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Article
Publication date: 26 January 2010

Pedro S. Hurtado

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the elucidation of key concepts in the new field of strategy‐as‐practice, in order to clarify the proper object of

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the elucidation of key concepts in the new field of strategy‐as‐practice, in order to clarify the proper object of inquiry/unit of analysis. It does so by evaluating the degree of incorporation of Pierre Bourdieu'stheory of practice” in the literature. Bourdieu is one of the pioneers of the “practice turn” in sociology.

Design/methodology/approach

A summary and graphical framework of the key concepts of Bourdieu'stheory of practice” are developed. A small “theoretical sample” (in the sense used in “grounded theory” methodology) of representative authors and articles in the new field of strategy‐as‐practice is analyzed vis‐à‐vis the developed framework to probe and evaluate the degree of inclusion of Bourdieu's key concepts in the literature.

Findings

The incorporation of Bourdieu's key concepts is very limited and sometimes misinterpreted. His concept of “habitus” is generally cited, but its collective implications are not emphasized and neither is its connection to social structures and power. There is significant debate around the proper unit of analysis for the new field of strategy‐as‐practice, as well as issues of the relation between micro and macro approaches to strategy.

Originality/value

The paper opens up new conceptual possibilities for the understanding and possible application of Bourdieu'stheory of practice.”

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2011

Bertrand Malsch, Yves Gendron and Frédérique Grazzini

Accounting researchers have frequently borrowed theories and methods from other disciplines. A noteworthy importation movement in recent decades involves the work of

Abstract

Purpose

Accounting researchers have frequently borrowed theories and methods from other disciplines. A noteworthy importation movement in recent decades involves the work of French intellectuals and philosophers, not least Pierre Bourdieu. This paper aims to contribute to the sociology of the accounting discipline by examining how Bourdieu's works have been translated into the domain of accounting research.

Design/methodology/approach

The investigation is articulated through three modes of analysis. First, it evaluates Bourdieu's recognition in the domain of accounting research, through an examination of the extent to which Bourdieu's writings are cited in accounting articles. Focusing on accounting articles which rely significantly on Bourdieu's thought, the paper then examines which of his publications have been mobilized, and how researchers have articulated his ideas in studying accounting phenomena. The third line of inquiry addresses the extent to which accounting researchers have used Bourdieu's core concepts holistically, that is to say in mobilizing simultaneously the concepts of field, capital and habitus.

Findings

Several of the studies which rely significantly on Bourdieu have employed his work holistically, while others have not. Moreover, about half of the studies reviewed in the paper are characterized by a gap between Bourdieu's view of academic research as a support to political and social causes debated in the public arena versus a more dispassionate approach to research. While it is difficult to be conclusive about the implications of these translational gaps, they nonetheless make one aware of some central epistemological issues: Should accounting researchers be more concerned about bringing “the achievements of science and scholarship into public debate”? What are the pros and cons of drawing upon ideas from politically‐engaged intellectuals in order to conduct research characterized by political dispassion? Does it make sense to use certain concepts excerpted from a comprehensive system of thought in a piecemeal way?

Originality/value

The paper mobilizes and develops the notion of translation in investigating an interdisciplinary movement.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 7 July 2004

Elżbieta Hałas

The decisive antidualism in Bourdieu’s thought permits searching for the complementary traits of his theory of symbolic social system and symbolic interactionism, rather…

Abstract

The decisive antidualism in Bourdieu’s thought permits searching for the complementary traits of his theory of symbolic social system and symbolic interactionism, rather than opposition. The theory of the symbolic social system, which is characterized by the double structure of meanings in the order of social relations and its symbolic representation in the narrower sense, has many convergent points of view with the symbolic interactionists’ perspective, starting with the category of habitus. Conceptual frameworks of structuralist constructivism and symbolic interactionism have one major difference – in Bourdieu’s theory the individual self is not inscribed. There are, however, strong common premises in terms of epistemology, theory of meaning and social ontology. Both epistemologies are antidualistic and relativistic (antiessentialism). Both approaches are based on a common theory of the social origin of meaning (anticognitivism). Both social ontologies are constructivist (social construction of reality). However, Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic struggle for control over the commonsense world-view introduces a new, political dimension to interpretive sociology.

Details

Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-261-0

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Article
Publication date: 30 December 2019

Adriana van Hilten

The purpose of this paper is to introduce Bourdieu’s social theory, and its “thinking tools” of habitus, doxa, field and capital, as a sensemaking theory.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce Bourdieu’s social theory, and its “thinking tools” of habitus, doxa, field and capital, as a sensemaking theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The emic research studied, for a particular group, the firm-wide implementation of a new system. The study used data occurring naturally in the organization (executive newsletters), and externally (third-party surveys), as well as 23 participant interviews to structure the social space (field) and determine what is of interest (identity). Interviews were coded for habitus, doxa, field, capital, symbolic violence and strategies to re-assert interviewees’ own doxa versus logic imposed by the powerful.

Findings

A unique, esteemed identity was being erased through executive attempts to introduce a new culture at the firm, and the new systems represented a challenge to this valued identity. Participants used strategies to re-assert their identity through not participating in the logic of the new tool: discussing misuse, lack of use, relative unimportance and low priority of the new tool.

Practical implications

Change that threatens an esteemed, valued identity is more likely to be resisted. The logic of an established practice or system (beyond merely gathering user requirements) is beneficial in understanding potential reactions to a new system. Change in systems that occur simultaneously with the imposition of a new culture, particularly where the system is seen as being a representation of that imposed culture, may be resisted through non-practice (misuse or lack of use) of the new system.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the applicability of Bourdieu’s social theory to organizational studies, providing a sensemaking of change and acts of resistance.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2019

Khaled Hutaibat

The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a field study, investigating accounting, strategising and accounting for strategic management and power structures…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a field study, investigating accounting, strategising and accounting for strategic management and power structures in the Jordanian higher education (HE) sector on the basis of Bourdieu’s theory of practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts an interpretive stance, seeking to investigate the perceptions of actors in the field, with regard to accounting, strategising and accounting for strategic management in HE. The adopted methodology is adapted grounded theory, as this study assumes a prior theoretical stance of Bourdieu’s theoretical concepts. Data were collected through participant observation in meetings, at the workplace, interviews and documentation.

Findings

The main findings of this paper reflect how strategising and accounting in practice manifest themselves in the Jordanian HE sector. Bourdieu’s theory of practice sets the meta-theoretical context of the current study, with field setting the scene, and habitus being represented in the strategising mind-set participants adopt. The mind-set determines how strategic management accounting is perceived and dealt with. Strategic management accounting takes place at varying degrees. The power structures that influence and determine strategising and accounting in support thereof are researched on the basis of Bourdieu’s forms of capital. Different forms of capital matter in the HE sector determined by fields’ doxa.

Research limitations/implications

The researcher is a part of the field, the Jordanian HE sector; thus, their habitus has been exposed to its characteristics and features. Thus, certain internalised structures and experiences needed to be challenged for this analysis, which was not an easy task.

Originality/value

This study investigates accounting, strategic management and power structures in HE, and it highlights the different power structures, using Bourdieu’s forms of capital, which offers a great insight into how different cultures approach similar issues.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 17 September 2019

Kerstin Rego and Thomas Steger

The purpose of this paper is to enhance Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice for the analysis of power in multinational corporations. Therefore, they adopt and apply the Theory of

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enhance Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice for the analysis of power in multinational corporations. Therefore, they adopt and apply the Theory of Practice on power struggles within the board as the key field of power within the multinational company (MNC), which is interwoven with power struggles at the intraorganizational and interorganizational level of an MNC and its environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes the main elements of Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice and demonstrates their applicability to power struggles in MNCs, particularly through the development of a multi-level framework. This argument is illustrated by the case of a large German MNC’s supervisory board.

Findings

Extending Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice to the analysis of power in MNCs provides several advantages. Above all, we show the relevance of the board as the key field of power within MNCs that influences and is influenced by power constellations and power struggles throughout the MNC and its environment. Thereby, a more differentiated picture of (key) actors involved in power struggles in MNCs, and a deeper comprehension of the very nature of power in MNCs is achieved.

Research limitations/implications

Placing the supervisory board at the center implies that our framework is relevant to the study of not only power in MNCs but also boards. In addition, the authors arrive at practical implications for organizational actors and politics. As they concentrate on the presentation and illustration of the conceptual framework, the discussion of its methodological applicability options, as well as the integration of the various, detailed empirical findings of the previous MNC literature remain limited.

Originality/value

In contrast to earlier studies, this paper introduces a theoretical perspective that is not limited to either the micro-, meso- or macro-level of organizational analysis, but includes them and balances aspects of structure and agency well. The value of this fresh perspective on power in MNCs and its capability to deal with the complexity of this specific type of organization is demonstrated.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Sarah Lake, Trudy Rudge and Sandra West

The purpose of this paper is to consider how meaning may be made of nursing practices by contrasting the rationalistic approach commonly used in the nursing literature…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider how meaning may be made of nursing practices by contrasting the rationalistic approach commonly used in the nursing literature with Bourdieu’s theory of practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The data under consideration is an account of ten to 15 minutes of a larger ethnographic study of nursing practices which asks the question: how do nurses accomplish nursing within and between patients’ needs for care in the acute hospital setting? The five main sources of data were: observations of and conversations with nurse participants, as well as hospital documentation (including facility protocols and patients’ notes) and the observer’s field diary. These were woven together to provide an account of one nurse with one patient for a few moments of her day.

Findings

Although this paper makes no attempt to speak to the rest of her workload, in these few minutes the nurse accomplishes multiple moments of nursing practice. Further, while the rationalistic approach presents the nurse as a highly skilled practitioner, Bourdieu’s theory of practice not only illuminates the nurse’s role as pivotal in the acute hospital setting but is also able to address the dialectical nature of the relationship between nurses’ practices and the dynamics of the context.

Originality/value

The use of Bourdieu’s theory of practice makes possible the study of how nurses nurse “within and between” to illuminate the everyday practices of nurses.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2020

Larissa von Alberti-Alhtaybat, Zaidoon Alhatabat and Khaldoon Al-Htaybat

The current study aims to investigate the development of the sustainability habitus in the Arab Middle East (ME) based on the pioneer case organisation, Aramex, which has…

Abstract

Purpose

The current study aims to investigate the development of the sustainability habitus in the Arab Middle East (ME) based on the pioneer case organisation, Aramex, which has been the pioneer of sustainability practices and reporting. The context of the Arab region, as well as the global logistics sector, has significantly influenced the development of sustainable development at Aramex, as illustrated by their sustainability and integrated reports.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach of the current study is qualitative on the basis of open and selective coding techniques. The case organisation’s annual sustainability and integrated reports and additional relevant publicised information are analysed. Using publicised information from different sources increases triangulation and allows for more reliable findings. The theoretical context is Bourdieu’s habitus and field, which also reflects the interplay between habitus and field, and how Aramex’s sustainability practices and reports are being constructed.

Findings

The findings reflect Aramex’s sustainability practices and related reporting, subsumed in its organisational sustainability habitus. They span the sustainability reporting endeavours of the case organisation, commencing with the first sustainability report in 2006 until the most recent annual integrated report in 2018. Aramex is the precursor of sustainability and integrated reporting (IR) in the ME and is a significant contributor to developing a sustainability habitus in the region. The findings outline various elements of their reports as evidence of sustainability practices and reporting in the ME and the global logistics sector and as an illustration of the developing sustainability habitus.

Originality/value

This study reviews the original case of Aramex and its sustainability and IR practices. It also discusses the company’s practices and reporting details with regard to its organisational sustainability habitus and interplay with the local, Arab World and global, logistics sector, fields.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Andrew Goddard

This paper is the first of several emanating from a study of the relationship between accounting, governance and accountability in local government in the UK. A grounded…

Abstract

This paper is the first of several emanating from a study of the relationship between accounting, governance and accountability in local government in the UK. A grounded theory methodology was used to discover participants' perceptions of these phenomena in four UK local government organisations. The budget system was found to be the most important organizational process with respect to accountability and this paper focuses on the core relationship discovered between budgetary practices and accountability perceptions. The way in which accountability was perceived and the budgetary practices were quite distinct in each of the four case studies. A grounded theory of this relationship is developed from the case studies to explain these differences. Bourdieu's concept of habitus is used to further develop this grounded theory and to suggest a more formal theory.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 February 2021

Chaturika Priyadarshani Seneviratne and Ashan Lester Martino

The present study aims to explore how various doings, strategic actions and power relations stemming from internal agents are instrumental in (re)constituting the…

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to explore how various doings, strategic actions and power relations stemming from internal agents are instrumental in (re)constituting the different forms and meanings of budgeting in a specific field.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a single-case study method based on a Sri Lankan public university. Data are collected using interviews, documentary evidence and observations.

Findings

The empirical evidence suggested that internal agents are crucial, and they are the producers of budgetary practice as they possess practical knowledge and power relations in the field where they operate. The case data demonstrate that organisational agents do have real essence as active and acting to produce effects in budgeting practices, and the significance of exploring the singularity of multiple agents in terms of their viewpoints, trajectories, dispositions and power relations, who may form, sustain or interrupt budgetary practices in a given setting.

Research limitations/implications

As the research is directed towards the selection of in-depth enquiry of specific setting infused with culture, values, perception and ideology, it might cause to diminish the researcher's analytical objectivity and independence of the research.

Practical implications

As budgetary practices are product of human interaction, it is important to note that practitioners should be concerned with what agents do in actual practice and their inactions, influences and power relations in budgeting practices, which might not align with the structural forces enlisted in the budgeting. It would be of interest for future empirical research to explore the interplay between the diverse interests of organisational agents and agents beyond the individual organisations.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on management control practices by documenting the importance of understanding the “practice” through relational thinking of all three concepts is emphasised, such interrelated theoretical insights are seldom used to understand accounting practices. This research emphasises the importance of bringing out the microprocessual facets of management control to open up its non-conscious, non-strategic and non-rationalist forms.

Details

Asian Journal of Accounting Research, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2443-4175

Keywords

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