Gladden, Matthew E.
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Building on existing forms of critical, cultural, biopolitical, and sociopolitical posthumanism, in this text a new framework is developed for understanding and guiding the forces of technologization and posthumanization that are reshaping contemporary organizations. This ‘organizational posthumanism’ is an approach to analyzing, creating, and managing organizations that employs a post-dualistic and post-anthropocentric perspective and which recognizes that emerging technologies will increasingly transform the kinds of members, structures, systems, processes, physical and virtual spaces, and external ecosystems that are available for organizations to utilize. It is argued that this posthumanizing technologization of organizations will especially be driven by developments in three areas: 1) technologies for human augmentation and enhancement, including many forms of neuroprosthetics and genetic engineering; 2) technologies for synthetic agency, including robotics, artificial intelligence, and artificial life; and 3) technologies for digital-physical ecosystems and networks that create the environments within which and infrastructure through which human and artificial agents will interact. Drawing on a typology of contemporary posthumanism, organizational posthumanism is shown to be a hybrid form of posthumanism that combines both analytic, synthetic, theoretical, and practical elements. Like analytic forms of posthumanism, organizational posthumanism recognizes the extent to which posthumanization has already transformed businesses and other organizations; it thus occupies itself with understanding organizations as they exist today and developing strategies and best practices for responding to the forces of posthumanization. On the other hand, like synthetic forms of posthumanism, organizational posthumanism anticipates the fact that intensifying and accelerating processes of posthumanization will create future realities quite different from those seen today; it thus attempts to develop conceptual schemas to account for such potential developments, both as a means of expanding our theoretical knowledge of organizations and of enhancing the ability of contemporary organizational stakeholders to conduct strategic planning for a radically posthumanized long-term future.
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