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Zooming In and Out: Studying Practices by Switching Theoretical Lenses and Trailing Connections

Zooming In and Out: Studying Practices by Switching Theoretical Lenses and Trailing Connections This article contributes to re-specifying a number of the phenomena of interest to organizational studies in terms of patterns of socio-material practices and their effects. It does so by outlining a vocabulary and strategy that make up a framework for theorizing work and organizational practices. The vocabulary is based on number of sensitizing concepts that connote practice as an open-ended, heterogeneous accomplishment which takes place within a specific horizon of sense and a set of concerns which the practice itself brings to bear. The strategy is based on the metaphorical movement of ‘zooming in’ and ‘zooming out of’ practice. The zooming in and out are obtained through switching theoretical lenses and re-positioning in the field, so that certain aspects of the practice are fore-grounded while others are bracketed. Building on the results of an extended study of telemedicine, the article discusses in detail the different elements of the framework and how it enhances our capacity to re-present practice. The article concludes with some considerations on how the proposed approach can assist us in advancing the research agenda of organizational and work studies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Organization Studies: An international multidisciplinary journal devoted to the Studies of organizations, organizing, and the organized in and between societies SAGE

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References (78)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
The Author(s)
ISSN
0170-8406
eISSN
1741-3044
DOI
10.1177/0170840609349875
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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

Journal

Organization Studies: An international multidisciplinary journal devoted to the Studies of organizations, organizing, and the organized in and between societiesSAGE

Published: Dec 1, 2009

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