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This paper aims to explore the implications of applying a Bourdieusian meta-framework to business interaction and relationship building within networks. The motive is to…
This paper aims to explore the implications of applying a Bourdieusian meta-framework to business interaction and relationship building within networks. The motive is to advocate the use of Bourdieu’s work in its entirety rather than sub-optimal use of selected concepts in isolation.
The aim of this conceptual paper is to explore how a Bourdieusian framework benefits understanding of structure/agency relations as a mutually constituted duality within business networks. The concept of duality regard relationships as emergent from synergies between structure and agency made possible by the translational capacity of “habitus”. Habitus is, therefore, the main intersection, catalyst or chiasmus between structure and agency facilitating enacted, emergent properties of business relationships.
The Bourdieusian framework suggests that structures and practices are related by multiple dualities brokered by multiple knowledge forms. The main contribution that this triadic framework brings to debates on structure-agency relationships is mostly contained in the concept of “habitus”, which is identified as a translation vehicle provides critical brokerage between actors’ resource structures and activities. It is a key concept that helps us understand how structures and agentic behaviours are equally important and mutually constituting influences upon emergent properties of business interaction. For business marketing, this means that the habitus of actors’ schemas are both embodied and cognitive. Habitus acts as the main catalyst for emergent and diverse capital resources and a plural set of skills essential for effective practical activities.
The research focus of a Bourdieusian framework is upon investigating a triadic understanding of concepts of habitus, field and practice as elements of a “pan-relational” or mutually constituted amalgam facilitated by a corresponding triadic relationship between three types of knowledge; namely, “illusio”, “phrónesis” and “poíesis”.
By adopting a Bourdieusian framework, this paper can regard the practical development of durable business relationships as involving interactions that adequately co-ordinate the different habitus, sub-fields and practices of parties as shared. The implication is that the practitioner needs to be equally competent in their use of “illusio”, “phrónesis” and “poíesis” as different knowledge forms whose sum is greater than its parts.
The approach reveals that habitus emphasizes that structures are never entirely conscious and calculated schemas as they contain unconscious, embodied habits fuelled by tacit, cultural knowledge infused with symbolism, mythologies and rituals, which are communicated mostly indirectly through analogical reasoning, narrative, heuristics and embodied gestures.
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…
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's “theory of practice” in the literature. Bourdieu is one of the pioneers of the “practice turn” in sociology.
A summary and graphical framework of the key concepts of Bourdieu's “theory 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.
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.
The paper opens up new conceptual possibilities for the understanding and possible application of Bourdieu's “theory of practice.”