectic of life” (p. 149). Follett’s conflict and power in her notion of integrative unity among differences are embedded within a dialectic process.

I believe that Follett’s philosophy constitutes an alternative to TFW that is consistent with Savall’s socioeconomic approach to management (SEAM). Savall’s recent work is a critique of speculative forms of capitalism. My contribution is to make the connection between SEAM (and TFW) and the work of Mary Parker Follett. This means I need to develop how Follett’s dialectic (Hegelian) approach is similar and different to Savall’s socioeconomic critiques of speculative capitalism. Both share a focus on systems thinking, and both are implementing democratic modes of organizational administration. Follett rejected the idea of Hegelian synthesis as a misunderstanding of Hegelian dialectic. This more precise understanding of dialectic, as the uncovering of differences, and how to develop power-with rather than power-over, is something that could extend the socioeconomic approach of Savall.

Mary Parker Follett (1918) has bearing on the political problems of contemporary Public Universities (PUs). Follett brings many difficulties of the PU to light. In “The New State” Follett establishes a standpoint on the problems between (faculty) labor and (university administration) management, in which case the state provides the capital. Faculty labor power is gathered up and is exercised outside of State government in ways that can influence the State funding of PUs. It is the self-organization of faculty, and students, and staff that can counter the State and negotiate democracy in the future. There are two issues here:

  1. The unique configuration of labor, management, and capital in public universities.
  1. The ability of labor to organize pressure on the state as the holder of capital in this system.

Follett’s democracy is the political dualism of liberty and equality. It’s leaders not bosses in political pluralism. PRUs can enact creative citizenship. “The ‘harmony’ that comes from the domination of one man is not the kind we want” (p. 26). It is not the Board of Regents, to Chancellor or Provost, or the Deans that harmonize cooperation, by bribing, coercing, or bullying faculty, staff, and students into submission.

Let’s look at what Bernie Sanders and Mary Parker Follett would have to say about these five aspects at NMSU that are in need of scientific treatment:

  1. NMSU is touting efficient management while continuing to use 3 million gallons a day (1 million for golf course greens, 1 million for main campus green lawns, & 1 million for human consumption). Expanding golf to 27 holes will not reduce water usage at NMSU.
  2. NMSU is among the least competitive of its peer institutions when it comes to library funding, faculty and staff salaries, time it takes to get Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, and student enrollment (check out the Star Audit, the most non-competitive system in higher education).
  3. NMSU is losing faculty, staff, and middle administration labor to nearby states because salary offers are higher, and there are fewer layers of administration (6 layers at NMSU instead of usual 4 layers at peer universities) and far less red tape barriers).
  4. Ethics of human relations at NMSU has narrowed to filling out tedious online certification quizzes in human subject, and the Family Medical Leave Act, in order to fend off lawsuits brought by parents and employees.
  5. NMSU idea of business is called ‘Academic Capitalism’ (making every facet of NMSU a profit center, at the exclusion of higher education being a ‘public service’ (or a ‘public good’).

Rather than “systematic observation, experiment, and reasoning” through democratic participation proposed by Follett (1941: 123) in the scientific methods, NMSU makes snap decisions, by the Board of Regents to use Deloitte consulting downsizers, and snap a decision by the Chancellor to appoint two college deans and a few others in the college to the ‘Task Force Six’ to carry out cost-cutting and reorganization of departments, the rearranging the deck chairs on this Titanic.

Follett argues that there can be a science of human relations co-operation, to use experiment after experiment in methods of co-operation, pooling results, so an organization can “learn how to co-operate” (Follett, 1941: 123-124).

One of the first things to be done to make NMSU more scientific is to apply scientific methods to the problems NMSU is facing. Rather than scientific management of faculty and staff jobs, we should make an analysis of the Governor’s, Board of Regents’, Chancellor’s, and College dean’s jobs. “We need to get away from tradition, prejudice, stereotypes, guesswork, and find the factual basis for managerial jobs” (p. 125). We know, for example, that administration at NMSU has been expanding (to 6 at NMSU rather than usual 4 layers of hierarchy at peer institutions[1], plus digitalization of faculty and staff and student control has increased dramatically in the last two decades, and that the administrative waste of natural resources (water, lack of xeriscaping of the grounds, over building the campus while cutting back on humans, legislature funding more campus buildings instead of lowering tuition). We know that since NMSU converted from 9-month chairs of department to 12-month department heads in order to effect greater administrative control over faculty, and more power-over faculty, there has been a decrease in what Follett calls co-active control with, and power-with participative democratic governance.

“Bernie Sanders believes that all students deserve the opportunity to receive an affordable, quality education from the earliest stages of schooling to high-level degrees.” In an editorial for the Huffington Post, he asks: “Why do we accept a situation where hundreds of thousands of qualified people are unable to go to college because their families don’t have enough money?” (Feel the Bern):

  1. All public universities should be tuition-free.
  2. Students should not go into student loan debt to pay for an undergraduate or graduate degree. When Pell Grants began in 1965 75% of tuition costs were covered, but since 2012 its 32%
  3. Students should not have to reapply every year for their financial aid.
  4. All public universities need to hire more tenured and tenure-track full time faculty, rather than hiring more adjuncts and lower cost college-track (non-research faculty) or over work teaching assistants with heavy course loads.
  5. Student work-study programs should be available to all interested students.
  6. DREAM-ers brought into U.S. at a young age need a fair opportunity to remain in the U.S., get an education, and contribute to the economy.


Figure 6 – Increases in Tuition, Fees, Room and Board since Reaganomics took hold (source).

Times have changed since I went to school, funded by the GI Bill paying Vietnam veterans to go to college, able to work during summers and week ends to keep up with costs of college. I graduated with my Ph.D. in 1978. “In 1978, it was possible for a minimum wage worker to earn the cost of a year’s college tuition over the course of a summer. Today, that same worker would have to work full-time for an entire year – just to cover the cost of tuition” (Feel the Bern).

Why have costs of university education increased so dramatically. For Sanders, it’s the paying university administrators rates similar to CEOs of large corporations, hiring extra administrators (VPs, assistants) to do manage the digital technologies, and its spending on athletic programs with high paid coaches. This diverts student tuition and state funding to projects such as building golf courses, shopping malls, and administrators leaving a legacy of buildings (Skeen Hall, Domenici Hall, the planned shopping mall on campus, a café in Zuhl library now under construction, and so on), rather than actually investing in more full-time tenured faculty and students getting free tuition to directly invest in ‘real’ education. Compare what NMSU is doing with Arrowhead Center to appropriate faculty and student intellectual property rights and give them over to Angel investors and corporations, the mallification of the campus, the expansion of golf course to 32 holes, while demolishing the equestrian program, and so on. Compare this to Bernie Sanders who wants all pubic universities and community colleges to have free tuition. Sanders believes education should be a ‘public good’ not a ‘private commodity.’

When tuition is free to public universities, then family can spend their savings, their liquid capital in the economy, on purchasing goods and services (clothing, electronics, and recreation). This combination of a highly educated work force, an educated citizenry that understands the difference between facts and propaganda, and more shared wealthy will make a positive impact on the U.S. economy.

References for Further Study

Bathurst, R., & Monin, N. (2010). Shaping leadership for today: Mary Parker Follett’s aesthetic. Leadership, 6(2): 115-131.’s_Aesthetic/links/541224d70cf2788c4b355450.pdf

Boje, D. M.; Hillon, Yue; Mele, Tara M. (2017). 21st Century University and the Failure of Business Process Reengineering.Accepted Jan 6 2017, will be published in Organization Development Journal, Spring 2017 – Volume 35, Number 1.  Click here for pre-press PDF.

Boje, D. M.; Hillon, Yue. 2017. “The Dialectical Development of “Storytelling” Learning Organizations: A Case Study of a Public Research University” accepted Feb 6 2017 for publication in The Learning Organization journal.  Click here for PDF

Boje, D. M., & Rosile, G. A. (2001). Where’s the power in empowerment? Answers from Follett and Clegg. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 37(1), 90-117.

Eylon, D. (1998). Understanding empowerment and resolving its paradox: Lessons from Mary Parker Follett. Journal of Management History, 4(1), 16-28.

Fayol, H. (1949). General and Industrial Management Translated by J.A. Coubrough, London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, from French 1916.


Follett, M. P. (1898). The Speaker of the House of Representatives. Longmans, Green & Co. NY, NY.

Follett, M. P., & Hart, A. B. (1902). The Speaker of the House of Representatives with an Introduction by AB Hart. Longmans, Green, & Company.

Follett, M. P. (1918). The New State: Group organization the solution of popular government. University Park, PN: Penn State Press.

Follett, M. P. (1919). Community is a process. The Philosophical Review, 28(6), 576-588.

Follett, M. P. (1924/1930). Creative Experience. Рипол Классик; NY/London: Longmans, Green and Co. on line at

Follett, M. P. (1926). The giving of orders. Scientific foundations of business administration, 156-162.

Follett, M. P. (1941). Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of mary Parker Follett, edited by Metcalf, H. C., & Urwick, L. F. NY/London: Harper and Brothers.

Follett, M.P. (1949.1987). Freedom and Co-ordination. Lectures in Business Organization. Edited, with an Introduction by L. Urwick. NY/London: Garland Publishing.

Kaag, J. (2008). Women and forgotten movements in American philosophy: the work of Ella Lyman Cabot and Mary Parker Follett. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy, 44(1), 134-157.

Melé, D. (2007). Ethics in management: Exploring the contribution of Mary Parker Follett. International Journal of Public Administration, 30(4), 405-424.

Monin, N., & Bathurst, R. (2008). Mary Follett on the leadership of ‘Everyman’. Ephemera-theory & politics in organization, 8(4), 447-46.

Morton, N. O. R., & Lindquist, S. A. (1997). Revealing the feminist in Mary Parker Follett. Administration & Society, 29(3), 348-371.

Newfield, Christopher. (2016). The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them (Critical University Studies) Johns Hopkins University Press

Newfield, Christopher. (2011). Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class. Harvard University Press.

O’Connor, Ellen S. (2000). Integrating Follett: History, philosophy and management. Journal of Management History, Vol. 6 (4): 167-190.

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Salimath, M. S., & Lemak, D. J. (2004). Mary P. Follett: translating philosophy into a paradigm of lifelong learning. Management Decision, 42(10), 1284-1296.

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An Antenarrative Analysis of Donald Trump’s Dialectical Leadership in Society

An Antenarrative Analysis of Donald Trump’s Dialectical Leadership in Society

David M. Boje, Ph.D.

December 11, 2016; Revised December 21 2016, New Mexico State University

Presented at the 6th annual Quantum Storytelling Conference, December 15 and 16, 2016, Las Cruces, New Mexico


What kind of leader is President-elect Donald Trump? My purpose is to argue that ‘antenarrative generative mechanisms’ (AGMs) are in the ontological domain of the ‘real’, which is antecedent to the domains of actual and empirical. My contribution is to leadership science. I work out AGMs as processes which in the open systems of leadership in society may or may not manifest as cause and consequent relationships in the actual events the emerge, or in the empirical experiences known as sensemaking experiments. I work this out in the recent events and experiences of the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States of America. In this quantum storytelling conference presentation, there are quantum entanglements, as waves of possible AGMs are collapsed into the events and experience narratives and counternarratives, which play out in the media, and in what Heidegger calls idle talk. In its thrownness in open systems, leadership in society is so many possible causal connections that may or may not connect, a leadership science must specify the antecedent ‘transcendental real’ as distinct from the sequences of evens which narratives and counternarratives inscribe with heroic or villain characters, and ‘empirical real’ of the experiment’s closed system controls.

Key words: Antenarrative Generative Mechanism, Quantum Storytelling, Open Systems, Counternarrative


With the election of Donald Trump, what has the history of leadership in society to say? We would first have to agree on what is the history and when it cohered. We could date leadership in society, as science, to the Handbook of Leadership by Stogdill (1974), subsequently appropriated by Bass (1982 & 1990). Our answer would then be forty-two years, through their three editions. We could embellish and say the Handbook of Leadership has been the indispensable ‘bible’ for every serious student and scientist of leadership (Stogdill, 1974; Bass, 1982; Bass, 1990). Or we could be bolder still, and say, what is often said, that each edition reflects the growth and changes in the study of leadership science. However, you would immediately challenge, is there not an earlier history? After all, Ralph Melvin Stogdill (1904-1978) published his 1948 own first study of leadership (Stogdill, 1948) long before the 1974 handbook first edition. This way of dating would make leadership science a mere 68 years old. A moment’s reflection reveals the inadequacy of the answer. It would be more accurate to say leadership in society is at least 500 years old if we go further back and date leadership to Machiavelli’ The Prince (1513/2010). Or, we could go back two thousand years to Genesis, for great men, storytelling accounts of leadership in society. But are these part of leadership science, or merely stories of events?

Leadership science reminds me of what my leadership Professor Greg Oldham told us forty years ago: “leadership is dead, and has been dead for 50 years!” That would make it dead a total of 90 years, and dead before Stogdill, and then Bass, wrote handbooks of leadership. It is only recently that I understand, while countless theories of leadership abound, and hang on past their shelf life, it is leadership science that is long dead. The criterion of the falsification of these leadership theories must be based on scientific empirical testing of a law against rival auxiliary laws, rather than the transfactuality of active events and experience-narratives (or counternarratives), even of a Trump presidency. The transcendental realism is in opposition to the empirical realism comment to the leadership academy. From a storytelling perspective, it is AGMs that produce the leadership phenomena in question. The AGMs are not imaginary, but rather known as ‘real’ and what Bhaskar (1975: 16) calls a dialectical “process-in-motion”. I propose to test Trump ‘leadership; at that level.


What we need?  —Antenarrative waves freewheeling Carnivalesque Theater for Social Change in spacetimemattering

Is Donald Trump a ‘great man’ leader with seven habits, a ‘strong man’ leader, a ‘billionaire’ leader advancing late-modern capitalism, ‘authoritarian’ leader, a ‘republican’ leader, a ‘theatrical’ leader of spectacle, a ‘transactional’ leader, or a ‘transformational’ leader? I submit that the question cannot be answered because these are not scientific laws of a leadership science and are not worked out in open systems. A leadership science ‘law’ may or may not actualize in the domain of actual events, or in the domain of empirical experiences of retrospective sensemaking. In the press, president-elect Trump is characterized as leader types depicted in Figure 1. They form contradictory Alterities.

I believe leadership in society to be part of such quantum antenarrative processes of fore-caring, in advance. Fore-caring for an ethics of answerability, and an ethics of care for the society is fundamental to societal leadership.

“Beyond a certain median per capita [QUANTA] energy level, the political system and cultural context of any society must decay” – (Ivan Illich, Energy & Equity essay, bracket addition mine). We have to ask what Trump Leadership Alterities mean for the future of U.S. Society and the Planet.

What follows are the leadership notions being associated with president-elect Donald Trump.


Figure 1: President-Elect Trump Alterities of Leadership (Drawing by D. Boje December 13, 2016, used by permission)

See for example:

Trump is strongman leader: Trump, Putin, Xi and the cult of the strongman leader: The rise of such personalized autocracy will lead to international instability by Gideon Rachman Oct 31 2016

Trump is authoritrian leader: Donald Trump Is Already Acting Like an Authoritarian Just days since the election, the worst fears about him are coming true. BY BRIAN BEUTLER  November 14, 2016

Trump is autocratic leader: Autocratic for the people: As Donald Trump’s populist wave recedes, an authoritarian regime in the making is revealed You can say this for Trump: He’s been unapologetically clear about his anti-democratic aims from the get-go by Bob Cesca

Trump is a billionaire leader: See his facebook page audience comments.

Trump is a Bully Boss: Trump is famous for his “You’re fired” Washington Post 2005; In a Land of Bullies, Trump Looks Familiar Hillary’s portraying Trump as a fictional Hollywood bully. But he’s more like the real ones we’ve been living with in the former Soviet Union for the last 20 years. By ANNA NEMTSOVA October 18, 2016

 Trump is a Twitter Tweeter:  Donald Trump, the Tweeter in Chief From the December 5, 2016, issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD. 10:00 AM, NOV 25, 2016 | By FRED BARNES

Trump is a populist leader: How can a plutocrat like Trump be a populist leader? He’s a product of the right’s reaction to neoliberalism Donald Trump is the last person who should be expected to lead a working class movement by 
 Trump is a Fascist leader: Donald Trump’s political persona aligns with that of a fascist leader, according to 14 key signs One historian lamented that Trump’s win would “hearten fascists all over the world.” by

Art credit: Thomas Fluharty source

10 Ways to Tell if your Leader is a Fascist?

Summary of this source: Donald Trump’s political persona aligns with that of a fascist leader, according to 14 key signs

1. The cult of tradition. “Make America Great Again”

2. Rejection of modernism. Trump denies scientific truth of climate change

3. The cult of action for action’s sake. Trump waives daily intelligence briefings

4. Opposition to analytical criticism; disagreement is treason. Trump sadi he would pay legal fees for those who knock the crap out of protesters.

5. Exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. “… more than 900 hate crimes documented since the election suggest some correlation. So does the frequency with which Trump’s name appears in racist graffiti and is shouted by perpetrators of hate crimes.”

6. Appeal to a frustrated middle class. “Trump made overt appeals to whites who believe the American Dream is not so much slipping from their grasp as being snatched away by undeserving immigrants and other perceived outsiders”

7. Obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. “Trump obviously appealed to racial and religious nationalist sentiments among a majority of white Americans by scapegoating Mexican and Muslim immigrants on issues of crime, job losses and terrorism.”… Trump also propagated conspiracies by right-wing figures such as Alex Jones and Michael Savage which hold that globalism, aka the New World Order, threatens American interests.

8. Followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies. “Trump conjured up a vision of America in a downward spiral, a nation fallen from its lofty position in the world to one deserving of shame and ridicule. He spent much of the campaign telling Americans they weren’t just losing, but had become the butt of an embarrassing worldwide joke.”

9. Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare.

“Trump has made expansion of the U.S military a primary aim, putting the country in a perpetually defensive stance. In the past, he has reportedly demanded to know why the U.S. shouldn’t use its nuclear weapons. In the weeks since the election, he has filled his cabinet with war hawks.”

10. Popular elitism.“Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio has written that Trump’s father instilled in his son that “most people are weaklings,” and thus don’t deserve respect. Trump, who has earned a reputation as a lifelong bully in both his public and private lives, has consistently bemoaned America’s weakness, resulting from the reign of weak cultural elites.”


What is alterity? Alterity is part of the human condition of leadership in capitalist society. Alterity (or 1M in Bhaskar’s (1993/2008: 42) dialectics is non-identity. Trump leadership 1M Alterities are in contradiction to one another, in dialectical opposition, where no synthesis is possible. How can Trump be populace-leader draining the swamp and autocratic-leader not listening to wants and needs of working class? In a December 8, 2016 study by the PEW Research Center, “About half (52%) call Trump a strong leader, but the public is less likely to assign other positive characteristics to him. Fewer than half describe Trump as honest (41%), inspiring (41%) or well-qualified (37%). Only about three-in-ten call him moral (31%) and just 26% say that he is a good role model.”[1] ABC asks “Is he the gracious winner of election night who called on the country to unite? Or is he the spiteful, often unhinged bully who wants to jail his opponent, apply a religion test to immigrants and build physical and tariff walls?”[2]

Quantum Storytelling is a fore-caring, preparing in advance to collapse waves of potential good into good events

Some Definitions

1.Quantum – (noun) Smallest quantity of radiant energy that any system possesses to exist

2.Quanta – Plural of quantum; quanta are waves & particles; matter & non-matter; mass & non-mass; here & there at same time; measurable & non-measurable

3.Quantus – Latin for ‘how much?’

4.Quantum Storytelling – Things tell stories because Every Thing is QUANTA & alive, entangled energy waves

There are four levels in Bhaskar’s dialectical critical realism (DCR), which we can apply to Trump leadership in society:

1M = Alterity non-identity generates destratification as the diversity of leader identities mix of dialectically-opposed leader-identities Trump has at least 10 identities and non-identities.

2E = Absence absenting leadership repairs by transformative negation against wants, needs, and well-being of society contrary to expectations of dialectics of freedom in theory/practice contradiction. Trump leaders by negation after negation.

3L = Alienation detotalization and retotalization dialectic, fragmented split-off impotent selves of Trump

4D = Agency of Trump to bring about future state of affairs and deagentification dialectic of decay, demise, and destruction that pose a performative contradiction

Bhaskar (1993/2008” 44) asserts that “change, is transformative negation or absenting” and change “causes are in space-time and effects are negations.” Trump in the material world, in spacetimemattering (as Bard 2007 terms it), is dealing with open-systemic society with its changes that is absolutely not a monovalent ontology, and not the canonical atomistic form of Cartesian-Newtonian billiard ball materialisms of action by contact. Rather, in our quantum storytelling sense, action-at-a-distance of a Tweeting Leader, Authoritarian Leader, Bully Boss, and so on (Figure 1) makes for a “radical autogenesis” in a complex society, Trump’s development of organic living-system out of non-living matter can spell the collapse and demise of democratic society (p. 46).

President-elect Trump has declared the (2E) absence of living wage in selecting Andrew Puzder for Labor Secretary, the end of Scott Pruitt as Attorney General bodes the end alternative energy development, Trump’s picks for Secretary of State is ExxonMobil CEO Tillerson, and the selection of Myron Ebell, a global warming skeptic and director of a Washington think tank funded by coal and oil interests to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is very telling about the future of climate action being drowned in climate denial. We will get to the other picks in the body of the paper. Democracy is caught in the grip of a strongman leader, truncated dialectic, where absenting the U.S. from Paris accord, NAFTA, minimum wage is spreading outwards spatially and stretching forward and backward temporally. The tangled loops of Trump leadership dialectics are virtual and hyperreality spectacle of making holes and voices in U.S. society.

The purpose of this article is the development of a dialectical realist ‘storytelling’ account of leadership science, to apply to leadership in society. Only then can we answer the question: what kind of leader in society, is Trump? The aim of this ‘storytelling account’ of Trump leadership must provided a comprehensive alternative to the leadership positivism which since the time of Stogdill and then Bass has fashioned the organizational behaviorist image of leadership science. The theory of societal (& organizational) leadership, the causal leadership-laws, is the main concern of this study. I will pose new arguments critical of the familiar leadership science theories (transactional, transformational, trait, power, substitutes) as well as against the popular and widely accepted theories (great man, X, Y, task, or relationship, and 7 habits).

I will argue that the constant conjunction of ‘leadership’ events, such as a presidential election of a billionaire business tycoon, is not a sufficient and necessary condition for a scientific law of leadership. Further following Roy Bhaskar (1975; 1993/2008; 2010), I will assert that it is only if leadership science can establish its scientific law that there is an adequate rationale for leadership theory of events. Further, the narrative or counternarrative sensemaking of events is not an adequate rationale for leadership theory of events, and much less for scientific law of leadership. There must be something antecedent to both narrative and counternarrative of a Trump leadership, else we just argue one extreme political view against another, the right versus the left, conservative versus progressive, and so on, in an endless regress.

The contribution to leadership science is to specify the ‘real’ ontological independence, a quantum entanglement of AGMs apart from the actual events (or sequences of events) they may or may not generate in open systems, or the closed systems of leadership experimentally designed control conditions. In this way, leadership science can aspire to some idea of universality of a known law that may be sustain in experimental activity and can be intelligible in some political or socioeconomic societal event called leadership in society. In leadership in society there are such open systems, in a constant entanglement and conjunction of events we cannot assume the efficacy of a leadership law.

I will make a ‘transcendental real’ contribution to leadership science, to make leadership experimenter’s positivist empirical activity more intelligible, as they study the causal agent of a societal sequence of events, by here identifying the antecedent causal law which enables the experimenter to identify the generative mechanism itself and the popular author to do sensemaking of actual experiences of Trump leadership. Specifically, my contribution is to posit that there is an ontological distinction between transcendental ‘real’ leadership science laws and those ‘patterns of events’ the experiment as cause agent does manipulate, then measure, and populace sensemaking of domain of empirical ‘experiences.’ Ontologically, the transcendental real is distinct from what happens in an open system of an organization, and both are ontologically distinct from the empirical real of an experimental manipulation and control in a closed system.

There is finally a contribution to quantum storytelling. The words ‘quantum storytelling’ produce an image of antenarrative waves freewheeling in spacetimemattering, before they collapse into some particle of living story or a dominant narrative or counternarrative.  This image is very congruent with my sense of the existence of AGMs as being antecedent, in advance of spacetimemattering of leadership events and experiences.  Whole societies, with many cultures can be carried during AGM processes. I believe leadership in society to be part of such processes.[3]

The structure of the presentation is as follows. In part one, I will review the efficacy of laws of leadership science in a ‘dialectical critical realist’ account as distinct from patterns of actual events, and form positivistic narratives or counternarratives of experience. Then, in part two, I analyze the Trump ‘leadership’ from a proposed critical leadership science. In part three, I assess the possible AGMs in Trump ‘leadership. This is followed by discussion of implications for a leadership science. We begin with critical realist theory of leadership science.


PART ONE: What is Leadership Science, Ontologically? Dialectical critical realism (DCR) argues that it would be an anthropomorphic mistake for science to neglect the antecedent generative mechanisms or structures. The implication for leadership science is that antecedent processes are generative, rather than humans (hero or villain) being solo causal agents. Therefore an adequate account of leadership science must study the means of leaderly production, and the capacity to sustain independent or distinct existence of generative processes of ongoing leadership in society, which is under continuing process of transformation and flux of phenomena, as an open system. What Bhaskar terms ‘laws’ are not narratives or statements about ‘actual’ past events or ‘experiences’ (retrospective sensemaking narratives or counternarratives, backward looking at selective events), rather ‘laws’ are about ways of activity, thing Being-in-the-world (Bhaskar, 1975; Heidegger, 1962).

DCR is a non-Humean ontology that allows for generative mechanisms and structures that Humean atomistic event cause and effect assumptions ignore. Hume’s causation ontology occurs in the context of thinking about what and how we can know about ‘matters of fact’. Humean ontology rests on the ideas of a relation between two events (or object) in direct contact. As such, Humean cause and effect commits what Bhaskar (1975, 1991, 2010) calls the epistemic fallacy, reducing ontological processes to epistemic (ways of knowing), and to reductionistic empirical linear regularities that cannot account for action-at-a-distance or nonlinear patterns outside closed [system] conditions.

Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs) In storytelling, the ‘real’ basis of causal laws is constituted by AGM’s distinct from events of actual, and empirical sensemaking experiences (see Figure 1). AGMs exist in the real processes-in-action, and can, but may not manifest in events and experiences. The empirical domain of actual and experience cannot attain to the real where AGMs exist antecedent and in advance of narrative and counternarrative.[4] Attempts limiting leadership science to sensemaking experience as the natural ground results in reducing ontology to epistemology (aka epistemic fallacy). AGMs are concerned with tendencies, how causal laws may manifest some pattern of events in open systems.

To describe a science law, one needs a theory (Bhaskar, 1975: 12), but not a reductionistic theory that collapses different ontologies into a monist account. For example, every classic leadership theory makes the author’s reductionist ascription of leaderly agency belonging to some character-hero or -villain, is an integral part of every narrative of leadership. I dispute this reductionist narrative, not with a counternarrative, but with antenarrative generative processes (or mechanisms) that are antecedent. At the core of my leadership theory is an antenarrative picture of a natural process, the ‘antenarrative generative mechanism’ (hereafter, AGM) at work in the leadership in society. Leadership in society is not a closed system, but rather is indeed an open system of a multiplicity of interdependent ‘storytelling’ organizations (government, business, school, university, non-profit, voluntary, and so on). And it is the working of AGMs that the ‘transcendental real’ antecedent bases of attribution of something to effect cause, in the ‘empirical real’ of closed system experiment that must be the focus of leadership science. Rather than the human hero or villain, I proposed it is process not person that constitutes leadership in society. The basic model is presented in Table one.

Table 1: Domains of Real, Actual, and Empirical are distinct – Adapted version of Roy Bhaskar (1975: 13) by Boje

Domain of Real Domain of Actual Domain of Empirical
Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs)
Events in Living Story Webs of relation
Experiences of Retrospective Sensemaking Narrative or Counternarrative


AGMs are antecedent to patterns of living story events (without beginning or ending) that are rendered into retrospective sensemaking experiences with a beginning, middle, and end (or BME narrative linearity) (Weick, 1995). AGMs are necessary but do not always result in a consequent story event-ness or narrative sensemaking experience. The ‘real’, the ‘actual’, and positivistic empirical overlap, and are distinct from one another.

The weakness of leadership science is that it tries to found its laws on closed systems of leadership, viz. systems where a constant conjunction of events, or classical empiricism occurs in conformity to ideal models or theories imagined. Bhaskar’s dialectical critical realism has a higher standard, where laws that are generative of leadership phenomena are universal of the ‘real’ antecedent to their practical application in open systems or regularity in closed system experimental conditions. The dialectic of a leadership science goes beyond the step of classical empiricism model-building tradition, or the idealist tradition of leadership theorizing.

Bhaskar (2010) proposes two analytic tools to use. The tools are not independent. Rather, the second tool is a deeper elaboration of the first. I will apply the tool s to the problematic of Antarctic research teams attempting to achieve transdisciplinary outcomes.

DREIC Analytic Tool DREIC is a set of analytic method steps:

D – Description: Description of some pattern of events occurring between leaders and identifiable complex open systemic phenomena of a society.

R – Retroduction: Retroduction means tracing the possible antecedent AGMs that may or may not be manifesting by the leaders in society practices (communications or behaviors).

E – Elimination: Elimination of auxiliary hypotheses, competing alternative AGMs.

I – Identification: Identification of AGM that is most likely the deep structural antecedent, constituted in quantum field in space, in time, in mattering (or what Barad, 2007, calls the inseparability of spacetimemattering).

C – Correction: Correction by iteration of earlier closed systemic research findings that were not attentive to AGMs.


The second analytic tool is RRREIC.

RRREIC Analytic Tool RRREIC is used to analyze open systemic phenomena of extreme geographic conditions in its quantum field context.

R1 – Resolution: Resolution of example event into particular components

R2 – Redescription: Redescription of each component in contrast to its ideal way of acting

R3 – Retroduction: Tracing possible component antecedent in AGMs manifesting events

E – Examination: Examination and elimination of competing AGMs that could bring event about

I – Identification: Identification any transdisciplinary outcomes of AGM (efficacy & creative deviance)

C – Correcting: Correction earlier findings of closed systemic research paradigms

The next section develops the RRREIC analytic tool in more detail, and develops additional implications for leadership science.

R1 – Resolution Analysis

Given the complexity of open systemic societal contexts, there are multiple systems of interacting organizations that produce socioeconomic, sociomaterial, sociocultural, and sociopolitical outcomes. However ‘dead’ leadership theory can be faulted for not hypothesizing effects at the interorganizational and inter-nation levels of analysis that are operative in U.S. society and a multi-nation network of government agencies, transnational corporations, mass media, and so on.

R2 – Redescription Analysis

To establish the explanation in terms of Bhaskar’s ‘laminated systems’ means seeking resolution between psychological systems and Natural systems, between socioeconomic and human agency, between cosmological meaning and universal law, between reason and cause, between fact and value, and between theory and practice.

R3 – Retroduction Analysis

  1. S. Peirce used retroduction and abduction interchangeably. Retroductive logic (as opposed to indicative or deductive logic) postulates and explains generative mechanisms producing events and experiences. The question becomes what AGMs could explain this situation? Adductive analysis, by contrast is more of an intuitive guess, a surprising insight, that can become something retroductive (Boje, 2014, see story of Peirce abduction story of identifying the watch theif). What is the law-like operation of AGMs in the open-systemic of society? Retroduction unpacks the array of AGMs at work in a complex open system of hundreds of institutions. It deconstructs their component AGMS, operative potentially in the component parts of complex societal systems replete with multiplicities bound together. These AGM’s must also be analyzed holistically, in co-constituting events as nexus of AGMs in laminated open-systems. Bhaskar (2010: 7) stresses the important concept of intra-action, that like Barad (2007), he differentiates from “normal external-relational connotations of ‘interaction’.”[5] Each AGM can contain complexes of component parts that may in term in holistic intra-action involve a coalescing of forces of many AGM determinations.

Next we apply these analysis tools to the Trump leadership actions.


PART TWO: Critical Realism Account of Trump Leadership in Society


The efficacy of a law of leadership science must exist independent of the actual patterns of events of Trump election. Trump’s election could be the result of an accidental sequence Ea à Eb, is necessary if an only if there is an AGM process which stimulated the event described by a narrative or counternarrative of ‘Ea’ producing ‘Eb’ (Bhaskar, 1975” 19). Indeed it is because of Trump’s election we need to performer additional analysis, and only with laws of science that go beyond the sensemaking of the domain of the positivist empirical experiences.

R1 – Resolution Analysis of Trump Leaderhship We can begin with a resolution analysis of the intelligibility of sensemaking narratives of recent events, such as Trumps tweets about Boeing, must rely on leadership science so as not to misidentify as Tweet as leadership: “Boeing is building a brad new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but cost are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” (8:52 AM Dec 6 2016, [6]


Figure 2: MarketWatch Analysis of effects of Trump’s Tweet about Boeing

The Tweet affected stock prices, in a conflict of theory and practice. “Trump’s tweet cost Boeing shareholders more than $550 million” (Market Watch, Dec. 6, Or, “Boeing Gives Trump Phone Call Within Hours of Trump’s Tweet Vowing To Work With Him To Reduce Costs on Air Force One” (Dec. 7, IBID.). We need leadership science to make sense of the domain of actual Trump events and experiences. “An experiences are often (epistemically speaking) ‘out of phase’ with events — e.g. when they are misidentified” (Bhaskar, 1975: 13). Leadership science needs some ontological training or education because the domains of the real, actual, and empirical are distinct.

R2 – Redescription Analysis of Trump Leadership

The antinomy of Trump leaderly socioeconomic changes to society and his own human agency is one of dialectical ongoing development of evermore contradictions. For example, the U.S. government is spending millions of dollars leasing two floors of Trump Towers to accommodate the Secret Service security of a president elect.[7] Trump says he cannot have a conflict of interest as President, with his billionaire global business interest.[8]

R3 – Retroduction Analysis of Trump Leadership

What Trumpian leadership has to reconcile is most telling in climate change. Climate change denial, by most every Trump appointee, has to negotiate its situatedness in four planes, across seven scales, and interactions of ten system entities (Bhaskar, 2010: 9-10).

Climate science studies of trends and facts are not convincing to science denier political and corporate Trump leadership. We must therefore call into question the way in which climate denial leader’s rhetoric is substituted for coherent integration of scientific findings.

The counternarrative impulse of climate science denial by political leadership has stalled the development of interdisciplinary climate science. Interdisciplinary science tools are required to meet complex challenges of climate science denial of the Trump leadership picks for cabinet posts and heads of government institutions.

We must begin to integrate across relatively adjacent climate science disciplines, such as between sciences of soil, water, air, and climate. The more difficult challenge is to integrate across more diverse disciplines such as economics, population, energy technology, biology, physics and chemistry of pollution, environmental literacy, linguistics, rhetoric, history, philosophy, ethics, and politics.

Here I am proposing that dialectical critical realism philosophy has contributions to make to interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, and cross-disciplinarity that goes beyond the monoist singular focus of climate denial.

We can effect change in interdisciplinary climate science by engaging in in critical thinking about the real empiric outcomes, the real risks of continued climate denial. We can form ‘climate council’s that are interdisciplinary, hold conferences, teach-ins, symposia, and field courses in interdisciplinary science. Critical thinking about the junk science the gas, oil, and coal funding of climate denial is necessary not just as counternarrative to climate denial, but to develop antenarratives (new bets on possible futures) alternative futures that can by fore-caring in advance of both narrative and counternarratives about climate, be brought into being. Its not about polemic discourse, developing more counternarratives to counternarratives. Rather, the antenarrative standpoint nurtures fore-having, fore-structuring, fore-conceptions, fore-telling that is all part of fore-caring for sustainable relationships between the Natural world and human societies. Doing the opposite of Trump leadership appointees is not enough. Rather antenarrative standpoint is about creating alternative future possibilities, and collapsing those waves into this spacetime.

Trump leadership of climate denial is an irrealism, a politics of greed, in the light of contemporary global ecological conditions of global warming and climate change.

Hoyes (2010) has seven theses to get away from the mono-single-cause narrative of CO2.

  1. Reuniting CO2 with greenhouse gases: CO2 is one of many greenhouse gases
  2. Reuniting CO2 with fossil energy
  3. Reuniting CO2 with energy
  4. Reuniting CO2 with consumption
  5. Reuniting CO2 with economic growth
  6. Reuniting CO2 with sustainable development
  7. Reuniting CO2 withpost-carbon society

Four Planes of Leadership:

  1. Material transactions of humans and their capitalism with Nature.
  2. Socioeconomic interactions between humans
  3. Social structures and social class
  4. Stratification and de-stratification of the embodied personalities of Trums

Seven Scales of Leadership

  1. Psychology sub-individual scale of leadership
  2. Biology scale of embodied leadership
  3. Micro level scale (as studied by Ethnomethodology )of leadership
  4. Meso scale contrast of factual role and prescribed functional roles of leadership
  5. Macro scale formation of regional economies and functioning of whole societies in global context of leadership
  6. Mega scale of whole (democratic) traditions and (commodity) civilization
  7. Planetary scale of cosmological whole and leadership

Ten System Entities of Leadership:

  1. Normative systems
  2. Psychological systems
  3. Social systems
  4. Living Organism in their environmental systems
  5. Ecological systems
  6. Biological systems
  7. Geological systems
  8. Chemical systems
  9. Physical systems
  10. Cosmological systems

This is the context of co-complexity, the fortiori reason why Trump leadership practices are meeting opposition.


PART THREE: Researching AGMs in Trump’s ‘Leadership’


One AGM to explore in Trump’s leadership is theatrical. As Michael Brenner (in press, p. 4), puts it:

“What is theater in all its various manifestation but an inverted mirror of its society, and what does it reflect? What does it mean to experience a distance between one’s role in daily life and “who one really is” in private? In what ways is a union or a corporation an artificial person, and what are the unconscious dimensions of that? And what, if anything, is a political state if not an artificial person, as Thomas Hobbes claimed 1651, or an ever-changing constellation of structurally situated individuals in positions to make decisions about economic policy, public morality and the use of force?”


“All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get.” à from Arthur Wayne Jones, as cited in David P. Hanna (1988: 38; 2001: 19)

In Trump-Land Theater, are we as audience witness to the staging of an inverted mirror of U.S. society? If so, what it reflects a mask of democracy morality in reverse, its unconscious Social Darwinism. Trump the artificial person-become-president, sees no conflict of interest in being CEO of the artificial individual called ‘Trump Corporation,” just part of Hobbesian ever-changing schizophrenia, a constellation of artificial persons. Who is in Trump’s cast of characters?


Figure 3 – The Trump Theater Cast of Characters [9]

What are the implications for Climate Action?  These are the facts:

—Average USA person’s carbon footprint

—20 tons carbon dioxide per year compared

—1.1 tons for average person in India

—5% of world’s population in the USA create

—20% of carbon dioxide emissions &

—30% of the world’s resources consumed.

—Carl’s Jr. Andy Puzder, the fast-food CEO chosen for Labor secretary, raised campaign cash for Trump and personally contributed $388,000 to the RNC and $150,000 to Trump’s joint fundraiser. He also gave $10,000 to Rebuilding America Now.

—ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson chosen for Secretary of State.

—Myron Ebell picked to lead his EPA transition team. Ebell is Director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

—Scott Pruitt to head up EPA, Oklahoma attorney general, who is a close ally of the fossil fuel industry.

Several billionaires who gave money to his campaign, others are generals supporting Trump:[10]

“Former Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin, the president-elect’s choice for Treasury secretary, served as Trump’s top fundraiser and personally contributed $430,000 to Trump and to the Republican National Committee’s joint fundraising account.

President-elect Donald Trump on Monday said he would appoint Gary Cohn, a longtime Goldman Sachs executive, to lead the powerful National Economic Council, giving the Wall Street insider a key job in developing the new administration’s economic policy. “The 26-year Goldman Sachs veteran brings with him the investment bank’s longstanding acknowledgement of climate change, which Trump has referred to as a Chinese hoax, and support for the international agreement to address it, which Trump has said he’ll abandon.”  Donald Trump’s Adviser From Goldman May Be His Most Environmentally Friendly Pick Yet Dec 21- 2016.

The bank accepts climate science and called for a “strong” climate treaty.

12/21/2016 02:31 pm

Pro wrestling magnate Linda McMahon, Trump’s pick to head the Small Business Administration, gave $6 million to Rebuilding America Now, a super PAC that backed Trump. She also gave $153,000 to Trump’s joint fundraising account and more than $400,000 to the RNC.

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, Trump’s choice for Commerce secretary, had a senior role on Trump’s fundraising team. He gave $200,000 to Trump’s joint fundraising account and $117,000 to the RNC.

Andy Puzder, the fast-food CEO chosen for Labor secretary, raised campaign cash for Trump and personally contributed $388,000 to the RNC and $150,000 to Trump’s joint fundraiser. He also gave $10,000 to Rebuilding America Now.

“If you are wondering how Trump will dismantle EPA regulations and staff, meet Myron Ebell, the man Trump has picked to lead his EPA transition team. Ebell is Director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). Ebell’s official bio is here. DeSmogBlog, which tracks PR experts who are funded by polluters, has an alternative rundown here.”[11].And Scott Pruitt Mr. Trump has selected the Oklahoma attorney general, who is a close ally of the fossil fuel industry. Then add Trump’s pick for Secretary of State is ExxonMobil CEO Tillerson. The climate deniers are in control of the key cabinet positions, and institutions of government.

Another Trump Cabinet selection, Betsy DeVos, belongs to one of the top Republican donor families in the country. The Education secretary pick, however, was no booster of Trump’s. She gave $50,000 to a super PAC supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Trump’s rival in the GOP primaries. She also wired the maximum amount to another of Trump’s primary rivals, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

And Todd Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, who has been picked to be deputy commerce secretary.[12]

And John F. Kelly Mr. Trump is expected to name the retired four-star Marine general, whose son was killed in combat in Afghanistan, for Homeland Security Secretary.

And for Defense Secretary, James N. Mattis Mr. Trump announced at a rally that he had selected General Mattis, who led a Marine division to Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and led the United States Central Command from 2010-13. General Mattis, now retired, has been a critic of the Obama administration. He would need a waiver from Congress to lead the Pentagon because he has been out of uniform for less than seven years.

And for Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Chao Mr. Trump has selected Ms. Chao, the labor secretary under President George W. Bush. Ms. Chao, who is married to the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has been a fixture of the Republican establishment in Washington.

And for Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price Mr. Trump has selected Mr. Price, a six-term Republican congressman from Georgia and orthopedic surgeon who has led opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Price has said the law interferes with the ability of patients and doctors to make medical decision.

And for Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Ben Carson Mr. Trump has selected the former neurosurgeon and presidential candidate to be his nominee to lead HUD. Mr. Carson had previously said he did not want to work in government.

Jeff Sessions Mr. Trump has selected Senator Sessions, of Alabama, as his nominee. Mr. Sessions is a strong proponent of strict immigration enforcement, reduced spending and tough-on-crime measures. His nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986 was rejected because of racially charged comments and actions, which are very likely to become an issue as he faces another set of Senate confirmation hearings.

This particular election storytelling is still in a state of antenarrative ‘potentia’ fragments. Putting the wealthy billionaires on the Trump Theater stage is inverse-mirror image to the populist campaign that Mr. Trump ran courting support from working-class voters across the U.S.. “Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge fund executive and member of the Trump transition team, insisted on Wednesday that appointing wealthy investors did not contradict the campaign’s populist message” (WSJ, ). Mnuchin and Ross, are experienced at buying distressed properties, foreclosing on struggling homeowners, then quickly selling for a profit.

This is all good fodder for counternarrative, such as Saturday Night Live: “n a sketch focusing on Trump’s controversial Cabinet picks, Bryan Cranston reprised his “Breaking Bad” character Walter White to play the incoming president’s nominee to lead the Drug Enforcement Administration.”[13]

President-elect Trump’s choice of Andrew Puzder to run the Department of Labor raises questions and concerns about whether he will vigorously defend the interests of American workers,” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said in a statement.

“The wealthy donors and others he appoints to office should be presumed incompetent and riddled with interest conflicts until proven otherwise. His emphasis on a cult of personal loyalty, insensitivity to conflicts of interest, alliances with bigots, and willingness to appoint people wholly ignorant of, and indeed hostile to, the tasks associated with a particular office, mean that the burden of proof should always be on Trump to demonstrate the competence and honesty of his appointees.” –Nancy Altman Founding Co-Director, Social Security Works and Ira Lupu F. Elwood and Eleanor Davis Professor of Law Emeritus, George Washington University Law School Never Normalize: Why Trump’s Presidency Is Illegitimate And How To Respond 12/20/2016 09:36 am



An antenarrative for a positive future:

  1. 1. Walk and Bike more
  2. Change your Diet a little
  3. Scale down Energy Use
  4. Less Golf, More Water

We are trying to adjust to the prospective sensemaking of Trump leadership. Dialectical contradictions constitute and propel the Trump leadership in society. Could they become any more antagonistic? The many non-identities (Alterities) are so diverse and contrary they become their own self-organizing emergence and rhythmic of spatialized futures in the “context of global capitalist commodity, both figuratively and literally” (Bhaskar, 1993/2008: 53). The potentia of Trumpian leadership dialectic contradictions driving more reactions of societal proportion seem likely.

Is the absenting of climate action, dismantling the EPA, minimum wage, the privatizing of social security, Medicare, school vouchers, and so on, a good thing? It’s definitely the “politics of the new world disorder”, a billionaire politics on steroids (Bhaskar, 1993/2008: 53).

Dialectical critical realism (DCR) situates some interesting possibilities for leadership in society. The entanglement of autocratic, authoritarian, bully boss, strongman, and fascist leader traits with Twitter and populace leader qualities makes a mockery of the typical transactional-transformational approaches to leadership. Trump is both transactional (ask Boeing and Carrier) and transformational (as the Republican Party), and yet neither of these captures his dialectical performative contradictions and inconsistencies so askew from democratic freedom. In a process of absenting of everything from EPA to public education, minimum wage, to immigration, there is negation after negation, as human agent Trump strives to bring about a radically different state of societal affairs. It is a dialectical process.



Bass, B. M. (1982). Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: A Survey of Theory and Research, Revised and Expanded. 2nd Edition. Macmillan. 800 pages

Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass & Stogdill’s handbook of leadership: Theory, research, and managerial applications. 3rd Edition. NY/London: Simon and Schuster.

Bhaskar, R. (1975). 1978. A Realist Theory of Science. London/NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Bhaskar, R. (1993/2008). Dialectic: The pulse of freedom. London/NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Bhaskar, R. (2010). Contexts of interdisciplinarity” interdisciplinarity and cliate change. Pp. 1-24 in Bhaskar, R.; Frank, Cheryl; Hoyer, Karl Georg; Naess, Petter’ Parker, Jenneth. (Eds.). (2010). Interdisciplinarity and climate change: Transforming knowledge and practice for our global future. London/NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Bhaskar, R.; Frank, Cheryl; Hoyer, Karl Georg; Naess, Petter’ Parker, Jenneth. (Eds.). (2010). Interdisciplinarity and climate change: Transforming knowledge and practice for our global future. London/NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Boje, D. M. (in review). Action Research Needs a Quantum Storytelling Theory of Action and Research. In review. Pre-press version at

Boje, D. M. (1995). “Stories of the Storytelling Organization: A Postmodern Analysis of Disney as ‘Tamara-land.’” Academy of Management Journal. 38(4): 997-1035.* or print out the PDF version

Boje, D. M. (2008). Storytelling Organizations. London: Sage.

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. (2014). Storytelling organizational practices: Managing in the quantum age. London/NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.


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.


Machiavelli, N. (1513/2010). The prince. IL: University of Chicago Press.


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


Stogdill, R. M. (1948). Personal factors associated with leadership: A survey of the literature. The Journal of psychology25(1), 35-71.


Stogdill, R. M. (1974). Handbook of leadership: A survey of theory and practice. 1st Edition. NY/London The Free Press


Stogdill, R. M. (1975). The Evolution of Leadership Theory. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 1975, August, No. 1, pp. 4-6). Academy of Management.


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:


Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in Organizations. CA: Sage.

Žižek, S. (2012). Less than nothing: Hegel and the shadow of dialectical materialism. Verso Books.







[1] PEW Research Center,

[2] ABC Donald Trump: What kind of leader will the president-elect be?  Chris Uhlmann Updated 9 Nov 2016, 4:22pm

[3] My thanks to an exchange with Bonnie Oak Boesky in email Dec 11 2016, that prompted this insight.


[4] Boje blog posts on AGMs at

[5] Note: Barad and Bhaskar develop intra-activity separately and their notions are quite different. For Barad (2007) intra-activity is materiality with discourse, and the basis of this is the double-slit quantum physics experiment. For Bhaskar (2010: 9-10) the intra-activity is a dialectic process in a stratified ontology, of four planes, seven scales, and some ten system entities, which comprise laminated systems of complexity and fractality.

[6] Dec 6 & Dec 7 2016

[7] Trump Tower security may take over 2 floors — and cost millions

By Julia Marsh November 24, 2016 | 7:04pm | Updated

[8] Trump Says ‘Can’t Have a Conflict of Interest’ as President

by John Voskuhl and Caleb Melby November 22, 2016, 12:04 PM MST November 22, 2016, 3:06 PM MST

[9] NY Times

[10] What Trump’s Cabinet picks reveal



[11] Huffington Post Meet Trump’s Pick To Dismantle EPA

11/06/2016 04:17 pm ET | Updated Nov 13, 2016

[12] Trump’s Economic Cabinet Picks Signal Embrace of Wall St. Elite



[13] Watch SNL go after Trump’s Cabinet picks — by introducing Walter White as the head of DEA, Elahe Izadi December 11 at 10:24 AM


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.


Boje, D. M. (1995). “Stories of the Storytelling Organization: A Postmodern Analysis of Disney as ‘Tamara-land.’” Academy of Management Journal. 38(4): 997-1035.* or print out the PDF version

Boje, D. M. (2008). Storytelling Organizations. London: Sage.

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:

Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in Organizations. CA: Sage.

Žižek, S. (2012). Less than nothing: Hegel and the shadow of dialectical materialism. Verso Books.





A ‘Realist’ Shamanic Practice of Soul Retrieval for Wounded Warriors

I am a shamanic practitioner, and facilitate a shamanic drumming circle in Las Cruces, New Mexico based on Michael Harner (1980, 2013) books and over a dozen training seminars. Drumming circle clients oftentimes have ‘soul wounds’ and ‘soul loss’ that occur in trauma events, when a fragment of the soul protects our Self by leaving (Ingerman, 1990; Duran, 2006).  Some our wounded warriors. Others have Soul Wounds from other traumas. The rhythmic drumming we do has the capacity to facilitate altered states of consciousness (Harner, 1980: 66). Every thing, and we are living things, has soul. The soul is spiritual essence that is immortal Being of humans, plants, animals, rocks, mountains, as well as the elements of fire, water, earth, and air. Every thing has a spiritual essence, a soul that is immortal. These soul-things (or entities) are entangled with one another, capable of action-at-a-distance because they are not empirical objects. Rather the soul exists as its own flows of energy, and as waves of vital essence.

My purpose? Here and Now I want to do something with shamanic practitioners of Las Cruces that can help with the soul wounds and soul loss of veterans and homeless of our community. Healing the Soul Wound (Duran, 2006) and Soul Retrieval (1990) are both ways of healing the fragmented Self, to be an authentic whole Self again. Our shamanic practitioner encounters with fragmented soul retrieval can help our veterans and homeless overcome many kinds of trauma.

What causes soul loss? Trauma events cause soul loss, and this includes being in a care-giving profession or role, where you give vital essence and energy to some ‘Other’ person, and forget to retrieve your soul fragments. Trauma event includes trauma of combat, any kind of drug, sex, or work addiction where we inflict trauma on our own body, illness, accidents such as the stress of violence, the traumatic brain injury (TBI) from physical injury, the loss of loved ones, and sexual trauma of rape and incest.

What happens to soul fragments? In an event of soul loss, our soul fragments decide to escape, and flee the pain, in order to let remains of our soul survive the pain. The survival strategy lets us hold the remaining life-energy together for a short while, but soon it drains us, taking more and more life-energy to keep it together. With soul loss, Ingerman (1990: 12) asserts, “The light has gone from our existence.” This loss of soul fragment leaves us with less light, less power, and less memory. It is the feeling “I’m not all here” (IBID. p. 13). We can feel abandoned, less joyful, less energetic, more depressed. A soul less than whole Self, is not able to handle the pain of simple life events, and cannot reclaim memory experiences that have left the Self.

What is the consequent of traumatic soul loss? The consequent of soul loss is a ever-increasing space of emptiness deep inside our spiritual essence that is in need of healing. The consequent of soul loss is an absence of vitality of life because our whole Self is no longer whole and can no longer attain its desired intimacy, joy, and love of life.

Can we retrieve soul fragments in ordinary reality (OR)? No! No amount of retrospective sensemaking narrative of our past experiences will be able to retrieve our lost soul fragments. This is because searching the trauma events, or reliving by way of narrative sensemaking (re) experiencing of trauma is looking in the wrong world. Reliving trauma event, again and again, is done with our military and veterans, in order to desensitize them to the violent event. The results for our veterans returning from combat have been less than spectacular.

What are the shamanic practices of soul retrieval? Shamanic practitioners have trained and are skilled at creating ‘altered states of consciousness’ (ASOC) in order to journey to the REAL of Non-Ordinary-Reality (NOR), to other worlds that are entirely ‘Real’. There are three worlds that co-exist: Lower World, Middle World, and Upper World, each with many levels to explore. The Middle World of ordinary reality (OR) is where events of trauma occur, and it is also our ordinary reality (OR) of experiences of sensemaking that looking backward to relive trauma events but cannot ever find lost soul fragments there because you are looking in the wrong world. Our fragments of lost soul have left for the serenity of Upper World and the compassion and care of Lower World existence in order for the remaining soul fragments to survive in Middle World ordinary reality (OR).

Table 1: Domains of Real, Actual, and Empirical are distinct – Adapted version of Roy Bhaskar (1975: 13) by Boje

  Real Domain Actual Domain Empirical Domain
Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs)    
Events of Trauma in Living Story Webs of relation  
Experiences of Retrospective Sensemaking Narrative

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 post”

Action Research Needs a Quantum Storytelling Theory of Action and Research

My professional study is storytelling. Storytelling is a combination of retrospective narratives of experience, our living stories in Middle World, and what I call antenarratives (Boje, 2001, 2008 2011, 2014) that reside in the ‘Real’ Worlds, the Lower and Middle Worlds. Antenarrative means generative mechanisms of the real that exist before (antecedent to) narrative experience, and are beyond living story events we are living our in our Middle World existence. Shamanic practitioners can journey by altered states of consciousness (ASOC) to Lower World and to Upper World, and even journey in Middle World, in search of lost soul parts.

Transcendent Realism This is the transcendental ‘Real’ where lost soul fragments exist, can be found by journeying to Non-Ordinary Reality (NOR), and returned to our ordinary Reality (OR) in Middle World. The transcendental ‘Real’ is antecedent, with many Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs) in the independent existence of the “Real” Lower World and “Real” Upper World of nonordinary reality (NOR).

The Heart-of-Care 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.


Figure 1: Heart of Care of Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs) [drawing by D. M. Boje, November 15, 2016] See more on this at

Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms Are Independent of the Structural Equation Modeling Narrative!

The Authentic Whole Self The whole Self suffers when fragments of the soul leave, are given away in acts of care for ‘Others’, or are abducted by needy and greedy humans. The authentic Self is no longer Being-a-Whole-in-the-World. Rather, energy is spent making up for Soul Loss fragments that have departed. The remaining fore-caring (fore-having, fore structuring, fore-concepting, and fore-telling) is attuned to Soul Loss and hungers to find them, to be Whole again.


Figure 2: Remains of Heart of the Soul after Fragments Depart (drawing by D. M. Boje November 15, 2016)

An Ontological Interpretation of Soul Fragments This is my own ontological Interpretation of the Situation of Soul Loss and Retrieval. We project the possibility of recovering lost fragments of our Soul Loss. In the Shamanic Journeying there is the potentiality for disclosedness of the location of lost Soul Fragments in a fore-caring that is ahead-of-itself antecedent in the AGMs. The shamanic practitioner journeys along-side the client, in a fore-caring, in the Non-Ordinary Reality (NOR). The shamanic practitioner falls into Lower World or ascends into Upper World to do Soul Retrieval.

An ethic of Caring, a conscience that obliges us to bring into our scope of shamanic practitioner work a fore-having, grounded in the primordial existence of the Soul. We must ‘see’ not in a sensemaking empirical way of the five positivistic senses. By contrast, the ‘Real’ kind of Seeing a shamanic practitioner does grasps the unity of the Self, the possibility of becoming an authentic Whole-Soul-Being-in-the-Middle World since all the fragments of Self already in-advance have antecedent Being-in-the-Real-of-Middle-and-Upper-Worlds. As Heidegger (1962: #237) puts it, “We cannot cross out the ‘ahead-of-itself’ as an essential item in the structure of care.”

The attestation of AGM state of Being ‘Real’ phenomenologically is in its “potentiality-for-Being-one’s-Self” (Heidegger, 1962” #268). But, we can easily get lost in the they-self of the Middle World, having given fragments of our Soul away in caring for Others, or in having them taken away in trauma event after trauma event. It is easy in Middle World to be ensnared into one addition event after another, and the habits of addition events can be hard to break free from.

Ontological Roots We can say that addiction itself has ontological roots in Middle World, and that healing comes from restorying fragments of the Heart-of-Care from Upper and Lower Worlds where AGMs are ‘Real’ in their potentiality-for-Being in anticipatory resoluteness, a “disclosedness of the meaning of the Being of care” (Heidegger, 1962: #321, italics original). The ‘Spirit’ that exists spatially and in the temporalizing of temporality is not a ‘Spirit’ that falls into the spacetime of the Middle World, its Euclidian space, or its clock time: “’Spirit’ does not fall into time; but factical existences falls as falling from primordial authentic temporality” (Heidegger, 1962: # 436). In other words Spirit of Upper and Lower World does not fall into the clock time of Middle World, but our Soul can fall from primordial ‘Real’ of authentic temporality into the addictions of Middle World, or into Soul Loss from trauma. In this way there is a dialectical relation between Spirit and Soul Loss.  See

What is Triadic Dialectic for Management and Organization Inquiry

Preface (continued)

There is also the counterforce of “the authenticity of care itself” in the potentiality for retrieving Soul Fragments, becoming an authentic-whole-Self-Being-in-the-world (# 301). Heidegger (1962: 435) concludes be reminding us that “Hegel shows how it is possible for Spirit to be actualized historically ‘in time’” not in clock time of Middle World nor in the Gospel of Greed of consumption and exploitation, but rather in the ethic of care in the “concretion of the Spirit” that has its potentiality in the ‘Real.’ The ‘Real’ is not events, nor experience, but rather the existence of the potentiality of the ethic of care, our own conscience attunement to caring. AGMs operate in processes of fore-caring for the true, the good, the just, and the beautiful, not for some Gospel of Greed. See:



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

Boje, D. M. (2008). Storytelling Organizations. London: Sage.

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. & 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.

Harner, M. J. (1990). The way of the Shaman. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Harner, M. (2013). Cave and Cosmos: Shamanic Encounters with Another Reality. North Atlantic Books.

Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and time, trans. J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson.

Ingerman, S. (1990). Soul retrieval. San Francisco, Calif. HarperSanFrancisco.


Action Research Needs a Quantum Storytelling Theory of Action and Research

Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms are Real, Before Narrative and Story Formation! In this blog post, I argue that there are two paradigms of ‘action’, one classical, and the other quantum, which could give new life to Action Research (AR). Currently, AR is dominated and coopted by the classical action paradigm, which does not allow for the sort of action-at-a-distance entanglements of quantum storytelling we discuss and debate at the Annual Quantum Storytelling Conference  (

Generative mechanisms according to Bhaskar (1975: 13) are distinct, in the ‘real’ and different from the actual and empirical. My purpose here is to propose Antenarrative Generative Mechanisms (AGMs) are ‘real’ and distinct from actual and empirical. Table 1 presents the model.

Table 1: Domains of Real, Actual, and Empirical are distinct – Adapted version of Bhaskar (1975: 13) by Boje

  Real Actual Empirical

AGMs are antecedent to patterns of living story events (without beginning or ending) that are rendered into retrospective sensemaking experiences with a beginning, middle, and end (or BME narrative linearity) (Weick, 1995). AGMs are necessary but do not always result in a consequent story event-ness or narrative sensemaking experience. The ‘real’, the ‘actual’, and positivistic empirical overlap, and are distinct from one another.


See previous blog post that develops concepts in Figure 1 above 

For Bhaskar the positivistic empirical realm is entirely anthropocentric (or humanist) in its social activity, and reductionist, as opposed to what Bardians call posthumanist (with more than just the human species doing its exclusive sensemaking experiencing by its five senses). In the epistemic fallacy of positivistic empirical, the ontology of the real, and the actual, are reduced to the epistemology of the empirical (reducio ad absurdum).

Bhaskar distinguished between ‘classical paradigm of action’ and what we will call here, a ‘quantum paradigm of action.’ The Newtonian ‘classical paradigm of action’ is referred to as ‘empirical realism’ where real and actual get reduced to empirical experience sensemaking in relatively closed systems. This is dialectic to transcendental realism (where AGMs and Real ontologically connect).

Towards a Quantum Storytelling Theory of Action at a Distance In the “Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum theory” we get what colleagues and I call ‘quantum storytelling’ beyond Newtonian “action-by-contact” (Bhaskar, 1975: 61). Action-by-contact paradigm is dialectically opposed to the Quantum theory of action-at-a-distance. Action-by-contact is worked out in ‘closed systems’ while action-at-a-distance is an AGM generative of potential antecedents and consequents actualizing a relationship in ‘open systems’ or what I call ‘systemicity’ of unmerged and unfinalized that do not attain closure in any kind of linearity, unidirectionality, and instead are multi-causal, nonlinear, where antecedents and consequents may or may not link up (Boje, 2008, 2014). Nor, does the open systemicity revolve around humancentric, and is rather posthumanist in its quantum storytelling (Boje & Henderson, 2014).

In quantum storytelling, action-at-a-distance is identified, described, and predicted phenomena in open systemicity. This means that Karl Popper’s solutions to problems of induction, only work in empirically regulated and controlled conditions of closed system experimentation to meet conditions of falsification of alternative models, entirely cut off from open system complexity dynamics (Bhaskar, 1975: 66, 69). Bhaskar is willing to risk Popper’s wrath, in positing transcendental realism as a dialectic opposition to empirical realism. Open systemicity, in contrast to closed systems, are a plurality of antecedents in search of a plurality of consequents.

In closed systems the principle of organizations assumes actions-by-contact, in their additivity, and atomicity (p. 76), which works for Newtonian positivistic empirical science, and is much to regressive and reductionistic for systemicity. In closed systems action occurs in a world that consists of “independent and atomistic events” (p. 81). Quantum storytelling assumes action-at-a-distance, events in non-additivity are entangled, and atoms composed of infinitesimally smaller entities.

This has implications for Action Research (AR). The epistemic positivistic empiricism of atomicity in ‘classical action paradigm’ requires additive events in raw sensemaking of experience, in quite linear process, in series of actions-by-contact. A billiard ball sort of model of AR results, where there are wholes greater than sum of atomistic parts, and parts and wholes are in limit conditions of closed systems. 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. Tendencies of AGM exist in the ‘real’ that are unfulfilled, yet potentialities, in the actual, and empirical. Something is really generated the event pattern, and the experiences of sensemaking. Take as an example the ‘free market’ narrative, where equilibrium is expected as some sort of balance of buying and selling (Bhaskar, 1975: 99-100). Is the so-called ‘free market’ be pulled in two directions at once (buying & selling), or is the multi-directionality of market balancing act a problematic model? From an AGM approach, there is something generating the particular directions, and the concept of balance is a fictive mask concealing the influences. This is because AGMs are not events, rather they are self-organizing independent generators of events, and experiences. “But both antecedents and consequents are events in open systems” (p. 102). An AGM may be set in motion in systemicity, in a condition of undisclosability (opacity, non-transparency) and be undetected by an observer or participant observer. That does not mean that the AGMs are not ‘real’ and are not generating story event aliveness or retrospective narrative sensemaking experiences.

AR, in a transcendental realist analysis of action-at-a-distance, there are AGMs that action researchers (& participants) can become aware of, and others that they may not be attuned to, and remain undisclosed. Quantum thing in the quantum storytelling world situate limits on action because action-at-a-distance does not have atomistic, additivity, and action-in-contact assumptions.

Drawing by Marita Svane in Boje and Svane article

Figure 2: This is a depiction of the 5 B’s of Antenarrative assignment process, with Heidegger (1962) fore- concepts.  See blog post where above figure is explained

AGMs would focus AR attention on identifying, describing, and predicting (where possible) the particular ‘fore’s’: fore-having, fore-structuring, fore-concept, and fore-telling that make up what we call –fore-caring in advance and preparation in advance. That fore-caring in all its fore’s are the antecedent conditions necessary to accomplish living storyability, and narrative sensemaking. These fore’s may be said to be agential, to be agents rooted in the nature of the world in all its glorious systemicity.

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

Boje, D. M. (2008). Storytelling Organizations. London: Sage.

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. & 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.





How can we transition from ‘Global-Billionaire-Greed-Capitalism’ into and Authentic ‘Caring-Capitalism’? The first step is in becoming aware of the many internal contradictions in Global-Billionaire-Greed-Capitalism (hereafter GBGC). GBGC has actualized historically an increasing inequality of wealth. 1,810 billionaires in 2016 control $6.5 trillion dollars of world wealth. (

forbes top 10.png

Forbes top 10 Billionaires in 2016

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders (2015, was critical of billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and some other billionaires who “corrupted” political and economic system of “greedy” billionaires destroying American democracy by infusing huge sums of cash into campaigns and election.

Among Forbes list of 1,810 billionaires), a few of them (Warren Buffett, Mohamed El-Erian), according to Time,

“… have begun to speak out publicly about the need for a new and more inclusive type of capitalism, one that also helps businesses make better long-term decisions rather than focusing only on the next quarter. The Pope has become a vocal critic of modern market capitalism, lambasting the “idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy” in which “man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption” (May 12 2016 Rana Foroohar,


forbes 2nd top 10.png

Forbes 2nd 10 Billionaires in 2016

The Walton brothers and sister each have 30 plus billion, from keeping Wal-Mart workers begging for Medicare, while forcing Third World supply chain contractors to globally engage in slave labor tactics.

The purpose here is to develop a new kind of ‘Caring-Capitalism’ as viable and dialectic alternative to the Gospel of Greed of the vast majority of the 1,810 billionaires. Ronald Glassman (2016) argues for a kind of Caring-Capitalism is the new middle class alternative. It is not the kind of Ben & Jerry’s Caring-Capitalism that asserts that it’s possible for ‘free market’ entrepreneurs to to make lots of money and still provide employees with an unusually high quality of life.  Rather, for Glassman, the old ‘free market economic system’ with its high-tech efficiency, and fluctuating business cycles (boom & bust) is still the path for the middle class to take to becoming super rich. Both Glassman and Ben & Jerry’s Caring-Capitalism argues the free market, in its ‘neoliberal ideology’ will take care of people better than any elected government (Chun, 2009; Vrasti, 2011).

There are many kinds of capitalism which are not sell outs to neoliberal ideology, not just the one of Ben & Jerry, an apologetic narrative for the GBGC that most of the 1,810 billionaires of capitalism subscribe to and treat as a TINA (There Is No Alternative) narrative.

Uncovering Caring-Capitalism My purpose is uncover a counternarrative ‘Caring-Capitalism’ that is more ‘real’ and more ‘authentic than the neoliberal versions. It is a dialectical concretion of the ethic of care, an ‘Antenarrative Generative Mechanism’ (AGM) that is already before narrative and counternarratives, and before living stories still in the middle, without end or beginning. AGM is what Heidegger (1962” # 301) says “must already be presupposed as a whole when we distinguish between theoretical and practical behavior” otherwise the dialectic of Caring-Capitalism opposing GBGC is baseless and existentially ungrounded. Caring-Capitalism must be “the authenticity of care itself” in its potentiality-for-Being able to oppose the many internal contradictions of GBGC (IBID.). The GBGC internal contradictions have an entire history of concealments, how the Gospel of Greed is a reincarnation of Herbert Spencer’s Social Darwinism. We are witnesses to what Robert Reich (2011, calls the Rebirth of Social Darwinism. That legitimated robber barons like Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. Rockerfeller to widen the chasm between rich and poor, in a free market survival of the fittest struggle, where only the billionaires are fit to survive, as the products of natural selection.

Social Darwinism offered a moral justification for the wild inequities and social cruelties of the late nineteenth century. It allowed John D. Rockefeller, for example, to claim the fortune he accumulated through his giant Standard Oil Trust was “merely a survival of the fittest.” It was, he insisted “the working out of a law of nature and of God” (Reich, 2011).

In 2016, 1,810 billionaires have a death grip on global capitalism, in a reincarnated Social Darwinism, free market greed justified by a TINA narrative, where Ben & Jerry’s brand of Caring-Capitalism, is an inadequate counternarrative, just more free market greed apologetics.

The consequence of the GBGC TINA narrative is it rationalizes and legitimizes our current global capitalism that enslaves most humans, destroys the planet ecosystems, while being praised as rational ‘free market’ business sense. Piketty’s (2014) solution is to tax the 1,810 billionaires who have amassed wealth into fewer and fewer hands, and living off the rent of inherited money that in the case of globalization is destructive to democratic society and has created an inegalitarian downward spiral.

What are the signs that the top 20 billionaires in Forbes list are mostly Greedy?  We are watching 24,000,000 children go hungry to avoid inconveniencing the 20 billionaires. It’s an unthinkable trade-off, but it’s happening. Although the 2013 SNAP (food stamp) budget of $78 billion is less than the 2012 investment earnings of 20 wealthy Americans, SNAP is being cut while not a penny extra is taken from the multi-billionaires” (Salon, 2015, Hanson Drew (Forbes, 2016), says “Unless It Changes, Capitalism Will Starve Humanity By 2050.” How bad is the extinction crisis?

  • Species are going extinct at a rate 1,000 times faster than that of the natural rate over the previous 65 million years
  • Since 2000,6 million hectares of primary forest have been lost each year.
  • Even in the U.S., 15% of the population lives below the poverty line. For children under the age of 18, that number increases to 20%
  • The world’s population is expected to reach 10 billion by 205

Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg (2015), book: Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations argues that businesses are locked in a cycle of exploiting the world’s resources in ever more creative ways. Celebrity billionaires Richard Branson and Bill Gates, say the only way to reverse climate change is for entrepreneurs to make money from it.

GBGC has the internal contradiction that the ultra-wealthy billionaires are disrupting global capitalism, throwing it into one crisis after another. We can say that GBGC’s internal contradictions, its growing gap of Haves and the Have-Nots is bringing about its own demise, its own negation. GBGC is mutating in ways that are destroying the planet ecology, its ability to be inhabitable. .

You would think, given its internal contradictions, that GBGC would collapse, and out of its ashes a new, perhaps more Carin-Capitalism would take root in the cleared space. However, this is not the case. Naomi Klein (2007a: 49), for example, describes the resoluteness of Disaster Capitalism using each new crisis as a way to advance its ruthless vision of greed:

“After each new disaster, it’s tempting to imagine that the loss of life and productivity will finally serve as a wake-up call, provoking the political class to launch some kind of “new New Deal.” In fact, the opposite is taking place: disasters have become the preferred moments for advancing a vision of a ruthlessly divided world, one in which the very idea of a public sphere has no place at all. Call it disaster capitalism.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961 warned us against this sort of disaster capitalism, in his critique of the military industrial complex that would replace the State with its own ‘corporate’ enterprise for “waging war, securing borders, spying on citizens, rebuilding cities, treating traumatized soldiers” (p. 50).


More Later…



Chun, C. W. (2009). Contesting neoliberal discourses in EAP: Critical praxis in an IEP classroom. Journal of English for Academic Purposes8(2), 111-120.

Glassman, R. (2016). Caring Capitalism: A New Middle Class Base for the Welfare State. Springer.

Klein, N. (2007a). Disaster capitalism. Harper’s Magazine315, 47-58.

Klein, N. (2007b). The shock doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism. Macmillan.

Piketty, T. (2014). Capital in the twenty-first century. Belknap Press.

Vrasti, W. (2011). ” Caring” Capitalism and the Duplicity of Critique. Theory & Event14(4).

Wright, C., & Nyberg, D. (2015). Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-destruction. Cambridge University Press.





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