After Method in Organization Studies IV (AMOS): The epistemology of practice
31 March 2022
Last day to submit
5 April 2022
Last day for registration
16 April 2022
7 May 2022
After Method in Organization Studies IV (AMOS) was a conference taking place at Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden, 16–17 June, 2022. The purpose with the conference was to provide an opportunity for social science researchers to meet and discuss methodological questions around epistemology of practice and epistemological practices.
Whilst an epistemology of possession treats knowledge as something that people possess, an epistemology of practice accounts for the knowing found in practice (Cook and Brown, 1999). In considering knowing as a situated activity and practice as a collective knowledgeable doing, practice-based studies (PBS) contend that the epistemology of practice is a posthumanist project that seeks to decenter the human subject and reconfigure the concept of agency within sociomaterial practices. In so doing, an epistemology of practice joins several conversations going on around relational ontology, political ontologies, communication as constitutive of organizations, assemblage theory and post-qualitative inquiry, in social sciences in general, and organization- and management studies in particular. The turn to practice, to sociomateriality, performativity, and affect, enabled by new materialism and posthumanism, elicits important questions about how we do research once we assume an ‘ethico-onto-epistemology’ (Barad 2007) or a ‘thinking with theory’ analytic (Jackson and Mazzei 2012).
The conference is organized as an occasion to travel through the movement towards a relational epistemology that is at the core of practice-based theorizing (Eikeland and Nicolini 2011, Gherardi 2001, 2016), agential realism (Barad 1998, 2003, 2007), and feminist materialism (Gherardi 2019, Ringrose, Warfield and Zarabaldi 2019, Sollfrank 2020). Within and beyond organization studies, a relational epistemology allows to look at the ongoing interaction between doing and knowing (Gherardi 2000), the knowing subject and the known object (Haraway 1988, Lenz Taguchi 2013), social and material (Orlikowski 2007, 2009, Woolgar 2002), humans and nonhumans (Law 1994). In other words, central to this epistemological argument is the notion that there is an ongoing situated process of ‘becoming together’ when the knowing subject, the object of knowledge, and the heterogeneous components that are involved in a practice are entangled. Entanglement makes all the categories of humanist qualitative research problematic. With Lather and St. Pierre (2013, p. 630) we may ask: “how do we determine the ‘object of our knowledge’ – the ‘problem’ we want to study in assemblage? Can we disconnect ourselves from the mangle somehow (Self) and then carefully disconnect some other small piece of the mangle (Other) long enough to study it? What ontology has enabled us to believe the world is stable so that we can do all that individuating? And at what price? How do we think a ‘research problem’ in the imbrication of an agentic assemblage of diverse elements that are constantly intra-acting, never stable, never the same?
As pointed out by Law, whose work inspired the initiation of the After Method in Organization Studies conferences, “if much of the world is vague, diffuse or unspecific, slippery, emotional, ephemeral, elusive or indistinct, changes like a kaleidoscope” (Law, 2004, p. 2), social science research needs to rethink itself and open to a methodological view that is “broader, looser, more generous, and in certain respects quite different to that of many conventional understandings” (p. 4).
After Methods in Organization Studies IV is meant to host a rich interdisciplinary discussion around what an epistemology of practice entails in studying organizational processes, sociomaterial practices, and the constitutive entanglement and becoming of heterogeneous components involved in research practices.
The conference welcomes both theoretical and empirical papers on topics including, but not limited to:
- Epistemic practices in PBS
- Elusive knowledges and research practices
- Practice-based studies and post-qualitative inquiry
- Non-representational practices and practice-based theorizing
- New feminist materialism and practice-based studies
- Practicing diffractive analysis in organizational studies
- The turn to practice and the turn to affect
- Writing as a research practice in PBS
- Art-based methodologies in practice-based research
Prospective contributors are invited to submit an abstract. Authors of an accepted proposal are invited to submit a full paper that will be discussed in thematic sessions.
- Michela Cozza – Conference Chair
- Silvia Gherardi
- Silvia Bruzzone
- Inti Lammi
- Christoffer Andersson
- Magnus Hoppe
- Elin Stenius – Communications Officer
The conference is co-financed by FORTE-Forskningsrådet för hälsa, arbetsliv och välfärd /FORTE-Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare.
15 June, 2022
– PhD workshop
09.00–10.30 Introduction and Lecture 1: Inti Lammi
10.30–11.00 Coffee break
11.00–12.00 Working session
13.00–15.30 Working session
15.30–16.00 Coffee break
16.00–17.00 Lecture 2: Silvia Gherardi
Wrap up: “What do I take home with me?
18.00–19.30 Social activity at Västmanlands Läns Museum
16 June, 2022
09.30–10.30 Keynote 1: Marianna Fotaki
10.30–11.00 Coffee break
11.00–12.00 Parallel tracks
13.00–14.00 Parallel tracks
14.10–15.10 Keynote 2: Lucy Suchman
15.10–15.30 Coffee break
15.30–16.30 Parallel tracks
16.50–17.40 Abstracts - A Post-digital Modular Synthesiser System Performance, by Rikard Vilhelm Lindell
20.00 Social dinner at Mälarkrogen, Västerås
17 June, 2022
09.00–10.00 Parallel tracks
10.00–10.30 Coffee break
10.30–11.30 Parallel tracks
11.30–12.30 Keynote 3: Hillevi Lenz Taguchi
13.30–14.30 Parallel tracks
14.40–15.30 Closing session
Confirmed invited speakers are:
Lucy Suchman – Lancaster University
Lucy Suchman is Professor of the Anthropology of Science and Technology at Lancaster University in the UK. Before taking up her present post she was a Principal Scientist at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where she spent twenty years as a researcher. Her current research extends a longstanding engagement with the field of human-computer interaction to the domain of contemporary militarism. She is concerned with the question of whose bodies are incorporated into military systems, how and with what consequences for social justice and the possibility for a less violent world. She is the author of Human-Machine Reconfigurations (2007); in 2010 she received the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Research Award, and in 2014 the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Bernal Prize for Contributions to the Field.
Marianna Fotaki – University of Warwick
Marianna Fotaki is Professor of Business Ethics at University of Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. She holds degrees in medicine, and obtained her PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Marianna was Network Fellow (2014–2015) at the Center for Ethics, Harvard University She has published over 70 articles on gender, inequalities and the marketization of public services appearing in the leading international journals and her recent books include: The Whistleblowing Guide: Speak-up Arrangements, Challenges and Best Practices (Wiley Finance, 2019 co- authored with Kate Kenny and Wim Vandekerckhove) and Business Ethics, and Care in Organizations (Routledge 2020, co-edited with Gazi Islam and Anne Antoni). Marianna currently works on whistleblowing (funded by the ESRC and British Academy/Leverhulme Trust), solidarity responses to crisis and refugee arrivals in Greece.
Hillevi Lenz Taguchi – Stockholm University
Hillevi Lenz Taguchi, PhD in Education in 2001, Professor of Education (2011) and Child and Youth Studies (2013) at Stockholm University, Department of Child and Youth Studies. Director of Research Studies in Early Childhood Education. Hillevi Lenz Taguchi has experience of trans- and interdisciplinary research specifically focusing feminist theories and continental philosophy in her studies of higher education, teacher education and early childhood practices. She is much involved with the theoretical development and transgressive methodologies as part of the Posthumanist, New Materialist and Post Qualitative turns.
The invited speakers will discuss how they have responded to the opportunities and challenges of assuming a practice epistemology in their own research.
Abstracts should comprise 200–500 words and be submitted to email@example.com by 30 October, 2021. The abstract should state the paper idea in a clear way and must include a title of the paper, author(s) name, affiliation and e-mail address.
Notification of acceptance is 4 December, 2021.
Full papers (7 000–8 000 words) must be submitted by 31 March, 2022. Before submitting the full paper, make sure you include: a title of the paper, author(s) name, affiliation, e-mail address, an abstract of 150 words (maximum) summarizing the content and contribution of the paper.
We are also discussing with internationally recognized publishers the possibility to publish a book related to the theme of the conference and more information about this process will be given at the conference.
2021, 4 October:
2021, 30 October:
Conference abstract submission – Deadline
Notification of acceptance of conference abstract
2022, 1 February:
Registration open for conference and PhD workshop
2022, 31 March:
Submission full papers – Extended deadline
2022, 5 April:
Presenters must be registered for conference and PhD workshop by this date to be included in the program – Extended deadline
2022, 5 April:
Registration deadline for all participants
2022, 16 April:
Preliminary program posted
2022, 7 May:
Final program posted online
2022, 15 June:
2022, 16–17 June:
Studies of working practices have gained considerable traction within organizational studies and related fields. By an onto-epistemological re-conceptualization of social phenomena, studies of practice have also become a means for scholars to connect to a variety of assorted methodological debates such as post-qualitative methodology, sociomateriality, embodied knowing, new feminist materialisms, and more recently affect. In touching upon so many different relational epistemologies, a common concern is how organizational research attuned to the epistemology of practice is possible and the implications of pursuing such empirical research (Gherardi, 2019; Nicolini and Monteiro, 2016; Sandberg and Tsoukas, 2015).
In this doctoral workshop, we invite you to join us in exploring how a practice epistemology can be develop into a coherent methodology and in a potentially publishable article. The workshop presents an opportunity to discuss your own practice research and how you, as researchers, relate to the practice you study. Holding on to the interdisciplinary nature of practice-based studies , the workshop is closely tied to the After Method conference in presenting a means for doctoral students to consider the multiple ways in which practice theories and associated methodologies can be drawn upon. Silvia Gherardi, renown scholar of practice and author of ‘How to conduct practice-based studies: problems and methods’, will lead/moderate this workshop.
How is the workshop organized?
Participants in the workshop are expected to present their own work as well as read and discuss the work of other participants. More information about the structure of the workshop will be provided in due time. Participation is eligible for 1,5 ECTS credits and a certificate of attendance will be given at the end of the event.
Who should attend?
This workshop is intended for 20 doctoral students across the social sciences who in some extend engage with the following topics:
- Sociology of practice, practice-based studies and practice theory
- Actor-network theory and performativity
- New materialism and affect
- Process theory and processual studies of organizing
The intention is for the workshop to be as welcoming as possible insofar as the theoretical and/or methodological interest is related to practice-based studies. Doctoral students outside of organizational studies are also invited.
When? Where? Cost?
The PhD workshop is held 15 June, 2022, the day before the After Method Conference. The venue is at Mälardalen University, Västerås.
Please note that your registration is only valid when you have paid the fee.
The fee for PhD students attending the workshop but not participating in the Conference is 1 000 SEK for participants from Swedish universities (VAT free) and 1 250 SEK for the other participants (including 25 % VAT).
The fee for PhD students attending both the doctoral workshop and the conference is 1 500 SEK for participants from Swedish universities (VAT free) and 1 875 SEK for the other participants (including 25 % VAT).
The fee includes: “Swedish Fika” (coffee/tea and something with it) on Wednesday (Doctoral workshop), and on Thursday and Friday (Conference); lunch on Wednesday (Doctoral workshop), and on Thursday and Friday (Conference); and conference dinner on Thursday.
The participants must secure own funding for traveling and accommodation.
Application and Deadlines
Abstracts for attending the PhD workshop should comprise 200-500 words and be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 October, 2021. The abstract should state the paper idea in a clear way and must include a title of the paper, author(s) name, affiliation and e-mail address. The same abstract can be submitted as a proposal for the conference and the author is invited to specify this in the text.
Notification of acceptance is 4 December, 2021.
Full papers (7000-8000 words) must be submitted by 31 March, 2022 to email@example.com Before submitting the full paper, make sure you include: a title of the paper, author(s) name, affiliation, e-mail address, an abstract of 150 words (maximum) summarizing the content and contribution of the paper. Specify if the paper will be presented at the conference. The same paper may be submitted for the conference and for the workshop, since this latter represents an opportunity to deeper analysis and engagement.
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