Management Practice and Process Research Community

This research community aims at fostering high-quality process- and practice-based management studies. The community bridges and realizes synergies across the major subfields in management that in recent years have converged on process and practice studies.

Process and practice-based management studies

In devoting attention to the micro-practices and processes through which managers accomplish their work within and around the firm, the research community seeks to address concerns that are key to management scholarship and of substantive practical relevance to practitioners. Through practice-oriented empirical studies, we investigate the details of firm practice and the actual doings of its multiple actors as they strategize, organize, communicate and get their work done. The group aims to leverage the achieved insights to advance management scholarship and practice.

The research community embraces a broad range of perspectives, including both what process scholars refer to as ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ process studies. The ‘weaker’ process view mainly considers change as an effortful accomplishment between phases of stability. ‘Weak’ process studies often focus on identifying different phases and determining the sequence of these phases in order to understand the evolution of a given phenomenon.  The ‘stronger’ position considers process as ontology and ‘things’, such as e.g. structures, plans and decisions etc., as produced and reproduced through the ongoing flow of processes (Jarzabkowski, Lê & Spee, 2016). This leads to a focus on becoming over being (Nayak & Chia, 2011), for example processes of organizing, strategizing, coordinating, leading and communicating over organization, strategy, coordination, communication and the leader etc. (Langley & Tsoukas, 2017). Rather than being grounded in a singular theory, practice-theoretic management studies cover a broad, vibrant set of theoretical developments. The concern with management phenomena as ongoing social and practical activities is what practitioners actually do and how they accomplish it (Feldman & Orlikowski, 2011) - often studying how the broader strategies, structures and practices - through which practitioners operate - are operationalized and configured in this process.

Research activities

The research community carries out various activities supportive of process- and practice-based management studies, including a seminar series covering issues of theorizing from such research, advanced methodological developments and specific studies. It bridges multiple empirical research projects across all research sections at the Department of Management. The different activities are grounded in a national and international network of affiliated researchers.