A Potential Application of Actor Network Theory in Organizational Studies: The Company as an Ecosystem and its Power Relations from the ANT Perspective

A Potential Application of Actor Network Theory in Organizational Studies: The Company as an Ecosystem and its Power Relations from the ANT Perspective

Magdalena Bielenia-Grajewska (University of Gdansk, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-197-3.ch017
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Abstract

In this chapter, an attempt will be made to discuss the place of Actor Network Theory in organizational studies. To narrow the scope of the research, attention will be focused solely on companies. The concept of ANT researched within the corporate setting has been one of the author’s interests for some years. Consequently, in this work the author will try to show some aspects related to Actor Network Theory in contemporary organizations. Since not every concept related to ANT within the corporate environment can be investigated in greater detail, two issues, namely ecosystem and power, have been selected to discuss the possible application of ANT in the studies on corporations.
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Application Of Ant In Organizational Studies

There are several reasons for the possibilities of using ANT concepts in the discussion on corporations. One of them is the technological advancement of modern companies. Since the study of technology has been incorporating many ideas from the sociology of scientific knowledge and both scientific facts and technological artifacts are to be understood as social constructs (Woolgar, 1989 p. 311), the boundaries between social and technological entities are of secondary importance. What is more, the increasing role of technology has given rise to the appearance of technology-related theories, including ANT (Kien, 2009b) since, among others, they offer the possibilities of studying the complicated relations between technology, human beings and organizations. The author will try to discuss this aspect in greater detail when referring to the two selected notions in the coming sections.

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