The purpose of this study is to enhance and further an understanding of business to business (B2B) contexts in relation to sensemaking “translations” between “performing” and “representing” of meanings that evolve within an interacting duality. The implications for research are outlined and a need for a corresponding duality in research methods is emphasised.
This is a conceptual paper exploring some of the main implications for indistrial marketing & purchasing group (IMP) and other B2B research of abandoning Cartesian privileging of generalised cognitive ideas over embodied activities in context.
Dualities of general structures and contextual practices are mutually constituted by performing and representing translations. They are described as “chiasmic” or “polyphonic” and regarded as polyvalent, dynamic and non-linear. Embodied contextual activities are described as of equal importance to de-contextual cognitive structures in meaning-making.
Practical actors within business networks are encouraged to continue relying upon practical improvisational coping skills that enable them to be effective, embodied “bricoleurs” within complex, often unpredictable and regularly unmanageable, eventful B2B contexts.
A post-Cartesian focus upon ideas and activities, structure and agency as dynamically evolving multiple dualities promotes an appreciation that contextual practices and decontextualised structures are mutually constituted; supporting a practical and pragmatic turn towards polyvalent and ephemeral, contextualised solutions to a diverse multiplicity of problems and issues. A post-Cartesian focus upon ideas and activities, and structure and agency as dynamically evolving multiple dualities promotes an appreciation that contextual practices and decontextualised structures are mutually constituted and a practical and pragmatic “turn” towards polyvalent and ephemeral, contextualised solutions to diverse problems and issues involving business relationships and interaction.
Lowe, S. (2020), "Relationships and networks as a chiasmic mirroring of ideas/images translated in context through ritual embodied activities", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-05-2019-0174Download as .RIS
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