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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2013

Lawrence T. Corrigan and Louis Beaubien

The purpose of this paper is to develop and apply Goffman's dramaturgical perspective to the study of organizations in the context of their internet presence(s), or as…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and apply Goffman's dramaturgical perspective to the study of organizations in the context of their internet presence(s), or as Goffman might have called it, internet play-acting. The paper responds to recent criticism of dramaturgy, and advocates its continuing relevance for organizational studies on the contemporary stage – the internet.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper studies the proposed merger of three accounting bodies in Canada using data obtained from publically available sources and employing dramaturgical techniques. Data includes documents (such as position papers, PowerPoint slides and practitioner journal articles). Particular attention was paid to sources of data from the internet such as YouTube videos, web sites, on-line media stories and chat from discussion boards.

Findings

The paper concludes that the criticisms of dramaturgy are overstated, and that dramaturgy enables robust recovery of complex organizational stories providing insights into how and why individual behaviour unfolds in organizations.

Originality/value

The paper is directed to qualitative researchers working in the interpretive tradition. It engages with the recent discussion in the literature which considers the significance of dramaturgy as a useful methodology to understand the emergence of behaviour and action, and how internet activities unfold in such a powerful and ubiquitous communication medium.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Book part
Publication date: 13 January 2020

Sam Hillyard

Abstract

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Broadlands and the New Rurality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-581-8

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2017

Lawrence T. Corrigan and Daphne Rixon

Electric cooperatives may be seen as an alternative form of organizing in the shadow of investor-owned utilities. They are presumed able to meet financial challenges while…

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1037

Abstract

Purpose

Electric cooperatives may be seen as an alternative form of organizing in the shadow of investor-owned utilities. They are presumed able to meet financial challenges while simultaneously honoring cooperative principles of member-owners. This paper aims to investigate such a balancing act and conceptualize “key performance indicators” (KPIs) as a dramatic accounting discourse.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a dramaturgical approach to cooperative performance accounting, and claims that KPIs are a simplification of a complex and shifting reality which they also socially construct. Data were gathered from annual financial reports and websites of rural electric cooperatives along with semi-structured interviews conducted with senior cooperative officials.

Findings

The cooperatives in this case study reported a huge number of KPIs. However, this paper reveals that the performance indicators serve impression management goals and operational demands rather than reporting on fulfillment of the “Seven Cooperative Principles” that are fundamental to the cooperative movement.

Research limitations/implications

Extant inquiry regarding electric cooperatives tends toward a positivist research approach and a realist worldview. This overlooks dramatic and critical possibilities of KPIs as a management construction project. Expanding beyond mainstream research, this paper calls attention to artistic production of knowledge and applies a qualitative framework to problematize accounting disclosures.

Originality/value

Prior KPI research has often been instrumental, looking for predictive evidence that KPIs have strategic value as a “tool” for organizations to attain competitive advantage. This paper introduces the notion that performance measures are theatrical, and applies this to rural electric cooperatives, an industry mostly ignored in the academic literature.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2019

Benjamin W. Kelly and W. Peter Archibald

Erving Goffman has been variously interpreted as a symbolic interactionist, a structural functionalist, or an a-structural power-game theorist. However, when considering…

Abstract

Erving Goffman has been variously interpreted as a symbolic interactionist, a structural functionalist, or an a-structural power-game theorist. However, when considering Goffman’s affiliation with the human ecology (HEC) of Robert Park and Everett Hughes, one is able to shed new light on Goffman’s relationship to the aforementioned sociological paradigms. This chapter will demonstrate that his Darwinist underpinnings and overall implicit evolutionary perspective allowed him to develop a dramaturgical theory that explicates how actors are able to understand, predict, anticipate, accommodate to, and influence others while pursuing one’s own or own group’s interests, through one or more of role “taking,” “playing,” and “making.” Furthermore, Goffman elaborates upon Park’s use of dramaturgy, following him in making more room for competition and inequalities in status and power, and offering new dimensions and categories for specifying when and why different adaptive strategies will be used, within different types and degrees of accommodation. Ecological dramaturgy is the term we give to these interdependent lines of social action within stratification contexts. Such structural concerns ultimately separate Goffman from the more subjective and less deductive elements of traditional symbolic interactionist thought. We argue that Goffman’s much neglected ecological and evolutionary-minded approach to role-taking and its inspired analysis of competitive interactive processes provide a missing link in better understanding his complicated intellectual heritage.

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2020

Andrew Martin, Geoff Watson, Jan Neuman, Ivana Turčová and Lucie Kalkusová

The purpose of this paper is to examine Czech traditions of outdoor games and sports, turistika activities and education in nature programmes, which have continued to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine Czech traditions of outdoor games and sports, turistika activities and education in nature programmes, which have continued to develop during periods of oppression and provided opportunities to preserve the Czech culture.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the historical, cultural and political context of education in nature traditions in Czech was proposed.

Findings

Late 19th century organisations such as the Turistický klub and Sokol were instrumental in developing a range of indigenous turistika activities involving active movement. The early 20th century influences were the Czech scouting movement, summer camps and Woodcraft. Charles University provided the first tertiary outdoor educational programmes in Prague in the 1950s. Their foundation course “Turistika and Outdoor Sports” is still compulsory for all students studying physical education and sport. Turistika activities and outdoor sports and games continued to be developed throughout the liberalization of the socialist regime in the 1960s.

Practical implications

Following the Prague Spring in 1968, and under the guise of the Socialist Youth Union organization, new experimental forms of outdoor education emerged.

Social implications

Since the Velvet Revolution in 1989 organisations have reconnected with Czech outdoor traditions that flourished before 1948 and other organisations have developed education in nature programs. The commercial sphere, which did not exist before 1989, has now been established in the outdoor area. However, traditional participation in turistika activities has been impacted by other external motivations as a broader range of opportunities have become available and accepted, and tourism outside of Czech and Europe has become increasingly popular and accessible.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is to provide an overview of Czech political and cultural history and how it has shaped people's relationship, particularly children and youth, with the outdoors.

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 49 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2019

Eric John Darling and Stephen Jonathan Whitty

The purpose of this paper is to examine a case of sham compliance performance reporting through the lens of Goffman’s dramaturgy to reveal its dramaturgical structure. It…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine a case of sham compliance performance reporting through the lens of Goffman’s dramaturgy to reveal its dramaturgical structure. It makes a methodological contribution to comprehending “lived experience” accounts of project work, and adds knowledge concerning the behind-the-scenes motivators to sham behaviour in project work.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an ethnographic lived experience account, an aspect of project work is reconceptualised as a collection of dramaturgical scenes. These scenes disclose issues beyond the bounds of the traditional project management discourse, and increase knowledge and appreciation of sham and performative behaviour in project work.

Findings

Sham progress reporting can emerge in an environment where senior management’s ignorance of project work creates unworkable binds for project staff. Moreover, the sham behaviour succeeds at its objective because senior management are vulnerable to false impressions. This situation raises ethical issues for those involved, and creates an overhead in dealing with the reality of project work.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations to this study are due to the inherent nature of the ethnographic method, where it is difficult to recruit willing participants, particularly in terms of sham behaviour cases. This study has implications for research on sham and performativity behaviour in project work, as studies can benefit from the dramaturgical analysis and Goffmanesque scene illustration techniques that help give focus to particular aspects of social performance, and remove complexity from the narrative.

Practical implications

The research provides practitioners with a way of discussing superfluous compliance process using additional lived experience vocabulary. This could reduce the undue pressure to behave unethically, and reduce the burden to create the extra impression management work.

Originality/value

This study brings a voice to sham behaviour in project work. Continued ignorance of sham behaviour results in unnecessary work and unprofitable projects. Individuals could pay a price in terms of stress and well-being, not discussed.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 9 June 2021

William Cook, Esther Turnhout and Séverine van Bommel

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) intends to promote responsible forestry through its certification scheme. The primary engine that drives this promotion is auditing…

Abstract

Purpose

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) intends to promote responsible forestry through its certification scheme. The primary engine that drives this promotion is auditing. Audits serve a dual purpose: they make forest managers accountable for their claim of meeting the FSC standard, and they make the actions of auditors and auditee account-able, or able to be put into an account. The latter of these is rarely investigated, despite it being crucial to understanding how FSC audits are done.

Design/methodology/approach

This article examines FSC forest certification audits as practices where the FSC standards gain meaning. In-depth analysis of these practices enables insight into how different values related to forest certification and auditing are articulated and negotiated in practice, characterizing particular modes of auditing. In this paper, the authors examine the practices of FSC forest management auditors in multi-day audits in Africa and in Spain. Their materials were analyzed and coded using Goffman’s elements of dramaturgy.

Findings

The authors’ findings show that auditing practices entail a series of nested performances in which the auditors and auditees interact together and in which front stage and back stage performances constantly alternate as auditors and auditees perform for each other and simultaneously for an absent audience.

Originality/value

The authors’ analysis demonstrates how in these performances, professional values related to following auditing rules and ensuring that audits are rendered account-able in a particular way take a prominent position. This risks overshadowing the accountability of the FSC system which is ultimately grounded in its ambition to improve forest conservation and management.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2013

Michael A. Katovich

In this chapter I attempt to merge Athens’ conception of domination as a complex interactionist concept with Goffman’s notion of demeanor and deference as lynchpins of…

Abstract

In this chapter I attempt to merge Athens’ conception of domination as a complex interactionist concept with Goffman’s notion of demeanor and deference as lynchpins of dramaturgical analysis. I ground the merger in an analysis of metaphorical duel between a superordinate and subordinate in the TV show Mad Men. The examination of this metaphorical dual also implies a connection between a radical interactionism as defined by Athens and a radical dramaturgy informed by Athens’ conception of domination. In particular, I propose an examination of civil domination within institutionalized settings in which use of shared pasts and concomitant acts of demeanor and deference enhance the construction of domination between superordinates and subordinates. The fictional representation of a metaphorical duel in the television show Mad Men depicts a struggle for control in which the superordinate demands that a willful subordinate sign a contract which will bind the subordinate to a particular place for an extended period of time. The examination of events leading to signing reveals a complex weave of social acts that combines the force of domination with the artistry of demeanor and deference.

Details

Radical Interactionism on the Rise
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-785-6

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Book part
Publication date: 13 January 2020

Sam Hillyard

Abstract

Details

Broadlands and the New Rurality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-581-8

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2020

Florence Nansubuga and John C. Munene

The knowledge management (KM) models in the African organisations are influenced by the interplay between human agents from diverse societies whose experiences, values…

Abstract

Purpose

The knowledge management (KM) models in the African organisations are influenced by the interplay between human agents from diverse societies whose experiences, values, contextual information and insights that are perceived controversial in Africa. The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the indigenous assumptions related to knowledge and its management in Africa and the perceived contradictions in the existing models by adopting the Ubuntu philosophy.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a perspective lens to examine the existing management practices and propose an integrated framework that is appropriate for the utilisation of the Ubuntu epistemic knowledge management practices and at the same time provide highlights on the perceived paradoxes and how they can be managed to improve knowledge management and people management in African societies.

Findings

The inductive posteriori knowledge approach is perceived to be dynamic, applicable and more desirable in the African societies as it allows organisational managers and their work teams to embrace knowledge construction, dependent on experiences in form of stories and metaphors that demonstrate successful work samples. The Ubuntu dramaturgical knowledge management approach adds value to the posteriori knowledge by refining the rhetoric stories and metaphors into empirical performance scripts that are tailored to the audiences’ expectations.

Research limitations/implications

The paper adapted a perspective view to explain knowledge management; therefore, it was not possible to provide empirical data on the metaphysical and dramaturgical elements that are assumed to influence knowledge management in Africa. However, based on theoretical analysis, the authors have proposed a coherent knowledge management framework based on the interaction between posteriori KM assumptions and Ubuntu dramaturgy.

Practical implications

Ubuntu ideology has been appreciated since it treasures interdependency and interconnectedness among people. Therefore, collaborating partners working in Africa would be expected to act as interdependent agents, whereby this interdependency is perceived as an integral part of the knowledge management process. The proposed Ubuntu knowledge management model is grounded on the posteriori knowledge approach which assumes that experience is the source of knowledge. Through social interactions and experiences sharing, organisational members can create new processes, innovative technologies and dynamic context based performance scripts that can drive productivity.

Social implications

The authors concluded that a coherent framework that is tailored to social interactions and contextual needs of the people and their communities can promote productive knowledge and knowledge management systems in the African contexts. Moreover knowledge management requires one to acknowledge the complexity of Ubuntu ideology in a sense that it recognises the past experiences and contributions of the diverse individuals in the same community/organisation.

Originality/value

This paper focused on examining how the Ubuntu philosophy can promote knowledge development and management strategies that are tailored to social and contextual needs of the organisations in Africa to curtail the perceived paradoxes in the existing knowledge management models.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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