Universiteit voor Humanistiek, NLD


Hugo studied for his first degree, in culture studies, at The University of Chicago. He did his Drs. in Conflict Psychology at Leiden University (NL). His PhD, a study in the role of ideology in higher education, was awarded by the Vrije Universiteit (Free University) Amsterdam. Before coming to Leicester, Hugo taught at the Universiteit voor Humanistiek, Utrecht (NL) where he was Research Professor and Director of the part-time PhD program. Before that, he taught at RSM (Rotterdam School of Management) Erasmus University (NL), the MEd, of the University of Amsterdam (Nutsseminarium) and in the Department of Labor Relations of the Utrecht Polytechnic (de Horst). Further teaching roles have been: Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Osaka City University, L’Université de Montpellier-2, Durham University and the University of Essex; and External Professorships: at Lancaster, Keele and UWE. Hugo joined the School of Management in 2012.

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An introduction to "The role of somatic change in evolution"
Volume: 11, Issue 3

Making room for affordances
Volume: 11, Issue 3
This is a conceptual paper about ‘affordances’. It is inspired by Gregory Bateson (1972) who argued that consciousness is a person/environment interactive process; we will focus on how relationships between environments and organisms lead to perceived possibilities, actions, and cognition. Both the relationships between environments and persons, and the relationships between persons and environments count. The connection between world and consciousness is dynamic. There is a mutual causal link between circumstances and organisms. We argue that the world via affordances presents itself to consciousness. Emergent possibilities afford; complexity affords. Scott Kelso’s ‘complementary relating of contrarieties’ affords. Affordances are the dynamic reciprocal relationships between animate persons and their environments. Affordances are in-between—their cognition is situated and contextual. Affordances are the a next frontier for organization studies.

Guest editorial: Complexity and environment
Volume: 11, Issue 3

Volume: 1, Issue 3
The role of knowledge workers in our society is an increasing focus of press and academic attention. Letiche suggests that knowledge workers often both work in and create “McDonaldized” simulacra, i.e. spaces for action that are less than real. He argues that the very concept of organizing is challenged by the tensions implicit in the semi-ness of the semi-reality of subspaces. The arena for his argument is that of information technology. The language of his argument is that of identity, self, logic and activity—terms more often found in European academic debate than in American management practice. Forgive Letiche's use of academic literary forms. This world of emergence and cyborgs and of warfare with cognitivist (social) Darwinism may be a bit alien to some readers, but the argument and message will not be. In the semi-real spaces of managing, creativity is bought only at a large cost to others and managers find themselves needing to determine when that price is worth paying.

The dark side of organizational knowing
Volume: 11, Issue 4
Rigorous investigation of organizational epistemology, or what can an organization know and why, is a sadly underdeveloped field. Knowledge management as a field has suffered from naïve assumptions about what knowledge is and how it can(not) be shared. David Seidl in E:CO (2007) made a significant contribution to organizational epistemology, which I want to further problematize. Seidl made two assumptions: one ontological namely that organizations know things; and one epistemological namely that knowledge can be defined as perceptual complexity reduction. I wish to counter that persons and not organizations know things and that knowledge is more social than perceptual. I will argue that the problem of social knowing is not so much grounded in the epistemological question of knowledge / nonknowledge—that is, in the relations of foreground and background, facts and assumptions or knowledge and hermeneutics, as in the much more radical circularities of eternal return (duration) and the continual (re-)founding of social order. I will be inspired for the first point by Pierre Klossowski and for the second by Michel Serres.

Phenomenal Complexity Theory and the Politics of Organization
Volume: 3, Issue 4

Self-Organization, Action Theory, and Entrainment
Volume: 2, Issue 2

Complexity, Emergence, Resilience, and Coherence
Volume: 4, Issue 3