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A deeper understanding of evolution of the role of the object in organizational process: The concept of “mediation object”

Anthony Hussenot (Research Laboratory CNRS‐DRM, Université Paris‐Dauphine, Paris, France)
Stéphanie Missonier (Research Laboratory GREDEG – CNRS, University of Nice Sophia‐Antipolis, Nice, France)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 25 May 2010

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the different roles and natures of objects in organizational process. Furthermore, the concept of the mediation object is developed to understand how the objects help to structure interactions and collective activities over time.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs data from a case study (the Pupitre Virtuel) in order to highlight and illustrate the relevance of a process analysis of the roles and natures of objects.

Findings

The paper demonstrates that the roles and natures of objects evolve over time through controversies and compromises. On one hand, the evolution of interactions drives the evolution of the roles and natures of objects. On the other, the evolution of objects help the actors to structure their interactions and activities.

Originality/value

The paper argues that, rather than a static analysis, human‐object interaction needs to be understood and observed through a process analysis, taking into account the evolution of objects and interactions. This paper shows that mediation objects can play three roles – as carriers of controversies, of compromises, and of prescriptions – and that it can appear in one of three aspects – interpretable, modifiable, and non‐interpretable/non‐modifiable.

Keywords

Citation

Hussenot, A. and Missonier, S. (2010), "A deeper understanding of evolution of the role of the object in organizational process: The concept of “mediation object”", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 269-286. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811011049608

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited