Critical Perspectives on Management

Taking its roots from poststructuralism, which posits that there is "no central meaning in texts," deconstruction has been used as a new method to understand and interpret human resource changes and behavior in organisations today. Its usefulness stems from the fact that it generates multiple perspectives, or ways, in which the manager can best assess the nature of the organisation’s human resources. The ability of deconstruction to look into a subject or object in different ways is useful not only in decision-making processes, but also in the implementation of these decisions within the organisation.
This paper discusses the role that deconstruction plays in the contemporary organisation, influencing its very nature and processes. Drawing from both theoretical and practical applications of deconstruction as applied in the business perspective, specifically in business organisations, I discuss and analyze the presence of the "Other" in organisations when applied under the deconstructionist perspective. Moreover, in addition to identifying the presence of the Other, the development of the behavior of openness and uncertainty when the manager encounters a posstructuralist interpretation is also analyzed. Finally, the relevance and significance of deconstruction per se, and the application of deconstruction in the business organisation are integrated in the final part of the analysis, integrating both theory and application to understand the nature and dynamics of the contemporary organisation.
II. The theoretical foundation of deconstruction
To better understand the practical use of deconstruction in business organisations, its theoretical foundations must first be investigated. Deconstruction takes its root from poststructuralism. As a sociological thought, poststructuralism "deny that there is any central meaning in texts," a thesis that also adopts the assumption that there is no universal truth or way of interpreting objects or subjects that people experience in their everyday lives. Theoretically, deconstruction "shows that whatever meaning is derived is wrong. Since there is an unending set of possible meanings in any text, there can be no central or true meaning at all" (Littlejohn, 1999:223).
These claims are developed from the increasing need of academicians and social scientists to know the limit at which knowledge-building and development have reached since the advent of modernism. Deconstruction as a new perspective in the schools of thought extant provides humanity with the opportunity to further improve and develop the knowledge that we have. The pursuit of "truth" is no longer achieved by gaining an in-depth knowledge of the phenomena that trigger humanity’s curiosity, but rather, truth is now discovered by knowing the wide range of knowledge available to us humans, whether this knowledge is only at the most basic level. That is, knowledge production is no longer intensive, but rather extensive and diverse, as posited by deconstruction.
Other theoretical explanations on deconstruction are, at best, descriptive in nature. Take as an example Bennington’s elucidation of deconstru