Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    The Bitcoin Game: Ethno-resonance as Method
    The global financial crisis and the contemporaneous emergence of the digital currency Bitcoin invite us to think about money and how it often functions almost imperceptibly in society. In this article, we show that Bitcoin is a ‘new object of concern’ that also compels us to reimagine ethnography in a digital age. We present a method, which we term ethno-resonance, that is both a reaction to the conditions presented by the Bitcoin phenomenon and a way of maintaining critical distance from its cyberlibertarian politics. We explicate six aspects of the method, framed around answers to what, why, how, who, when and where questions. Applied to cryptocurrencies, the method leads us to depict Bitcoin as a game, and we analyse the game’s dynamics through mapping the interplay between four foundational myths that animate, complicate and sustain the game. More broadly, this contributes to our understanding of the nature of money and alternative currencies.
      955Scopus© Citations 8
  • Publication
    The Production of Process: The Case of Bitcoin
    Process organization studies is an attempt to overturn, and this involves, among other possibilities, switching from an emphasis on being toward becoming, on structure toward process, and on presence toward absence. The process attitude discusses the world as more than what can be captured in representationalist models. It claims that the world cannot be brought to complete presence before us, that we have to resist and treat as suspicious the assumption that in the end the truth will be like a map, where the mapped and the map perfectly correspond with one another. The process attitude claims that the unrepresentable is a part of the narrative of the world, and for this reason process thinking can be a frustrating exercise since it tolerates elusive concepts, such as negativity, withdrawal, and absence. In this paper, we look at a major source of tolerance for what Introna (2019) calls the ‘perhaps ineffable’ work of absence in particular (p. 747). We claim that the traditional dominance of the metaphysics of presence has caused the absence of absence in organization studies. In opposing this dominance we can find ourselves on tricky argumentative ground, because the metaphysics of presence is closely linked to logos, that is to rationalism, objectivity, and the correspondence theory of truth. In contrast to the standards these epistemologies hold, the language of post-metaphysical thinkers can appear ambiguous, even relativist, especially in a field such as organization studies. Therefore, it would be no harm to demonstrate how deconstructive practice approaches absence and what the consequences are, in processual terms. The most significant consequence, the focus of our attention, is the occluding of 1 absence in and through organization, but we hold that this absence is never truly “empty” or unproductive; it is actually what is most productive.
      225
  • Publication
    Bureaucracy, Blockocracy and Power
    Algorithmic authority is a distinctive and novel mode of domination. Akin to other modes described by Weber, it has associated organisational forms. This paper identifies and analyses one such form, blockocracy, which occurs in the context of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. Taking a processual approach, we describe how blockocracy emerged historically out of an anti-bureaucracy ideology, a control revolution, a recognition that computer code can regulate conduct, and the increasing adoption of algorithms. Taking a shorter time-horizon, we identify four layers of algorithmic authority, and, focusing on the blockchain layer, we distinguish between off-chain and on-chain governance, with the latter having two types of off-chain rules. While the fashionable rhetoric is that the blockchain is immutable, we see the blockchain as a dynamic quasi-object, defining and mutating identities and possibilities. We conclude the paper by comparing blockocracy with Weber’s depiction of bureaucracy.
      317