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How to Conduct a Practice-based Study

Problems and Methods, Second Edition

Silvia Gherardi

Practice-based approaches to knowing, learning, innovating, and managing have thrived in recent years. Calling upon numerous narratives from a range of research fields, the author offers insight into the many possibilities of practice research, highlighting the inextricable links between humans and technology as the key emergent trend in management studies. Developing an innovative posthumanist approach, this novel book offers a useful and insightful compass for the navigation of practice-based studies through the lens of exemplar vignettes from internationally acclaimed researchers.
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Chapter 8: The texture of practices

Silvia Gherardi

Extract

Another strong reason for choosing a practice-based study is connected to the possibility to move freely from fine-grained details of one practice to its interconnections and interdependences with other practices and the other way around. The metaphor of a texture of practices allows the micro/macro dichotomy to be dismantled and the weaving of practices to be followed, tracking their traces in all directions. The chapter introduces the concept of agencement to interpret a practice as a process of establishing connections among its elements or among practices and seeing how agency emerges in timespace horizons. A methodological suggestion – the spiral case study – is illustrated.

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