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Book part

Daniel Semper

In this chapter, the author draws on a historical case study of the Australian wine industry to explore variations in collective agency. The inductively derived process…

Abstract

In this chapter, the author draws on a historical case study of the Australian wine industry to explore variations in collective agency. The inductively derived process model illustrates the emergence of a new profession of scientific winemaking, which unfolds in three phases. Each phase is characterized by a distinct form of agency: distributed agency during the earliest phase, coordinated agency during later phases, and orchestrated agency during consolidation. In addition to exploring the temporal shifts in agency, the study includes a detailed analysis of the early stages of distributed agency, examining how collective agency is achieved in the absence of shared intentions.

Details

Agents, Actors, Actorhood: Institutional Perspectives on the Nature of Agency, Action, and Authority
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-081-9

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Henna Syrjälä and Anu Norrgrann

Purpose: This chapter examines two rather extreme examples of non-human entities in home assemblage, interior objects, and companion animals, and how their agency appears

Abstract

Purpose: This chapter examines two rather extreme examples of non-human entities in home assemblage, interior objects, and companion animals, and how their agency appears distributed with human consumers in assembling home. The authors aim at drawing conceptual contrasts and overlappings in how agency expresses itself in these categories of living and non-living entities, highlighting the multifaceted manifestations of object agency.

Methodology/Approach: This chapter employs multiple sets of ethnographically inspired data, ranging from ethnographic interviews and an autoethnographic diary to three types of (auto-)netnographic data.

Findings: The findings showcase oscillation of agency between these three analytic categories (human, non-human living, and non-human non-living), focusing on how it is distributed between two of the entities at a time, within the heterogeneous assemblage of home. Furthermore, the findings show instances in which agency emerges as shared between all three entities.

Originality/Value: The contribution of this chapter comes from advancing existing discussion on object agency toward the focus on distributed and shared agency. The research adds to the prevailing discussion by exhibiting how agency oscillates between different types of interacting entities in the assemblage, and in particular, how the two types of non-human entities are agentic. The research demonstrates the variability and interwovenness of non-human and human, living and non-living agency as they appear intertwined in home assemblage.

Details

Consumer Culture Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-285-3

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Article

Anne Edwards

This article focuses on the conditions that are conducive to effective work on reducing children's vulnerability to social exclusion. It draws on three studies of…

Abstract

This article focuses on the conditions that are conducive to effective work on reducing children's vulnerability to social exclusion. It draws on three studies of practitioners who are collaborating to prevent the social exclusion of children and young people. Two ideas are discussed: distributed expertise and relational agency. Distributed expertise recognises that expertise is distributed across local systems and that practitioners need to become adept at recognising, drawing on and contributing to it. Relational agency offers a finer‐grained analysis of what is involved in working in systems of distributed expertise. Findings include the need for professionals to develop relational agency as an extra layer of expertise alongside their core professional expertise and a concern that interprofessional work may result in seeing clients as tasks to be worked on rather than people to be worked with relationally. Implications for training and professional development are outlined.

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Journal of Children's Services, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Book part

Michael Power

The notion, technologies and organizational elaboration of traceability have become more prominent and more systematic in recent years in many different fields, notably…

Abstract

The notion, technologies and organizational elaboration of traceability have become more prominent and more systematic in recent years in many different fields, notably food. This chapter argues that traceability has many faces: it is a programmatic value embedded in norms and regulations; it is a frontier of technology development such as blockchain, and it is a continuous processual and political dynamic of organizational connectedness, leading also to resistance. These different aspects make up “traceability infrastructures,” which embody a number of tensions and dynamics. Three such dynamics are explored in this chapter: the tension between organizational entities and meta-entities, problems of agency and the distribution of responsibility, and dialectics of connectivity and disconnectivity. These three dynamics generate three testable propositions, which define a prolegomena for a new subject of “traceability studies.” Overall, traceability is argued to be an ongoing process of connecting discrete agencies – a process of “chainmaking” – and is formative of more or less stable forms of distributed agency and responsibility.

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Article

Demosthenes Akoumianakis and George Ktistakis

Online calendar services (OCS) are primarily used for temporal orientation and reminding. Nonetheless, calendar work may also entail generic activities such as scheduling…

Abstract

Purpose

Online calendar services (OCS) are primarily used for temporal orientation and reminding. Nonetheless, calendar work may also entail generic activities such as scheduling, tracking, archive and recall and retrieval which are not adequately supported by available systems. The purpose of the paper is to explore how online calendaring may be re-configured and re-aligned to alleviate these shortcomings, thus servicing accountability in team work and flexibility in organizational routines.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a design science research methodology, the authors review “justifiable failures” or deliberate non-use of OCS and establish the rationale for, design and evaluate a digital service that configures calendaring as an ecology of separate digital materials supporting file-, photo- and video-sharing services, online argumentation, project/task management and social bookmarking. The new service is a digital composite of materials that incrementally co-adapt and co-evolve to serve primary and secondary work-oriented activities. The authors assess the value of the digital composite in two empirical settings and discuss intrinsic features that create new possibilities for action.

Findings

The authors present the rationale, design, implementation and evaluation of a new digital composite calendaring service which is deployed in two empirical settings, namely group vacation planning and collective information management. Each case features different re-configurations of calendaring to serve human intentions. In vacation planning, the digital composite of the calendar operates as a mashup allowing peers to negotiate, schedule and track vacation options and archive, recall or retrieve digital memories of vacations. In the case of collective information management, the digital composite is further augmented so as to re-align performative and ostensive aspects of routines in a regional organic farming partnership.

Practical implications

Digital composites rely on the interdependent operation of different bounded systems and services to establish configured ecologies of (previously) separate digital artifacts. The practical implications of digital composites are that they can appropriate performative capacities which are already established and embedded across different settings. As a result, they enact complex digital assemblages which can re-align not only daily activities but also organizational routines. On the other hand, digital composites remain in flux, since their state, at any moment in time, is partly determined (even temporarily) by the state of their constituent parts.

Originality/value

Calendaring as presented in this paper defines a genre of digital artifacts that promote flexible and accountable collaborative work while exploiting material agency and resources distributed across digital settings. As such, it establishes a kind of meta-material that invokes collective social agency, thus re-aligning performative and ostensive aspects of organizational routines.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article

Raymond Caldwell and Coral Dyer

This article positions actor–-network theory (ANT) as a practice perspective and deploys it to explore the performative practices of internal consultancy teams as they…

Abstract

Purpose

This article positions actor–-network theory (ANT) as a practice perspective and deploys it to explore the performative practices of internal consultancy teams as they implemented major programmatic change projects within a global telecommunication company. The change process required the creation of a “change network” that emerged as a boundary spanning and organising network as the consultants sought to implement and translate a highly structured change methodology and introduce new meta-routines within the organisation.

Design/methodology/approach

By combining the methodological datum of ANT to “follow the actors” (whatever form they take) with the guiding principle of practice theory to focus on practices rather than practitioners, the research explored the in-between temporal spaces of performative practices as they unfolded in relation to standardised routines, material artefacts and the tools and techniques of a systematic change methodology. By a method of “zooming out” and “zooming in” the research examined both the larger context of action and practice in which the change network emerged and the consultants' performative practices; but without falling into static macro–micro dualism, or a purely ethnographic “thick description” of practice. The research is based on interviews (25), participant observation and a review of the extensive documentation of the change methodology.

Findings

The findings indicate both how consultants' performative practices are embedded in the social and material arrangements of a change network, and why the intentional, expert or routine enactment of a highly standardised change methodology into practice is intrinsically problematic. Ultimately, the consultants could not rely on knowledge as a fixed, routine or pre-given empirical entity that predefined their actions. Instead, the consultants' performative practices unfolded in temporal spaces of in-betweenness as their actions and practices navigated shifting and multiple boundaries while confronting disparate and often irreconcilable ideas, choices and competing interests.

Research limitations/implications

As an ANT practice perspective, the research blends mixed methods in an illustrative case study, so its findings are contextual, although the methodological rationale may be applicable to other contexts of practice.

Originality/value

The theoretical framing of the research contributes to repositioning ANT as practice theory perspective on change with a central focus on performative practice. The illustrative case demonstrates how a boundary spanning “change network” emerged and how it partly defined the temporal spaces of in-betweenness in which the consultants operated.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article

Ash Watson and Deborah Lupton

The purpose of this paper is to report on the findings from the Digital Privacy Story Completion Project, which investigated Australian participants' understandings of and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on the findings from the Digital Privacy Story Completion Project, which investigated Australian participants' understandings of and responses to digital privacy scenarios using a novel method and theoretical approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The story completion method was brought together with De Certeau's concept of tactics and more-than-human theoretical perspectives. Participants were presented with four story stems on an online platform. Each story stem introduced a fictional character confronted with a digital privacy dilemma. Participants were asked to complete the stories by typing in open text boxes, responding to the prompts “How does the character feel? What does she/he do? What happens next?”. A total of 29 participants completed the stories, resulting in a corpus of 116 narratives for a theory-driven thematic analysis.

Findings

The stories vividly demonstrate the ways in which tactics are entangled with relational connections and affective intensities. They highlight the micropolitical dimensions of human–nonhuman affordances when people are responding to third-party use of their personal information. The stories identified the tactics used and boundaries that are drawn in people's sense-making concerning how they define appropriate and inappropriate use of their data.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates the value and insights of creatively attending to personal data privacy issues in ways that decentre the autonomous tactical and agential individual and instead consider the more-than-human relationality of privacy.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR-05-2020-0174

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Article

Sanja Kutnjak Ivković

To examine the degree of homogeneity of police officers' evaluations of seriousness of police misconduct across various countries.

Abstract

Purpose

To examine the degree of homogeneity of police officers' evaluations of seriousness of police misconduct across various countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors surveyed police officers from Croatia (N=1,649), Finland (N=378), and the USA (3,235). Respondents evaluated ten scenarios describing police corruption and one scenario describing the use of excessive force by indicating how seriously they evaluated each described behavior.

Findings

Line officers' and supervisors' evaluations of seriousness of the 11 scenarios differ substantially across the three countries. The extent of disagreement varies across cases: opinions are the most heterogeneous for the least serious cases and most homogeneous for the most serious ones. By contrast, relative evaluations of seriousness – rankings of cases in each country – are quite similar across the three countries.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could analyze how perceptions of seriousness vary across police agencies' characteristics (e.g. type, geographic location, and size) and respondents' characteristics (e.g. gender, race/ethnicity, age, or education), as well as forms of police misconduct (e.g. perjury, and racial profiling).

Practical implications

Heterogeneity of evaluations of seriousness across the three countries suggests that country‐ and/or agency‐wide environments play a key role in the police officers' views about seriousness of misconduct. Consequently, by controlling agency‐related factors, police administrators may influence the level of seriousness with which police officers view police corruption.

Originality/value

This paper shows that a larger environment plays a crucial role in forming police officers' perceptions of seriousness of police misconduct. The findings also imply that there is shared hierarchy of seriousness of various cases of police misconduct across police officers from three diverse countries.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Abstract

Details

Agents, Actors, Actorhood: Institutional Perspectives on the Nature of Agency, Action, and Authority
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-081-9

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Article

Carlos A. Diaz Ruiz, Lisa Penaloza and Jonas Holmqvist

This paper aims to investigate the dynamics of ephemerality within consumer tribes by conceptualizing how tribes constitute, disperse and reconstitute. Building upon…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the dynamics of ephemerality within consumer tribes by conceptualizing how tribes constitute, disperse and reconstitute. Building upon assemblage thinking, a philosophical approach that redistributes agency from the subject to a web of interconnected human–material actants, this paper shows that tribes manifest via hybrid assemblages of people, things and ideas.

Design/methodology/approach

Insights are drawn from a three-year assemblage-oriented ethnographic study of a salsa-dancing tribe, specifically their ephemeral gatherings across multiple sites without hierarchical organization. Methods include observations as a consumer–participant, producer–participant and in-depth interviewing.

Findings

Introduces a framework documenting how tribes disperse temporarily and reconstitute via a dual process of ascription and distribution. Tribes reconstitute when consumers reproduce an assemblage that effectively overcomes a meshwork of practical challenges. Consumers ascribe to the standards of the tribe while, alternatively, tribes distribute the assemblage beyond the immediate group.

Research limitations/implications

Conceptualizes the socio-technical dynamics that tribes mobilize to disassemble and reassemble through ephemeral gatherings. Proposes a framework on hybrid interdependencies, including not only participants but also techniques, devices and sites.

Practical implications

While previous research shows that tribes can collapse, the authors propose that marketers can intervene to foster long-term resilience. As tribes disperse, consumer and marketing efforts operate at different temporal sequences to enable tribal reconstitutions.

Originality/value

Contributes to the literature on consumer tribes by theorizing ephemerality per ascription and distribution mechanisms.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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