Postmodern Organizations (1)

Articles / Social Psychology

Postmodernity is a cultural movement that began to take shape in the 1970s. It was a response to the change of paradigm that some authors like Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Alain Baidou, among others, anticipated.

For those authors, the industrial hegemony would soon cease to be, giving way to a service hegemony. The information age would prevail and the technological object would be the new gadget, the new hope for the future. Postmodernity breaks with the foundations of the previous paradigm, emerging after the industrial revolution. A world whose ideals were order, foresight, the linearity of the cause-effect relationship. A world without surprises, relying on on reason and on the idea of progress.

"Modern times", a film written, directed and starring Charles Chaplin in 1936, anticipates postmodernism, using humour to point out the failures of the industrial system. The alienated worker is freed from the monotonous and repetitive chain for which he had been prepared. He slips out of the system, is a counterrevolutionary without trying to be, someone who, paradoxically, feels liberated when he ends up spending some time in jail.

Postmodernity is the reverse of modernity. From the involution of the industrial age comes a new paradigm where uncertainty, unpredictability and hazard are going to constitute the bases of the economic and social systems.

In the postmodern world there is no unity, there is no compass to guide one through it, multiple interpretations are accepted because reality is not unique; and with it, individualism is accentuated to an extreme level. Difference is accepted, with minorities being acknowledged because there is no single truth. Reality is an exchangeable value, it is relative. The proletariat, as understood in linear modernity, is transformed into new social classes with a more horizontal power structure. Professionals, technicians, scientists and employees will shape a new social fabric. The man who lived to produce in the age of modernity will come to the postmodern era to consume.