The power of objects ? Materiality and institutional work in the French recorded music industry (1994-2014)
Vancaelemont, Anne (2015-06), The power of objects ? Materiality and institutional work in the French recorded music industry (1994-2014), XXIVème conférence annuelle de l’Association Internationale de Management Stratégique - AIMS 2015, 2015-06, Paris, France
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference titleXXIVème conférence annuelle de l’Association Internationale de Management Stratégique - AIMS 2015
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Dauphine Recherches en Management [DRM]
Abstract (EN)The present paper seeks to contribute to the understanding of the role played by materiality in institutional work (Lawrence and Suddaby, 2006). To do so, we consider practices as a key point to define institutions (Greenwood et al., 2008) and to understand agency (Bourdieu, 1992; 1996). Doing so, we follow Neo-Institutional Theory recent additions to the institutional work literature and take part in an emerging movement of renewed attention towards (micro-)practices and materiality (Zietsma & Lawrence, 2010; Jones & Massa, 2013; Gawker & Phillips, 2013 ; Raviola & Norbäck, 2013). In particular, our study investigates how objects (either physical or not) play a role in institutional work through practices. ! Thanks to a field case study of the French recorded music industry (1994-2014), based on observation data, secondary data and interviews gathered in four sub-cases, we deliver narratives of how objects together with actors, shape micro-practices - therefore emergent patterns of practices, and play an active role in creating, maintaining or disrupting institutionalized practices at the field level. First, our case reveals that objects relate to other objects and material practices within what we call « objects and practices groupings », as components. A so called grouping is both a process and the result of that process. It constitute the level where institutional work is enacted. Second, our study suggests the addition of two specific kinds of component objects in the researcher toolbox to investigate materiality: bridge objects and community objects. They play different roles in institutional work. The former enables the importation of useful object resources (from another grouping). The latter seams to play a crucial role in micro- practices transformation into collective practices at the macro level. Last but not least, our study leads to a sensitive consideration of material practices. Indeed, the audio form of objects influences actors decisions and practices. Yet, these decisions and practices also depend subjectively on actors skills to learn and evaluate the given audio form. All in all, the present paper shows how materiality (objects and practices groupings) empower actors, either classic organizations such as companies or more informal groups of actors such as consumers, shape their decisions and practices and enable them to take an active part in the institutional work. That object grouping empowerment can be described as a process of social, economic and cultural capital acquisition.
Subjects / KeywordsNeo-Institutional Theory; Creative Industry; Materiality; Practices
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