Tamara: Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry
Re-storying dairying: deliberating on the impressions being left by ‘the elephant in the paddock’
University of Waikato
Dairy Farming is Big Business in New Zealand. The New Zealand Dairy Industry contributes significantly to the manufacture, trade, and consumption of dairy products the world over. This industry is deeply implicated in the intensifying trajectory of globalization, a form of order euphemistically referred to as ‘global development’. Critics attribute significant social and environmental degradation to this trajectory. Stories about corporate responsibility are attractive to those business students willing to include ethical standpoints in their considerations. Through a [re]telling of the influence of dairy-farming on the wellbeing of New Zealanders we suggest that such stories may be better read as channels of influence that perpetuate elite interests. Our analysis is generated from our schooling in Critical Management Studies. From this orientation, dominant stories are often presented as almost totally closed and hegemonic. But they can never be fully so. Paradox and contradictions can always be located within and across such stories. Our essay is a story about dairying that illuminates such paradox and contradiction. It is written to draw our gaze to the dangerous degradations of systemic outcomes on the quality of life for diverse stakeholders. We call for change. Our professional realms of influence include the spheres of management education. It is here we are placing our focus. We invite the telling of more diverse stories that may engender more generative futures than the seemingly entrenched trajectory that intensifies systemic benefits to an elite at the expense to others and exacerbates environmental degradation to the detriment of all. We invite engagement with stories that might place a different bet on the future (Boje, 2014).
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