The purpose of this paper is to explore how participation can be investigated as an open and non‐exclusive sociomaterial practice.
Framed by translation discourse and a view of the social world as a sociology of associations, participation in organisations is conceptualised as a network building practice. Actor‐network theory (ANT) is used as an analytical method to describe the character of everyday constructions of participation practice related to changes in curriculum and its delivery in an Australian independent school.
It was found that participation was performed as an uncertain practice. People in relation with technology and other material entities, co‐constructed and re‐constructed multiple participation practices.
For researchers, an ANT account of constructing participation practices provides an additional analytical tool for investigating participation in terms of relationality. The idea of constructing participation as networked practice provides practitioners with a reflective tool for detecting and enabling multiple (and sometimes inconsistent) participation practices.
Compared to participation research approaches that predetermine and predict variables of relevance, this paper is concerned with the everyday management of participation as an uncertain sociomaterial practice. In pursuing a critical line of inquiry, managerialist informed notions of planning, organising and coordinating are not debunked form relevance. Rather, it is proposed that translation and managerial discourses are co‐implicated in complex investigations of participation practice.
Perillo, S. (2008), "Constructing participation practice: an ANT account", Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 215-230. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465640810920296Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited