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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Sue Llewelyn

The value of qualitative empirical research in the management and accounting disciplines lies in its “conceptual framing” of organizational actions, events, processes, and…

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Abstract

The value of qualitative empirical research in the management and accounting disciplines lies in its “conceptual framing” of organizational actions, events, processes, and structures. Argues that the possibilities for conceptual framing extend beyond the highly abstract schema generally considered as “theories” by academics. In support of this argument, distinguishes five different forms of theorization. Explores the relationship between these theoretical “levels” and the different issues that empirical research explores, arguing that, as the “level” of theorizing “rises”, issues of agency give way to a focus on practice and, in turn, to a concern with structure. As this happens, research aims directed towards abstraction and explanation supersede those for contextualization and understanding. Concludes that views on “what counts as theory” are, currently, too narrow to conceptualize agency, emergence and change adequately in organizational life and, hence, the full range of significant empirical phenomena that characterize the management and accounting areas are not being researched.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Heather Morris, Claire Blewitt, Amanda O'Connor and Helen Skouteris

The aim of this paper is to discuss how theories and practitioner-led theorising allow frontline workers to iteratively co-construct solutions that work in the real world.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to discuss how theories and practitioner-led theorising allow frontline workers to iteratively co-construct solutions that work in the real world.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper addresses the authors’ aim by proposing a social care theorising model

Findings

This study adopts a socio-ecological and epistemological lens when describing theorising and unpacks what this means when frontline workers adapt their practice and programs to work effectively with individuals and families. As frontline workers move towards a grand theory that determines their overarching theoretical perspectives through which they interpret their “social work” world, leadership, organisational culture and governance become crucial in supporting their use of discretion. This support is mostly manifested as supervision and coaching, and the authors argue here that a “researcher in residence” narrows the barriers to embedding research and evidence into practice. Discretion implies the choice of a practitioner to deliver program components in a way that fits the family, which may not align with rigid program protocols, and this calls in to question how to measure fidelity and compensate for adaptation. Furthermore, it highlights the limitations of some research methods and suggests that rapid data collection and analysis may be useful during this theorising process.

Originality/value

This paper conceptualises how frontline social care workers theorise in their practice, the ways these theories are shaped and suggests an option to narrow the research–practice gap.

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Journal of Children's Services, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2011

David Sarpong

The aim of this paper is to draw on the social theory of practice to show scenario thinking as an everyday practice and how the practice could be theorised at the meso‐level.

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1478

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to draw on the social theory of practice to show scenario thinking as an everyday practice and how the practice could be theorised at the meso‐level.

Design/methodology/approach

Counterfactual analysis, scenario analysis and peripheral vision are presented as the constituting methodological triad through which scenario thinking comes into representation.

Findings

Scenario thinking is a temporally emerging everyday organizational practice. By placing emphasis on the mundane and taken for granted activities that come together to form the nexus of the practice, often deep underlying structures of organizational behaviour contributing to scenario thinking can be theorised.

Research limitations/implications

The practice conceptualisation of scenario thinking inverts and challenges existing management and practitioners' conventional understanding of the practice as an episodic phenomenon in waiting to be facilitated by an expert with specific end points and conformity.

Practical implications

Foresight practitioners and researchers can use this as an analytical starting point for the study and theorising of scenario thinking in self organized groups.

Originality/value

The paper provides a new angle of vision to extend understanding of the development and theorising of scenario thinking in autonomous working groups.

Details

Foresight, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2011

Aileen Lawless, Sally Sambrook, Tom Garavan and Claire Valentin

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how a discourse approach to theorising human resource development (HRD) can open a “discursive space” to challenge dominant…

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1777

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how a discourse approach to theorising human resource development (HRD) can open a “discursive space” to challenge dominant discourses within the field; enabling a more critical discourse to emerge.

Design/methodology/approach

Discusses two approaches to discourse analysis, a “practice” and a “critical” approach, and illuminates how both approaches can contribute to theorising HRD.

Findings

The notion of what constitutes HRD is being constantly renegotiated both in theory and in practice. While contemporary HRD discourses are many and there is fluidity in the field a dominant discourse can be identified. The authors argue that a focus on the discourses which construct and constitute HRD need to consider both the “practice” and “the order of discourse” enabling the emergence of alternative discourses within the field.

Research limitations/implications

Due to word restrictions an empirical example has not been included. However, future work will address this limitation.

Practical implications

The two approaches to discourse analysis discussed provide a useful framework; enabling an analysis of the dominant and competing discourses within the field of HRD.

Originality/value

Discourse analysis is rarely discussed in business settings despite the evidence that applied discourse analysis focuses on questions that are of relevance to the field. This paper contributes to a perceived gap and demonstrates how discourse analysis can contribute to researching alternative notions of HRD in order to encourage a variety of conceptual developments.

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Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2020

Yuxiang Chris Zhao, Yan Zhang, Jian Tang and Shijie Song

In the domain of information science, affordance is a relatively new concept that deserves further exploration. It may serve as a bridge to narrow the research-practice

Abstract

Purpose

In the domain of information science, affordance is a relatively new concept that deserves further exploration. It may serve as a bridge to narrow the research-practice gap that has persisted in information studies. Building upon previous research, we call for a broader concept of affordance that would help researchers understand information practices from an ecological perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The study focuses on conceptualizing affordances for information practices in order to theorize engagement among people, technology, and sociocultural environments. We develop a hierarchical model and a component model to illustrate how key tenets of affordances can be linked with the decomposition of activities and its mechanism. Following this, we describe an illustrative case of a popular Chinese cloud-based music platform to demonstrate the utility of our conceptual frameworks in guiding studies of information practices.

Findings

The study proposes to shift the focus of technology affordances, which highlights the features and functions of particular technologies, to the affordances for practices that are enacted through technology and social construction within a sociocultural environment. The illustrative case of the cloud-based music platform shows that the proposed models can provide a structured view of operations, actions and motives for music information practices. The processes of internalization and externalization offer insight into the decomposition of information practice as a chain of activity-action-operation.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on theorizing engagement among people, technology and sociocultural environments through the theoretical lens of affordances and sheds new light on the challenges of information practice.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 77 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Eystein Gullbekk

The purpose of this paper is to explore the aptness of “information literacy”, conceptualized as a socially contextualized phenomenon, for analyses of interdisciplinary…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the aptness of “information literacy”, conceptualized as a socially contextualized phenomenon, for analyses of interdisciplinary scholarly communication.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a conceptual analysis. Two influential representatives of the social turn in the information literacy literature are taken as starting points: Annemaree Lloyd’s conceptualization of “information literacy practice”, and Jack Andersen’s conceptualization of information literacy as “genre knowledge”. Their positioning of information literacy as a socially contextualized phenomenon – by use of practice theories and rhetorical genre theory, respectively, – is analysed against an illustrative example of interdisciplinary scholarly communication.

Findings

Conceptualizations by Lloyd and Andersen explain information literacy as socially contextualized in terms of stable norms and understandings shared in social communities. Their concepts have the potential of explaining changes and innovations in social practices including scholarly communication. If we combine genre-theoretical and practice-theoretical concepts – and accentuate the open-endedness of social practices and of genres – we can enhance the understanding of information literacy in settings of interdisciplinary scholarly communication where the actors involved lack shared conventions and assumptions.

Originality/value

The paper suggests that the fluid features of social contexts should be accounted for in the information literacy literature. By combining genre-theoretical and practice-theoretical concepts in a novel way it offers such an account. It provides a useful framework for understanding the phenomenon of information literacy in interdisciplinary scholarly communication.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2020

Hans-Jürgen Bruns, Mark Christensen and Alan Pilkington

The article's aim is to refine prospects for theorising in public sector accounting (PSA) research in order to capture the methodological benefits promised by its…

Abstract

Purpose

The article's aim is to refine prospects for theorising in public sector accounting (PSA) research in order to capture the methodological benefits promised by its multi-disciplinarity.

Design/methodology/approach

The study primarily employs a bibliometric analysis of research outputs invoking New Public Management (NPM). Applying a content analysis to Hood (1991), as the most cited NPM source, bibliographic methods and citation/co-citation analysis for the period 1991 to 2018 are mobilised to identify the disciplinary evolution of the NPM knowledge base from a structural and longitudinal perspective.

Findings

The analysis exhibits disciplinary branching of NPM over time and its imprints on post-1990 PSA research. Given the discourse about origins of NPM-based accounting research, there are research domains behind the obvious that indicate disciplinary fragmentations. For instance, novelty of PSA research is found in public value accounting, continuity is evidenced by transcending contextual antecedents. Interestingly, these domains are loosely coupled. Exploring the role of disciplinary imprints designates prospects for post-NPM PSA research that acknowledges multi-disciplinarity and branching in order to deploy insularity as a building block for its inquiries.

Research limitations/implications

Criteria for assessing the limitations and credibility of an explorative inquiry are used, especially on how the proposal to develop cumulative knowledge from post-1990 PSA research can be further developed.

Practical implications

A matrix suggesting a method of ordering disciplinary references enables positioning of research inquiries within PSA research.

Originality/value

By extending common taxonomies of PSA intellectual heritages, the study proposes the ‘inquiry-heritage’ matrix as a typology that displays patterns of theorisation for positioning an inquiry within PSA disciplinary groundings.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 25 August 2021

Ana Faizi, Ali Padyab and Andreas Naess

This study aims to address the issue of practicing information security risk assessment (ISRA) on cloud solutions by studying municipalities and large organizations in Sweden.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to address the issue of practicing information security risk assessment (ISRA) on cloud solutions by studying municipalities and large organizations in Sweden.

Design/methodology/approach

Four large organizations and five municipalities that use cloud services and conduct ISRA to adhere to their information security risk management practices were studied. Data were gathered qualitatively to answer the study’s research question: How is ISRA practiced on the cloud? The Coat Hanger model was used as a theoretical lens to study and theorize the practices.

Findings

The results showed that the organizations aimed to follow the guidelines, in the form of frameworks or their own experience, to conduct ISRA; furthermore, the frameworks were altered to fit the organizations’ needs. The results further indicated that one of the main concerns with the cloud ISRA was the absence of a culture that integrates risk management. Finally, the findings also stressed the importance of a good understanding and a well-written legal contract between the cloud providers and the organizations using the cloud services.

Originality/value

As opposed to the previous research, which was more inclined to try out and evaluate various cloud ISRA, the study provides insights into the practice of cloud ISRA experienced by the organizations. This study represents the first attempt to investigate cloud ISRA that organizations practice in managing their information security.

Details

Information & Computer Security, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4961

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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2020

Beata Segercrantz, Annamari Tuori and Charlotta Niemistö

Drawing on a performative ontology, this article extends the literature on health promotion in organizations by exploring how health promotion is performed in care work…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on a performative ontology, this article extends the literature on health promotion in organizations by exploring how health promotion is performed in care work. The focus of the study is on health promotion in a context of illness and/or decline, which form the core of the studied organizational activities. The paper addresses the following question: how do care workers working in elderly care and mental health care organizations accomplish health promotion in the context of illness and/or decline?

Design/methodology/approach

The article develops a performative approach and analyses material-discursive practices in health promoting care work. The empirical material includes 36 semi-structured interviews with care workers, observations and organizational documents.

Findings

Two central material-discursive health promoting practices in care work are identified: confirming that celebrates service users as residents and the organizations as a home, and balancing at the limits of health promotion. The practices of balancing make the limitations of health promotion discernible and involve reconciling health promotion with that which does not neatly fit into it (illness, unachievable care aims, the institution and certain organizing). In sum, the study shows how health promotion can structure processes in care homes where illness and decline often are particularly palpable.

Originality/value

The paper explores health promotion in a context rarely explored in organization studies. Previous organization studies have to some extent explored health promotion and care work, but typically separately. Further, the few studies that have adopted a performative approach to material-discursive practices in the context of care work have typically primarily focused on IT. We extend previous organization studies literature by producing new insights: (1) from an important organizational context of health promotion and (2) of under-researched entanglements of human and non-human actors in care work providing a performative theory of reconciling organizational tensions.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Book part
Publication date: 25 April 2014

Paul Hodge, Sarah Wright and Fee Mozeley

How might deeply embodied student experiences and nonhuman agency change the way we think about learning theory? Pushing the conceptual boundaries of practice-based…

Abstract

How might deeply embodied student experiences and nonhuman agency change the way we think about learning theory? Pushing the conceptual boundaries of practice-based learning and communities of practice, this chapter draws on student experiential fieldwork ‘on Country’ with Indigenous people in the Northern Territory (NT), Australia, to explore the peculiar silence when it comes to more-than-human 1 features of situated learning models. As students engage with, and learn from, Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies, they become open to the ways their learning is co-produced in and with place. The chapter builds a case for an inclusive conceptualisation of communities of practice, one that takes seriously the material performativity of nonhuman actors – rock art, animals, plants and emotions in the ‘situatedness’ of socio-cultural contexts. As a co-participant in the students’ community of practice, the more-than-human forms part of the process of identity formation and actively helps students learn. To shed light on the student experiences we employ Leximancer, a software tool that provides visual representations of the qualitative data drawn from focus groups with students and field diaries.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research II
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-823-5

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