Maybe Bacon Had a Point: The Politics of Interpretation in Collective Sensemaking
16 Pages Posted: 18 May 2004
Despite major contributions to theories of organizational knowledge from socially situated, practice-based approaches, there remains a blind-spot in this literature concerning power and politics. This paper makes some initial attempts to address this absence by thinking about how far alternative theories of power/knowledge can strengthen and extend practice-based approaches to knowledge. The need for a detailed analytic of the multiple techniques, strategies, and expressions of power/knowledge in concrete social situations and the different ways in which they come together through specific episodes of enactment is highlighted. To illustrate this, we draw on an ethnographic study of an inter-organizational collaboration in the telecommunications sector. This illustration focuses on struggles over meaning during a problem-solving encounter during the later stages of a project for developing and implementing new software for telephone exchanges.
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