How to Conduct a Practice-based Study

How to Conduct a Practice-based Study

Problems and Methods

Silvia Gherardi

The practice-based approach to the study of work and organizing has been widely adopted in recent years, yet its theoretical and methodological systematization has only just begun. Silvia Gherardi expertly provides an overview on the topics and issues addressed by practice-based studies. By means of a series of examples drawn from the best-known analyses using this approach, the book provides methodological guidance on how to conduct empirical research on practices, and how to interpret them from three perspectives: practices ‘from outside’ practices ‘from inside’, and the social effects produced by practices.

Chapter 9: Towards a practice theory of organizing

Silvia Gherardi

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, research methods in business and management, research methods, research methods in business and management

Extract

In this book I have taken stock of an approach which first arose in the social sciences, and in particular within organizational learning and the sociology of practice. To this end, I have developed a methodological framework for analysing situated working practices with the focus on knowing as a practice phenomenon. In these conclusions I shall recall the implicit assumptions of the previous chapters in order to clarify my argumentative structure. I shall therefore present the theoretical and methodological framework of a practice-based approach to the study of situated work, and I shall conclude with brief discussion of the opportunities offered by this approach, but also its risks.

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