In 1979, Weick suggested to make more extravagant use of verbs and gerunds, such as ‘to organise’ and ‘organising’, and to become ‘stingy’ in the use of nouns such as ‘organisation’ in order to re-envisage organisations as processes rather than states. Since then, a growing number of researchers have engaged in the study of organisational life, echoing an increased interest in human practices in the social sciences (e.g. Schatzki et al., 2001).This concern for organising has legitimised studies that focus on the minutiae of organisational life and the practices that constitute the ‘internal life of process’ (Brown and Duguid, 2000; Chia and MacKay, 2007; Feldman and Pentland, 2003; Tsoukas and Chia, 2002). However, such approaches also pose significant challenges for organisational researchers and, in particular, for doctoral students wishing to adopting such perspectives. Theoretical challenges emerge from the complexity and difficulty of practice related writings in philosophy and sociology (e.g. Bourdieu, 1990; Giddens, 1984; Schatzki, 2005); methodological challenges come with the questionability of deductive logics and readily applicable research frameworks; and empirical challenges stem from the requirement to research and analyse the details of unfolding organisational life.
This workshop provides a platform do discuss theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects of practice relate research approaches. Interest is likely to come from students investigating organisational, managerial, or strategic practices. Participants are expected to explain and discuss their own research project(s) in the group. The sessions are interactive and will encourage feedback, with delegates having an opportunity to pursue those areas that are of particular relevance to them. The overall intention of the workshop is to explore the utility of extant research methods, theoretical lenses and empirical considerations when adopting research practice perspectives.