Unpacking ostensive and performative aspects of organisational routines in the context of monitoring systems: a critical realist approach

Iannacci, Federico and Hatzaras, Kyriakos S (2012) Unpacking ostensive and performative aspects of organisational routines in the context of monitoring systems: a critical realist approach. Information and Organization, 22 (1). pp. 1-22. ISSN 1471-7727

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Abstract

Drawing on the theory of organisational routines as generative systems, we deploy a critical realist approach based on Searle's philosophy of language to analyse the generative mechanisms that specify the pre-conditions for recognisable, repetitive patterns of interdependent activities. Using the example of the organisational routines implemented in Germany to monitor the allocation and disbursement of the European Social Fund, we contend that constitutive rules of the type "X counts as Y in context C" are at the very centre of organisational routines. Such rules consist of generative mechanisms that account for the emergence of the ostensive aspects of organisational routines out of artefacts and/or procedures in a social structure of power relations. We further claim that, far from being proxies for the ostensive aspects of routines, artefacts whether tangible or intangible are instantiations of such ostensive aspects on a par with any other performative aspects of routines. On this basis, a re-conceptualisation and a re-labelling of the ostensive and performative aspects of routines are proposed. The former are the result of the activation of systems of constitutive rules, i.e. actual routines in critical realist terminology, the latter are patterns of interdependent activities instantiating the ostensive aspects of routines, i.e. empirical routines in critical realist terminology. Implications for theory and practice are discussed by developing a model of organisational routines that interweaves extant research streams. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 06 May 2022 13:42
Last Modified: 06 May 2022 13:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/105744

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