The stuff of strategy: the potential of the material turn in strategy studies

Owen, Catherine (2022) The stuff of strategy: the potential of the material turn in strategy studies. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2022OwenPhD.pdf] PDF
Download (8MB)


This thesis explores the potential of the material turn in strategy studies to explore how nonhuman ‘things’ contribute to strategy production. Drawing on the ontologies and methodologies of the strategy-as-practice and actor-network theory domains, the empirical research informing this thesis is an immersive mixed methods ethnographic study in a higher education school of art and design conducted over a period of 24 months. The study combines observation and a qualitative interview protocol to build four explorative case study narratives that consider various aspects of material agency in strategy production. Analysis and discussion inform a re-theorising of strategy production that foregrounds the agency of materials beyond that of human intent, providing a counterpoint to prevailing approaches that centre the affordances ‘things’ offer to human action and suggesting instead a novel extension to strategy studies that emphasises emancipatory critique of normative organisational practices and ontologies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: This work was supported by an Adam Smith Business School Scholarship.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Supervisor's Name: Fischbacher-Smith, Professor Moira and Maclean, Professor Donald
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-82960
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 12:32
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2022 12:33
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82960

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year