Event 2: Practice theory as disruptive method, June 2016

The second event in our seminar series ‘New Practices for New Publics’ took place on Weds 22nd June in central Brighton.

We were very pleased to welcome Professor Davide Nicolini and Annouchka Bayley from the University of Warwick, and Jeanne Mengis who joined us by Skype from the University of Lugano,Switzerland.

Davide Nicolini: Is small the only beautiful? Making sense of ‘large phenomena’ from a practice-based perspective

In this presentation Prof Nicolini discussed how a practice-based sensitivity can be used to address big issues and ‘large scale phenomena’. The topic is central to advancing practice-oriented studies. Practice-based sensitivities are often pigeonholed as part of micro-sociology and thus deemed unsuitable to deal with some of the big issues of our time, and of scarce importance outside academic circles. Showing that this is not the case is therefore of great importance. He critically surveyed how practice oriented scholars have addressed ‘large phenomena’ and commented on their affordances and limitations, concluding that practice theory requires us to reconsider what counts as ‘large scale phenomena’. So it does not resolve as much as dissolve traditional dichotomies such as the difference between micro and macro, local and global.


Click here for slides: Is small the only beautiful

Below is a film of the first part of Davide’s presentation:

Below here is a film of the second part and the discussion that followed:

In the second part of the day, the session ‘Diffraction in practice and diffraction as practice’ drew on the work of Karen Barad to reflect on her statement that “language has been granted too much power” and consider how the material – the materiality of the body, space, apparatus – actually intra-actively produce the organisation.

Click here for a pdf of the slides:

Diffraction in practice and diffraction as practice Warwick

The first part of the presentation is here:

and the second part is here:

Notes on speakers:

Davide Nicolini is Professor of Organization Studies at Warwick Business School. Prior to joining the University of Warwick he held positions at The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London and the University of Trento and Bergamo in Italy. His recent research focuses on the development of a practice-based approach to the study of organizational phenomena and its implications for the understanding of knowing, collaboration and change in organizations. He is also interested in organisational reflection processes and the application and development of action based approaches. Most of his current research is in healthcare where he is studying the generation and circulation of safety knowledge, how top managers mobilise knowledge in their day to day work, and the process through which several ways of knowing are worked together. He has also studied construction sites, factories, public organizations, scientific labs, and pharmacies.

Annouchka Bayley is currently housed between the IKON Group, Warwick Business School and the School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies, Warwick. Her doctoral thesis, Deterritorialisations in Pedagogy: Encounters between Practice-as-Research and Management Learning, takes a performance based approach to the development of interdisciplinary teaching and learning that engages students critically and creatively with non-traditional approaches to real world problems, whilst studying in a Management Learning context. In 2014, Annouchka won a Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence (WATEPGR) for her work teaching and developing new approaches to the WBS curriculum for Critical Issues in Law and Management, Accounting Inquiry, Leadership and the Art of Judgement, and Images of Creativity. She taught Devising, Composition and Storytelling UG courses at the Birmingham School of Acting; has written, performed and directed more than 15 one-woman and ensemble shows in the UK, France, Germany and Japan; and is an Emerging Director with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Jeanne Mengis is a senior research fellow at IKON and a senior lecturer at the University of Lugano, Switzerland. In her research, she works on a communication perspective on knowledge processes in organizations and conducts research on cross-disciplinary collaboration, knowledge integration, and evidence-based learning. Prior to her current engagement, she was a post-doctoral visiting fellow at Boston University, School of Management. She received her Ph.D in February 2007 from the University of Lugano (awarded with summa cum laude). From 2003-200, she was co-project manager of a three-year research project on the integration of expert knowledge in decision making. During 2004/2005, she was a doctoral visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Jeanne has teaching experiences at the master, executive master and bachelor level, taught at the universities of St.Gallen, Lausanne, and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. She further conducted executive training for organizations as – among others – the United Nations, the Chamber of Judges and Attorneys of Ticino, the United Bank of Switzerland, or the St.Gallen Cantonal Bank.