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Metalogue: trying to talk about (un)sustainability - a reflection on experience

Allen, Stephen; Marshall, Judi


Stephen Allen

Judi Marshall


This paper considers dilemmas for organization and management scholars studying and writing about environmental sustainability. It suggests that sustainability requires new ways of thinking which in turn require new forms of representation to help foster their emergence. Consequently, the paper partly takes the experimental form of a ‘metalogue’ (Bateson, 1972), in which the structure of the conversation between the authors is intended to be reflective of the content of the problematic subject discussed, in this case their experiences of trying to raise critical questions about scholarship for sustainability. This experimental form, which invites the reader to eschew expectations of typical points of orientation, enables an appreciation of how forms of argument seem to replicate epistemological challenges in the sustainability field. The paper shows how metaloguing becomes not only an alternative form but also an inquiry process for considering sustainability that can support embodied reflexivity, critical questioning and appreciation of entanglements of people-scholars.


Allen, S., & Marshall, J. (2015). Metalogue: trying to talk about (un)sustainability - a reflection on experience. Tamara : journal of critical postmodern organization science, 13(1-2), 1-13

Publication Date 2015
Deposit Date Oct 23, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Tamara : journal for critical organization inquiry
Print ISSN 1532-5555
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 1-2
Pages 1-13
Keywords Sustainability, Reflexivity, Metalogue, Entanglement
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an article published in Tamara : journal for critical organization inquiry, v.13 issue 1-2.


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