1st Edition

Imagining Organizations Performative Imagery in Business and Beyond

    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    284 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Organizations rely extensively upon a myriad of images and pictorial representations such as budgets, schedules, reports, graphs, and organizational charts to name but a few. Visual images play an integral role in the process of organizing. This volume argues that images in organizations are ‘performative’, meaning that they can be seen as performances, rather than mere representations, that play a significant role in all kind of organizational activities.

    Imagining Organizations opens up new ways of imagining business through an interdisciplinary approach that captures the role of visualizations and their performances. Contributions to this volume challenge this orthodox view to explore how images in business, organizing and organizations are viewed in a static and rigid form. Imagining Business addresses the question of how we visualize organizations and their activities as an important aspect of managerial work, focusing on practices and performances, organizing and ordering, and media and technologies. Moreover, it aims to provide a focal point for the growing collection of studies that explore how various business artifacts draw on the power of the visual to enable various forms of organizing and organizations in diverse contexts.

    Introduction. Paolo Quattrone, Francois-Regis Puyou, Chris McLean, and Nigel Thrift  1. Transparency or the New Invisibility: The Business of Making Connections. Barbara Maria Stafford  2. Business Fiction: Global Economy by William Gibson. Barbara Czarniawska  3. Visible, Tradeable Carbon: How Emissions Markets are Constructed. Donald MacKenzie  4. Imagining Technology in Organizational Knowledge: Entities, Webs, and Mangles. Susan V. Scott & Wanda J. Orlikowski  5. Process Flowcharts: Malleable Visual Mediators of ERP Implementation. Joanne Locke and Alan Lowe  6. Style And Strategy: Snapshot Aesthetics in Brand Culture. Jonathan E. Schroeder  7. Icon, Iconography, Iconology : Banking, Branding and the Bowler Hat. Jane Davison  8.  "Modernizing the Grocery Trade with Cartoons in Wartimes: Humor as a Marketing Weapon (Progressive Grocer, 1939-1945)" Franck Cochoy  9. Imagining Passion in Action: An Analysis of Translation and Treason. Consuelo Vasquez & François Coore  10. Imagining (The Future) Business: How To Make Firms With Plans? Martin Giraudeau  11. "A Picture Tells More Than a Thousand Words" – Losing the Plot in the Era of the Image. Yiannis Gabriel


    Christine McLean is a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Business School and a member of the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC). She has been involved in a variety of empirical research projects using an ethnographic style of investigation and she is currently undertaking a study which seeks to explore the role of visual management in the newspaper printing industry.

    François-Régis Puyou is assistant professor in management accounting and member of the Centre for Organisation and Strategy Studies at Audencia Nantes Management School. He is also associate researcher to the "Centre de Sociologie des Organisations" at Sciences-Po. His research is mostly concerned with organizing processes in business groups.

    Paolo Quattrone is Professor of Accounting and Management Control at IE Business School, Madrid and hold academic posts at the Universities of Manchester, Carlos III (Madrid), and Oxford. His research spans from the history of administrative practices in religious Orders to information and management control technologies in large organisations.

    Professor Thrift is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick since July 2006 and one of the world’s leading human geographers and social scientists. He is academician of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences, and a Fellow of the British Academy.