Defence of doctoral thesis in the field of industrial engineering and management, M.Sc.(Tech) Lauri Pietinalho

A sense of expansiveness feeds collaboration and novelty in organizations
Mahdollisuuden ontologia organisaatioympäristössä

The human condition includes the chance to interact with the other in a way that affirms and strengthens them, to collaborate in a way that builds more than the sum of the parts, to craft novelty that could not be foreseen. These experiences are connected by an internal orientation toward the possibility of an opening future and opening of future from the present— “an ontology of possibility.” Such an orientation is irreducible and elusive to the calculative seeking of benefits or individual cognitive choice. The products of such an orientation, however, like innovation and a sense of community, are sought-after in organizations and central for organizational researchers.

The present predominantly conceptual dissertation extends our understanding of the underlying logic of such positive organizational phenomena by perceiving and analyzing the dynamic through which an experiential-phenomenological level of an ontology of possibility and an abstract organizational level come together. Building on relational theorists of multiple disciplines, the base of the work is an attempt to conceive how an ontology of possibility as an internal mode of engagement is entangled with the phenomena of caring relationality. The dissertation concludes, however, that despite favorable initial relational circumstances, an orientation through an ontology of possibility toward each other and toward the world in organizational settings ultimately necessitates external feeds for “a sense of expansiveness.” The work details the sources of such external feeds and their internal organizational expression.

Attempting a novel way of perceiving the dynamics of organizational phenomena, the essay dissertation combines and builds on authority paradoxes in less hierarchical organizing, the philosophy of “Mass Flourishing” and economic dynamism of Nobel laureate Edmund Phelps, and seminal theses of relational scholars. The dissertation charts the way for a new kind of understanding of an ontology of possibility in organizational settings that resides at the cross-section of organizational research, applied economics, and applied philosophy.

Title of the doctoral thesis: "Toward a Theory of an Ontology of Possibility in Organizational Settings - Drawing from the Elusive Essence of and the Sense of Expansiveness in Phelpsian Agency, Less Hierarchical Organizing, and Caring Relationality"

Opponent: Professor Satu Teerikangas, University of Turku, Finland

Custos: Professor Esa Saarinen, Aalto University School of Science,Department of Industrial Engineering and Management

Contact details of the doctoral student: [email protected]

The public defence will be organised via Zoom. Zoom link

The dissertation is publicly displayed 10 days before the defence in the publication archive Aaltodoc of Aalto University

Electronic thesis

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