Maybe Bacon Had a Point: The Politics of Interpretation in Collective Sensemaking

16 Pages Posted: 18 May 2004

See all articles by Nick Marshall

Nick Marshall

University of Brighton - Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM)

Jeanette Rollinson

University of Brighton - Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Marshall, Nick and Rollinson, Jeanette, Maybe Bacon Had a Point: The Politics of Interpretation in Collective Sensemaking. British Journal of Management, Vol. 15, No. S1, pp. S71-S86, March 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=540588

Nick Marshall (Contact Author)

University of Brighton - Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM) ( email )

F102 Friston House
Village Way
Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9PH, E. Sussex BN 1 9PH
United Kingdom

Jeanette Rollinson

University of Brighton - Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM) ( email )

F102 Friston House
Village Way
Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9PH, E. Sussex BN 1 9PH
United Kingdom

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