Book Review: How Matter Matters: Objects, Artifacts, and Materiality in Organization Studies

How Matter Matters Book Cover

Paul R. Carlile, Davide Nicolini, Ann Langley, Haridmos Tsoukas , eds.: How Matter Matters: Objects, Artifacts, and Materiality in Organization Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 294 pp. $100.00, hardcover.

You can read the book review by Candace Jones of Boston College in the December 2015 Issue of Administrative Science Quarterly.

This volume challenges the reader, and the various chapters challenge one another indirectly. It raises important questions, such as (1) What are the implications of materiality for process theories? (2) If the social and material are always entangled, where is agency? (3) What does entanglement mean, and what are its boundary conditions?, and (4) Do materials have agency or only properties that constrain and enable human action? The volume clearly focuses on knowledge as the key integrating link. There is, however, an important absence in the volume: the extensive work on place, space, and materialityASQ_v60n4_Dec2015_cover.indd by sociologists such as Gieryn (2000, 2002), Preda (1999), and McDonnell (2010), whose work links directly to knowledge and practice. There is also a tendency for the chapters (except Olsen’s) to emphasize the positives of materiality, while avoiding decay and obstacles of materiality. Finally, as the editors are experts in process theories, I had hoped they would conclude by comparing, debating, and making sense of these diverse and engaging essays, but perhaps other scholars can build on the pieces in this volume to bridge its disciplinary boundaries and create a more unified body of work for organizational researchers.

You can read the rest of the review from Administrative Science Quarterly for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research and reviews like this from Administrative Science QuarterlyClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

This entry was posted in Book Review, Technology 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.

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