Vol. 20 - 2
Reconciling structure and agency in strategy-as-practice research: Towards a strong structuration theory approach
Tamim Elbasha, Alex Wright.
Pages : 107-128
An overwhelming focus of research on the micro agency of
strategic actors has led to the literature being characterized as
demonstrating a micro-myopia, resulting in a micro-isolationism. This
means we know little about how the micro interrelates with the macro in strategy work. We address this problem in our conceptual article which adopts a structurationist stance to explicate how strategy-as-practice (SaP) research could be enhanced and extended by paying equal attention to both agency and structure. Specifically, we advance strong structuration theory (SST), a promising development from Giddens’ seminal work on structuration theory, to show how strategic activity can be understood as an ongoing process of structuration unfolding over time. We argue for the use of both types of methodological bracketing (context and conduct analysis), advocating systematic attention to the interplay between macro-societal and micro-local levels of analysis. Our discussion concludes with guidance for researchers inviting them to undertake empirical fieldwork that overcomes SaP’s current micro-myopia, creating a more balanced corpus of work. | Download PDF (EN)
Strategy & Business Policy - Theory Development
Complex field-positions and non-imitation: Pioneers, strangers, and insulars in Australian fine-wine
Grégoire Croidieu, Charles-Clemens Rüling, Bilal-Ahmed Jathol.
Pages : 129-165
This paper studies how complex field-positions, characterized by combinations of structural and cultural mechanisms, are associated with the non-imitation of dominant field-level practices. Theoretically, the notion of complex field-position complements prior institutional research on field-positions and non-imitation, which focuses primarily on structural mechanisms. Our empirical study looks at 62 Australian fine-wines, using
qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to identify combinations of structural and cultural mechanisms associated with the non-imitation of Penfolds Grange, a role model in the Australian fine-wine field. We find
three distinct complex field-positions—pioneers, strangers, and insulars—which occurred at different moments in the history of this field. We build on these findings to discuss the importance of complex field-positions as
sources of positional opportunities, and their role in the development and persistence of diversity in organizational fields. | Download PDF (EN)
Entrepreneurship - Qualitative Methods - Strategy & Business Policy
Is management research relevant ? A systematic analysis of the rigor-relevance debate in top-tier journals (1994–2013)
Guillaume Carton, Philippe Mouricou.
Pages : 166-203
Since the field of management science came into existence, many scholars have raised questions about the rigor of the knowledge produced by management research about and the relevance of this knowledge to practice. In this article, we question the causes of the continuation of the rigor-relevance debate within management science. To do this, we build on science and technology studies and on the analytical
framework of scientific controversies. By analyzing 253 articles published in 11 top tier journals between 1994 and 2003, we identify four typical positions on rigor and relevance in management research: gatekeepers’ orthodoxy, collaboration with practitioners, paradigmatic shift and refocusing on common good. Although contradictory, these positions coexist within the debate and are constantly being repeated. This debate,
which has developed within a specially adapted space in academic journals (the hybrid forum) contribute to the “scientification” of management sciences. We link these findings to the literature on scientific controversies and discuss their implications for the rigor-relevance debate. | Download PDF (EN) | Télécharger PDF (FR)
Literature Review - Qualitative Methods
Unplugged - My Own Book Review - Review of The Icarus Paradox by its Nostalgic Author
Pages : 204-207
The “unplugged” section seeks to experience new forms of book reviews. We regularly grant a wild card to a world-class scholar to review his/her own Classic. In “My own book review”, authors will tell us the story of what I was trying to do with sometimes some auto-ethnographic considerations. By recounting the building process of one seminal research with a contemporary lens, they may give some insights for the current craft of research and also share with us renunciations, doubts and joys in their intimate writing experience.
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Unplugged - Carte blanche- Which is the place of affect within practice-based studies ?
Pages : 208-220
The turn to affect needs to assume a stable discursive position on its importance in relation to the literature on practice, nevertheless the issue is not whether affect is important, but why and how. In fact, all agency unfolds with a certain degree of affect and almost all social practices affect their participants in various degrees. Ordinary affects are the varied capacities to affect and to be affected that give everyday life the quality of a continuum becoming. Their significance lies in the way they pick up the intensities that they build and in the thoughts and feelings they make possible, rather than in ‘meanings’ encapsulated in an order of representations. The question that the article addresses is therefore how to preserve and report on ordinary affects while studying working practices? Through two episodes from fieldwork (an unbearable sweet music and cruel optimism) I argue that paying attention to affects is an active process of atmosphere attunement to the various embodiments of the field - the embodied researcher and the embodied practitioners - with their attachments to the object of their practices. The turn to affect may enrich the turn to practice with a sensibility for a form of embodied, affective knowing that put into discussion how research is written.
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