Illness, Work and Organization: Postmodern Perspectives, Antenarratives and Chaos Narratives for the Reinstatement of Voice

Margaret Vickers


Ttiis paper explores the possibilities that exist when the affirming aspects of a postmodern perspec- tive are utilized to reinstate the voice of marginalized organizational members. Stories, specifically antenarratives (Boje 2001), are shared as fragments depicting difficult and disordered lives of working people with unseen chronic illness. Heideggerian phenomenology is introduced as the methodologi- cal and philosophical vantage point for a study where antenarratives have been sought to illustrate the postmodern working life of sick people. Boje's (2001) work with antenarratives, Frank's (1995) work with Chaos Narratives and Baudrillard's reflections on the simulucrum and the end of reality are drawn upon to illustrate the postmodem existence of life and work with an unseen chronic illness. It

is hoped that Flax's (1990) ideas about thinking in fragments, and the need to stay engaged with the difficult questions, will allow organizations to move toward being places of acceptance of diversity, opennesstomultiplevoices,inclusion,flexibilityandrespect- theJustworkplace.