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Zooming in and out : studying practices by switching theoretical lenses and trailing connections

By Davide Nicolini

Abstract

This paper contributes to re-specifying a number of the phenomena of interest to\ud organisational studies in terms of patterns of socio-material practices and their effects. It does\ud so by outlining a vocabulary and strategy that make up a framework for theorising work and\ud organisational practices. The vocabulary is based on number of sensitising concepts that\ud connote practice as an open-ended, heterogeneous accomplishment which takes place within\ud a specific horizon of sense and a set of concerns which the practice itself brings to bear. The\ud strategy is based on the metaphorical movement of "zooming in" and "zooming out of"\ud practice. The zooming in and out are obtained through switching theoretical lenses and repositioning\ud in the field, so that certain aspects of the practice are fore-grounded while others\ud are bracketed.\ud Building on the results of an extended study of telemedicine, the paper discusses in detail the\ud different elements of the framework and how it enhances our capacity to re-present practice.\ud The paper concludes with some considerations on how the proposed approach can assist us in\ud advancing the research agenda of organizational and work studies

Topics: HD
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:4153

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