Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
- PublicationEthnography in and around an AlgorithmIf 'headwork' is "the conceptual work that informs ethnographic fieldwork and its various representational practices", then this paper is a piece of headwork about what an ethnography in (or around, or of) an algorithm might entail. We begin by situating this question in ethnography’s long tradition of philosophical reflection on method and representation. This reflection has been deep and cutting, and some would argue that it has evacuated ethnography of its essence, identify and value.
- PublicationSensemaking, safety, and situated communities in (con)temporary networksThis paper discusses the difficulties involved in managing knowledge-intensive, multinational, multiorganisational, and multifunctional project networks. The study is based on a 2-year quasi-ethnography of one such network engaged in the design and development of a complex new process control system for an existing pharmaceutical plant in Ireland. The case describes how, drawing upon the organisational heritage of the corporations involved and the logic implicit within their global partnership arrangements, the project was initially structured in an aspatial manner that underestimated the complexity of the development process and the social relations required to support it. Following dissatisfaction with initial progress, a number of critical management interventions were made, which appeared to contribute to a recasting of the network ontology that facilitated the cultivation and protection of more appropriate communicative spaces. The case emphasises the need to move away from rationalistic assumptions about communication processes within projects of this nature, towards a richer conceptualisation of such enterprises as involving collective sensemaking activities within and between situated 'communities' of actors.Contrary to much contemporary writing, the paper argues that space and location are of crucial importance to our understanding of network forms of organising.
Scopus© Citations 25 725
- PublicationSales-as-Practice: An Introduction and Methodological Outline to Study Sales WorkThere are strong indications that sales practices are currently being redefined from the ground up and that many of the inherited conceptual models of selling will not hold into a future that is defined by new selling techniques and technologies. This paper introduces a research perspective that can provide an important source of insight into how sales work and salespeople are currently being reconstituted: the sales-as-practice approach. In common with 'practice turns' evident in other business literature, such as the recent marketing-as-practice or the by now well-established strategy-as-practice approach, sales-as-practice requires of researchers to develop a sensitivity towards salespeople's ways of doing and being in social and material contexts. While acknowledging potential limitations, we identify some significant benefits of adopting this approach for our conceptual understanding of the sales domain, particularly in understanding persistence and transformation in sales practices, in paying attention to the role of material objects in configuring these practices and in appreciating the role of such practices in producing salespeople's ways of being. Moreover, we argue that becoming more closely acquainted with sales professionals' lifeworlds can aid in bridging the perceived divide between academic and practitioner knowledge in our domain.
Scopus© Citations 11 466
- PublicationThoughts on Movement, Growth and an Anthropologically-Sensitive IS/Organization Studies: An Imagined Correspondence with Tim IngoldIn what follows, we present the outcome of an imagined dialogue with Tim Ingold on possible future directions for an anthropologically-sensitive approach to studying Information Systems (IS) and Organization Studies (OS). The aim is to try to convey some of the strangeness and freshness that we have found in his thought, with a view to stimulating IS/OS scholars to engage further with his work and ideas. The piece takes the form of an imagined Q&A session with Tim, which we have synthesized from excerpts of previously published interviews and writings.
- PublicationThe First (Beer) Living Lab: Learning to Sustain Network Collaboration for Digital InnovationThe Beer Living Lab was the first of a series of living labs established to analyse and improve complex cross-border trade and logistics challenges using innovative information technology. Unlike stable inter-firm networks where roles are formal and explicit, role taking and role assigning in the Beer Living Lab was highly dynamic. Although project deliverables were formally assigned, in practice responsibilities emerged as a result of actors’ own initiative or as a result of negotiation and sense-making. Even leadership behaviour shifted throughout the various stages of the initiative. The practice of knowledge broking and cultivating a close working relationship with the operational manager emerged as crucial for creating and sustaining the social network which in turn stabilised the hybrid network organisation. We discover (yet again) the key practices of knowledge brokers and the necessity for social involvement in overcoming discontinuities within organisation networks.