Waltzing between Order and Ordering - a Social Practice Perspective

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    Organisations are often depicted as strategic intention seeking entities creating strategic objects that form pockets of order in uncertain environments. This design-based view of strategic development is challenged in this paper. The paper illustrates that organisations in building dynamic capabilities do indeed need pockets of order around which they can organise their activities, but too much order can splinter or paralyze an organisation. This is a paradox that all organisations need to pay attention to. We argue that the key to resolving it lies in how organisations perceive and employ these pockets of order, not only as the result of formal design efforts, but rather as (re-)produced, and manifested through ongoing and unfolding, social accomplishments. Strategy as outcome derives from many more sources than formal strategy. The paper thus emphasises that there is a need to work with these various sources of order that help organisations and its members in dealing with uncertain environments. However, these pockets of order are temporary, and when they break down organisations experience difficulties of accomplishing tasks. How organisations react to and incorporate disruptions (i.e. (re-)order) depends on the kind and strength of situated order producing objects and the social accomplishments enacted around these. In other words actors interpretatively relate to the organisation, as they encounter it in the form of social practices, systems, structures and people, based on which they act and produce strategic outcomes.

    This paper aims to understand these social systems dynamics, which it treats as a mutually shaping interplay between order and ordering. The paper illustrates this interplay though two case studies concerning two small and medium sized companies' efforts to enable strategic change. We find that potentially stabilising objects are underutilised as part of the ongoing ordering process, because they are generally treated as fixed objects rather than as common ground for negotiation and thus dynamic capabilities. 

    Titel23rd EGOS Colloquium : Beyond Waltz - Dances of Individuals and Organization
    RedaktørerPatrick Regnér, Linda Rouleau, Ann Langley
    Antal sider22
    StatusUdgivet - 2007
    BegivenhedEGOS Colloquium - Vienna, Østrig
    Varighed: 5 jul. 20077 jul. 2007
    Konferencens nummer: 23


    KonferenceEGOS Colloquium

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