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Using ANT ideas in the managing of systemic action

Research output: Working paper

Publication date2007
Place of PublicationLancaster University
PublisherThe Department of Management Science
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameManagement Science Working Paper Series


Little guidance has been given to the management of action research and this paper suggests that ideas from the Actor-Network Theory (ANT) may be helpful. Although ANT has been widely used as a tool for interpretation and description of the interplay of the social and technical aspects of organisations, this paper presents a different use of the ideas. It advocates a proactive use, to bring about changes in a situation rather than merely observing and describing that situation disinterestedly from the outside The case is described of a long-term action research study carried out within a corporate bank, where the ideas of ANT were employed in this way, as a device for understanding the turbulent social and political context of the research, to plan and manage the intervention process, and where ideas such as networks of interest, translation of interests and black boxes were used to practical effect.