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Relationship between the Actor View & Actor Network Theory 
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:26 pm
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
Post Relationship between the Actor View & Actor Network Theory
On p 54 of the textbook there is an interest comment that 'Organisations as such cannot act, only their individual members can' and that this is proposed within the Actor View. This started making me think that maybe the auhtors actor view is different in some way to that of Actor Network Theory (ANT). ANT would suggest through macro-actors that organisations do act. So it started me thinking that the author's actor view is more different to ANT than I previous thought?

Any comments?
C


Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:33 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:39 pm
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Post Re: Relationship between the Actor View & Actor Network Theory
The only problem here is linguistic, I think! In everyday language we say that an organization is acting, but we know that this acting is emanating from the actors. If we, in a scientifically language, say that a network is acting, that is, I think, a mystification/reification of the meaning structures of individual actors, according to the Actors view.


Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:46 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 1:14 am
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Post Re: Relationship between the Actor View & Actor Network Theory
One can assume that organizations act as such (as in Actor Network Theory) - or that they do not, which would be a reification (according to the actors view). This is based on two different sets of ultimate presumptions and leads to two different ways of doing research. So, the actors view is fundamentally different from ANT, as I see it.


Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:24 pm
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:26 pm
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
Post Re: Relationship between the Actor View & Actor Network Theory
Thanks for your replies on this very point.

I tend to agree that organisations don't act but the totality of inidividual actors acting can lead you to see an organisation in a netwrok acting as a cohesive entity or macro-actor.

The seocnd point I'd make is that when we try to operationalise research it would lead me to think that the individual lvel of analysis CANNOT be ignored when collecting data at the group or organisational level, espcailly when during research on knoweldge creation.

Any further thoughts on this issue?

Thanks - Conor


Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:16 pm
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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:21 am
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Location: Germany - Berlin
Post Re: Relationship between the Actor View & Actor Network Theory
From my point of view, I think the best way to deal with the problem, that Choran addresses, is to approach it by the actors view. This makes it possible to describe the different levels as constructions in a dialectical process. That is, how "actions" are created as social reality, at different levels of meaning structures. By this application we avoid to reify the individual actors and the concept of action, but keep the possibility to talk about actions at different organizational levels.

Cheers!


Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:18 pm
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:26 pm
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
Post Re: Relationship between the Actor View & Actor Network Theory
Thansk Intellectus - you're reaffirming many of the ideas I'm tackling ...yes I do think this is a dialectical process.

I've recently read the Tsoukas Haridmos's chapte rin the Routledge Companion to Creaitivbty and it discusses dialogue between real others, imaginal others and artifacts which I'm using as a basis for understanding action. The organisation could be seen in this light as a 'macro actor.

What do you think?
Conor


Mon May 11, 2009 9:29 pm
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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:21 am
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Location: Germany - Berlin
Post Re: Relationship between the Actor View & Actor Network Theory
Hi Choran

I haven’t read Tsoukas Haridmos’ but I think your approach concerning the different phenomena of actions is relevant and interesting. Maybe you should focus a little bit more on the “fact” that the organisation as a macro actor only exist as a symbolic reality in the minds of the actors, according to the actors view. And as such an actor the interesting thing is how different actors interpret these macro phenomena of actions. This means that the macro-actor-phenomenon is to be discovered, in your case, in the interface-tension inherent the dialogues between real others, imaginal others and artefacts. I will, according to Arbnor & Bjerke (e.g. figure 6.5), call this phenomenon “the meta-dialogue of the organisation as a macro actor”.

Intellectus


Tue May 19, 2009 12:16 pm
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:26 pm
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
Post Re: Relationship between the Actor View & Actor Network Theory
Thanks Intellectus,
I'm actually just getting through Chapter 6 right now...and that meta-dialogue is of particualar interest. In my research I'm looking at that macro-actor that is the organisation as falling under the 'imaginal other' (Tsoukas) and yes it's subjective meaning is constructure by the other actors in the context... so for me that fits with what I'm trying to.

Great!


Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:49 pm
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