Saturday, November 28, 2020

The Social Destruction of Reality

"For some time, we have understood the social construction of reality (Berger & Luckmann, 1967). Now, we have reached an age where social actors not only construct alternative explanations of observed phenomena, but actively ‘weaponize’ information in order to destroy others’ perception of reality. As such, we are living in an era increasingly characterized by what could be called the social destruction of reality. Science is being denied legitimacy in many camps, even as the world desperately needs solutions to extensive, if not existential, problems (Fotaki, Altman, & Koning, 2019). We cannot agree if there is actually a problem to be solved, let alone whose truth will prevail in addressing it. While gossip is nothing new, organizations may increasingly struggle to establish and maintain credibility in a world where both information and misinformation abound in mass quantities. In a world swimming in data, the principles of scientific inquiry and thoughtful uncertainty are under threat from a dangerous cocktail of ignorance and arrogance."

This is an excerpt from our article, Kolb, D.G., Dery, K., Huysman, M. and Metiu, A. (2020), 'Connectivity in and around Organizations: Waves, Tensions and Trade-offs,' an introduction to a Special Issue on 'Connectivity In and Around Organizations' in Organization Studies.

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