Pedro Monteiro and Davide Nicolini on Material Elements in Institutional Work

[We’re pleased to welcome Pedro Monteiro and Davide Nicolini, both of the University of Warwick. Their paper, “Recovering Materiality in Institutional Work: Prizes as an Assemblage of Human and Material Entities,” recently appeared in the January 2015 issue of Journal of Management Inquiry.]

In summer 2014 the Victoria and Albert inaugurated in JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointLondon an exhibition on the role of objects in movements for social change. From banners to provoke debate, t-shirts and badges that unify a campaign or tents used in peace camps, objects are central for activist groups struggling to alter the world.

The transformations and stability of society is an issue that accompanies the social sciences from its birth. In organization studies, this translates in a field of inquiry on institutional dynamics, that is, the processes through which changes or maintenance of taken-for-granted social elements happen. Traditionally these studies emphasize the (institutional) entrepreneurs and their heroic battles – overlooking that battlefields are usually full of soldiers, not generals, as Brecht puts in his famous “Questions From a Worker Who Reads”.

Bringing attention to the distributed and situated effort of multiple actors, authors proposed the notion of institutional work to shift attention to the struggle (not always coherent or successful) of individuals to change or maintain stabilized practices, industry regulations and similar structures. However, to date, these studies focus mostly on humans despite our daily experience that protests are made not only of human demonstrators, but also signs, loudspeakers and similar materials. The current paper is a call to arms to takes seriously the role of objects in institutional dynamics and embraces a more ecological thinking that focus not on single humans but on the alignment among individuals, materials and discourses in social processes.

You can read “Recovering Materiality in Institutional Work: Prizes as an Assemblage of Human and Material Entities” from Journal of Management Inquiry for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

s200_pedro.monteiroPedro Monteiro is a PhD researcher at Warwick Business School and visiting student at São Paulo Business Administration School (FGV-EAESP). His doctoral project explores multidisciplinary collaborative work in the development of high-complex products based on ethnographic methods and practice theory. His main interests are around the organizing and work involved in collaboration, knowledge circulation, and innovation. He is also interested in feminist and queer analyses of organizations and the use of visual representations to communicate interpretive methods and theory.

davide_nicolini_smallDavide Nicolini is professor of organization studies at Warwick Business School where he codirects the IKON Research Centre. In the past he has held positions at The Tavistock Institute in London and the University of Trento and Bergamo in Italy. His work has appeared in a number of major North American and European journals. His current research focuses on the development of the practice-based approach and its application to phenomena such as knowing, collaboration, innovation, and change in organizations. His latest monograph Practice Theory, Work and Organization. An Introduction was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

This entry was posted in Health Care, Innovation, Institutional Theory, Motivation, Organizational Studies, Psychology, Rewards, Strategy, Work environment and tagged , , , , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

1 thought on “Pedro Monteiro and Davide Nicolini on Material Elements in Institutional Work

  1. Pingback: This Year in Review: The Top 5 Management INK Posts from 2015 | Management INK

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s