Carved in Stone: Discursive Pragmatism and the Dabbawala Discourse
Joshi, Amrita Raghunath
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The study examines the discourse that has been generated around the Dabbawalas’ processes, their reception, assessment and applicability. The questions that this study raises are: Is the discourse generated around the dabbawala more outcome-based rather than process-based? How deep can we go with the analysis of metaphors, symbols and motifs in the Varkari tradition; to reconstruct this discourse and use this to visualize an efficiently functioning system in its broader context, and also view it as a directional and rejuvenating device for organizations? This critique is enabled by discursive pragmatism and semiotic enquiry. The study also situates these questions in the broader debate on anti-performativity in Critical Management Studies. It moves towards “critical performativity” through illustrative “micro-emancipations”(Spicer, Alvesson and Kärreman, 2009) in business discourse.