A kind of governance: Rules, time and psychology in organisations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

18 Scopus citations


Introduction In the past fifteen years researchers in conversation analysis and discursive psychology have developed novel conceptions of the relationship between organisations, practices and individual psychology (Boden and Zimmerman 1991b; Drew and Heritage 1992b; Edwards and Potter 1992; Hepburn and Wiggins 2007a). They have built an approach to human conduct in institutional settings which is distinct from those traditionally offered in the disciplines of sociology, psychology and organisation studies. This distinctiveness comes from an analytic focus on records of actual organisations at work, supported by new recording technology and new representational forms that enable a more immediate engagement with human practices than is offered by questionnaires, interviews or ethnographic field notes and observations. At the same time it is derived from a rigorous focus on the orientations and constructions of organisational members as these are displayed in interaction itself (rather than reported post hoc in questionnaires or interviews). In the field of organisational studies these approaches provide one powerful answer to calls to ‘open the black box’ so as to understand the ‘actual behaviour’ of organisations such as boards of companies (Huse 2005) and one way of moving ‘beyond agency theory’ in empirical work on companies (Pye and Pettigrew 2005). Although conversation analysts and ethnomethodologists have shown a sporadic interest in the nature and organisation of meetings and topics that have traditionally been the purview of organisation science, with the exception of Deirdre Boden's (1994) book on the ‘business of talk’ this has rarely come together in a sustained empirical programme (but see important contributions from M. A. Atkinson, Cuff and Lee 1978; C. Baker 1997; Boden 1995; Cuff and Sharrock 1985; Housley 1999, 2000; Huisman 2001).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrganisation, Interaction and Practice
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780511676512
ISBN (Print)9780521881364
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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