Towards a body aware strategic organisation.

Minocha, Sonal and Stonehouse, George (2007) Towards a body aware strategic organisation. Strategic Organisation, 5 (4). pp. 439-448. ISSN 1476-1270

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This essay attempts to give a voice to the non-verbal in strategic organization
through an enhanced conceptualization of the body, a discussion of which has
too long been overlooked within the field. As a result, management in general,
and strategic management in particular, have been theorized as disembodied
(Swan, 2005). In part, this is likely the outcome of a focus on strategy rather
than the practice of strategy, which characterized the field until the late 1990s,
and the ready availability of written and verbal aspects of strategy for study.
Nevertheless, even the currently active practice agenda in strategy has thus far
focused largely on talk and given little attention to the body (Whittington,
1996, 2001, 2002, 2003).
In our view, a conceptualization of strategizing that fails to consider strategists’
physicality and embodiment is incomplete. Stated more strongly, divorcing
the body from our praxis is inhibiting the growth of practice itself. The body
may act positively, negatively or neutrally in the strategic processes, impacting the
effectiveness of processes themselves as well as the strategies chosen and their outcomes.
Borrowing ideas and approaches from the broader organization studies
field and beyond, and building on research questions posed by Whittington
(2003) for a practice perspective, we make a case for ‘body-aware’ research on the
practice of strategy.
In calling for acknowledgement of the body we urge the study of non-verbal
gestures, sounds, silences, gestures, voices and the overall physicality of strategizing
processes. However, study is not limited to the physical body but also its
embodiment – the meaning-made body (Bourdieu, 1977: 75), the lived body
(Grosz, 1994, 1995), the becoming body (Styhre, 2004: 104).

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 1476-1270
Uncontrolled Keywords: strategic organization; strategic management; body; physicality; embodiment;
University Divisions/Research Centres: The Business School > School of Management and Law
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 302 Social interaction
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations > 658 General management
Library of Congress Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Item ID: 2152
Depositing User: RAE Import
Date Deposited: 12 May 2008 10:02
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2013 15:07

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