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Sine Nørholm Just, Sara Louise Muhr and Thomas Burø

Queer scholars and activists share a central predicament with critical management studies: how to avoid the dangers of self-defeat. That is, how can one make a critical…

Abstract

Queer scholars and activists share a central predicament with critical management studies: how to avoid the dangers of self-defeat. That is, how can one make a critical difference without becoming embroiled with or turning into the powers that be? This chapter offers suggestions for how to remain critical and queer by first introducing the notion of queer posing then exploring its conditions of possibility in terms of performativity and affectivity, respectively.

Here, we encounter another seeming impasse between the epistemological voluntarism of which studies in the performative vein are sometimes accused and the charge of ontological determinism that is often levelled against affect theory. Turning from vain dichotomies to productive tensions, we propose that potential for critical performativity is inherent to affective organizing of materiality as events in relation to which action becomes possible. The concept of plasticity, we suggest, enables investigations of the simultaneously formed and formative character of being and, further, the explosive potential of critique – the shaping of corporeal events is not only confining, but also holds potential for blowing up existing configurations.

On this basis, we sketch three plastic relations of affectivity and performativity, three modes of organizing material assemblages as actionable events: invitation, intervention, and celebration. We illustrate the performative power and critical potential of these three modes of affective organizing by indicating how they give form to, are formed by, and become explosive to Sabaah, a Danish activist network and community for LGBT people with minority ethnic background.

Details

Feminists and Queer Theorists Debate the Future of Critical Management Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-498-3

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Article

Max Baker and Sven Modell

The purpose of this paper is to advance a critical realist perspective on performativity and use it to examine how novel conceptions of corporate social responsibility…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance a critical realist perspective on performativity and use it to examine how novel conceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) have performative effects.

Design/methodology/approach

To illustrate how the authors’ critical realist understanding of performativity can play out, the authors offer a field study of an Australian packaging company and engage in retroductive and retrodictive theorising.

Findings

In contrast to most prior accounting research, the authors advance a structuralist understanding of performativity that pays more systematic attention to the causal relationships that underpin performative tendencies. The authors explain how such tendencies are conditioned by pre-existing, social structures, conceptualised in terms of multiple, intersecting norm circles. The authors illustrate their argument empirically by showing how specific conceptions of CSR, centred on the notion of “shared value”, were cemented by the interplay between the causal powers embedded in such norm circles and how this suppressed alternative conceptions of this phenomenon.

Research limitations/implications

The findings draw attention to the structural boundary conditions under which particular conceptions of CSR can be expected to become performative. Greater attention to such boundary conditions, denoting the social structures that reinforce and counteract performative tendencies, is required to further cumulative, yet context-sensitive, theory development on this topic.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to adopt a critical realist perspective on performativity in the accounting literature. This perspective strikes a middle path between the highly constructivist ontology, adopted in most accounting research concerned with performativity and realist criticisms of this ontological position for de-emphasising the influence of pre-existing, objective realities on performativity.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part

Bob Jeffrey

The rise of a performativity discourse in education in England emanates from the importation of an economic ‘market’ structure for schools in order to improve the…

Abstract

The rise of a performativity discourse in education in England emanates from the importation of an economic ‘market’ structure for schools in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the outputs of learning and to increase the opportunity of choice for the ‘consumers’ of education (Ball, 1998). Institutions focus their policies and practice, on improving performance and survival to maintain and develop their market share. This is due to the competitive nature of a market structure. The performativity criterion of efficiency and effectiveness is an optimisation of the relationship between input and output (Lyotard, 1979). In the case of education this means both ensuring a favourable qualitative award from a national inspection service and raising the achievement levels of pupils in national tests to ensure a high position in published tables of educational performance. High ratings on these two performativity indicators improve a school’s attraction to parents and students in the educational market place. This results in improved resources, increasing the opportunity for the school to be more selective about the students it accepts and the quality of the teachers it employs.

Details

Investigating Educational Policy Through Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-018-0

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Article

Josie McLaren and Tony Appleyard

The purpose of this paper is to investigate accountability for farm animal welfare (FAW) in food companies. FAW is an important social issue, yet it is difficult to define…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate accountability for farm animal welfare (FAW) in food companies. FAW is an important social issue, yet it is difficult to define and measure, meaning that it is difficult for companies to demonstrate accountability. The authors investigate a proposed solution, the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), and how it has disrupted the informal rules or culture of the market. The research questions centre on the process of response to BBFAW and the necessary characteristics for BBFAW to play a performative role in the market.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper employs an analysis of published BBFAW reports (2012–2017) and case study interviews in five BBFAW firms, in order to address the research questions.

Findings

The authors present evidence of a dynamic, repetitive process, starting with recognition of the importance of FAW and BBFAW, followed by internal discussions and the commitment of resources, and changes in communication to external stakeholders. Three necessary characteristics for performativity are proposed: common language, building networks and expanding markets.

Originality/value

This paper reflects a socially important issue that is under-represented in the accounting literature. The results provide an insight into the use of external accounts to drive collaboratively the social change agenda. The performativity process and identified characteristics contribute to expanding this literature in the accounting domain.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Pia Bramming, Birgitte Gorm Hansen, Anders Bojesen and Kristian Gylling Olesen

The purpose of this paper is to explore a visual method, snaplog (snapshots and logbooks) from a performativity theory approach.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore a visual method, snaplog (snapshots and logbooks) from a performativity theory approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses empirical examples from a three‐year qualitative research project where snaplogs are used as an experimental method. The paper presents a reading of performativity theory and discusses the performativity of using visual methods in the research process.

Findings

The paper concludes that visual methods have a special ability to activate the field in a way that avoids preconceived ideas, and creates possibilities to observe the researched phenomenon and how it practices, resists and revoices the questions asked by the researchers.

Research limitations/implications

The paper explores and discusses the authors’ experiences and reflections on the positioning and scope of using snaplogs as a visual method. It does not report a systematic evaluation of its implications.

Practical implications

Snaplogs offer the researcher the possibility to activate and cooperate with the researched phenomenon.

Originality/value

The potential value of the paper is that it offers inspiration to organization researchers looking for innovative/performative research methods.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Article

Sybert Mutereko

Using a South African district of education as a case study, the purpose of this paper is to explore how high-stake assessments informed by marketisation and managerialism…

Abstract

Purpose

Using a South African district of education as a case study, the purpose of this paper is to explore how high-stake assessments informed by marketisation and managerialism have been embedded in the South African education system.

Design/methodology/approach

This papers draws on data that were collected through a mixed method approach in the secondary schools of the uMgungundlovu District, which is in Kwazulu-Natal province (KZN) in the eastern part of South Africa. This paper emerged from multiple sources of data, that is, from documents, interviews, questionnaires, and observation as well as secondary sources.

Findings

The paper demonstrates how the pincer movement of markets and managerialism have used high-stake testing as a mechanism of performativity. It illustrates how test scores are published in newspapers to provide consumers with information that is needed for full participation in the marketised education system.

Practical implications

The insights from this paper have profound implications for school managers and policy makers. While high-stake tests are logically consistent and theoretically defensible, overdependence on them portends the replacement of traditional values of schools by the market value of the education.

Originality/value

The study contributes profound insights into how the high-stake testing serves the purpose of social control and subjugation mechanisms for students, schools, and teachers by the state and the invisible arm of the markets. The problem with the use of high-stakes testing as performativity mechanisms is not just that they hinders learning and teaching, but it changes the work of schools and teachers who are at the chalkface of education system.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article

Sander Merkus, Jaap De Heer and Marcel Veenswijk

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of performative struggle through the use of an interpretative case story focussed on a strategic decision-making…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of performative struggle through the use of an interpretative case story focussed on a strategic decision-making process concerning infrastructural development. Performativity is about “world-making” (Carter et al., 2010), based on the assumption that conceptual schemes are not only prescriptions of the world, for the practices flowing from these abstract ideas bring into being the world they are describing. The focus on agency and multiplicity in the academic debate on performativity in organizational settings are combined, resulting in the conceptualization of a multitude of performative agents struggling to make the world.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodological approach of this paper is based on an interpretative analysis of contrasting narratives that are told by political-executives in a strategic decision-making process. These narratives are based on in-depth interviews and participant observation. The interpretative case story, exhibiting the strategic decision-making practices of Aldermen, Delegates and Ministers – focusses on the moments of performative struggle based on strategic narrative practices.

Findings

The interpretative case story will exhibit the way in which a multiplicity of agents reflects on the performative dimension of the decision-making process, anticipates on its performative effects and attempts to manipulate the strategic vision that is actualized into reality. Moreover, the agents are not primarily concerned with the actualization of a specific infrastructural project; they are more concerned with the consequences of decision making for their more comprehensive strategic visions on reality.

Research limitations/implications

The notion of performative struggle has not yet been explicitly studied by scholars focussing on performativity. However, the concept can be used as an appropriate lens for studying meaning making within ethnographic studies on organizational processes such as for instance culture change intervention and strategy formation. The concept of performative struggle is especially useful for understanding the political dimension of meaning making when studying an organizational life-world through the use of ethnographic research.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper lies in the innovative conceptualization of struggle between a multiplicity of reflexive agents in the debate on performative world-making. Moreover, the incorporation of the perspective of performative struggle within organizational ethnographic research is valuable for the development of organizational ethnographic methodology.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Article

Lars Nordgren

The formation and spreading of market‐, management‐ and individual‐rights discourses into society, as well as the movement of consumerism, have paved the way for a…

Abstract

Purpose

The formation and spreading of market‐, management‐ and individual‐rights discourses into society, as well as the movement of consumerism, have paved the way for a transformation of the linguistic usage. The transformation suggests that the view of the care seeker has shifted from a waiting patient, via a consumer to a customer creating value. Another example of the process is that the former medical meeting between patient/doctor now is described as a service meeting. With this background, the purpose of this paper is to explore the transformation of linguistic usage and to analyse the performativity of the service management discourse in health care.

Design/methodology/approach

The concept of performativity (Butler) supported with discursive formation and subjectivization (Foucualt) is used as theoretical framework. The performativity of the discourse is understood as a vehicle within the discourse, which influences people on an ontological level that names and makes them active subjects in line with what the discourse is saying.

Findings

When the service management discourse travels into the world of health care, discursive tensions between medical‐, care‐ and management discourses follow. These become apparent in the distinction between the different discursive constructions of patient – related to passivity, and customer – related to the performative image of active participation in value creating health. Even if the customer in service management discourse is imagined as an agent for himself with power and individual responsibility it is doubtful if people view themselves as customers. The dialectics between the use of the customer concept in commercial service meetings and the patient – doctor meeting, which is illustrated, point to unexpressed and implicit presumptions of an ontological kind in the ways service management researchers describe service meetings. Recent health care research can be interpreted as if a majority of patients have a desire to be part of their value creating processes. Since the responsibilities and tasks of the professions in health care however are regulated by law and institutionalised, the process of delegating tasks to patients seems not to be a matter of course.

Practical implications

It seems to be problematic to replace the patient concept with the customer concept in general. This concept gives hardly much room for the vulnerability that characterises a sick person. A reasonable approach would of course be to use the customer concept in a nuanced way.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that the performativity of service management theories, through the use of discursive analysis, is valuable in order to understand shifts in linguistic usage.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article

Jason Powell and Ian G. Cook

To analyse the relationship between China, patriachy, ageing, and social theory grounded in Judith Butler's notion of performativity.

Abstract

Purpose

To analyse the relationship between China, patriachy, ageing, and social theory grounded in Judith Butler's notion of performativity.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a novel theoretical framework to examine instances of patriachal identities by using China as a case study.

Findings

Performativity, we suggest, offers productive insights into the processes of subjection and the nature of power relations that may be usefully incorporated into studies of the elderly in China.

Research limitations/implications

This is a theoretical paper.

Practical implications

It raises questions to relationship of patriachy to understanding Chinese culture.

Originality/value

It is an original paper in that an application of Butler's conceptual tools have bot been applied elsewhere to examining China and ageing.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 26 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part

Kenny A. Hendrickson and Kula A. Francis

For undergraduate students completing their senior seminar research, there is value in conceiving their study as a project. Research that is project-driven allows students…

Abstract

For undergraduate students completing their senior seminar research, there is value in conceiving their study as a project. Research that is project-driven allows students to design the depth of their study with the target goal of degree completion and graduation. Fittingly, this chapter provides students with an applicable project performance strategy that works across academic disciplines and in tandem with the scientific research methodology. Along these lines, this work “connects the dots” between project performance and the student researcher’s capacity for investigative achievement. This notion of performance achievement capacity is referred to as research project performativity.

Accordingly, a blueprint for research project performativity is presented to show students a path to senior seminar success. To conclude, this chapter provides 10 useful tips to boost undergraduate student’s chances for surviving the experience of a senior seminar research.

Details

Infusing Undergraduate Research into Historically Black Colleges and Universities Curricula
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-159-0

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