Organizing, Management Tools and Practices

  • Philippe Lorino
Part of the Technology, Work and Globalization book series (TWG)


Research about management techniques has been exploring the relationship between management tools and organizational practices for decades, with different theoretical frameworks, for example rationalism, cognitivism, practice-based analysis, actor network theory, institutionalism and critical studies. We argue that all those streams adopt one of two main theoretical and epistemological characterizations of management tools in their relationship with organizational practices: they assign to them either a status of representation, in the cognitivist sense of the word, or a status of social mediation, in a semiotic perspective. We start with a case study concerning the management of experience feedback in the nuclear industry. Then we characterize the two paradigms: representation and mediation. The status of materiality in that debate is examined, before concluding on the theoretical and practical stakes.


Cognitivism Dialogism Narrative Nuclear safety Procedural rationality Quality management Representationalism Routine Semiotic mediation Sharedness Sign 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe Lorino
    • 1
  1. 1.ESSEC Business SchoolParisFrance

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