Process thinking in four modes


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Green Templeton College


Professor Ann Langley, Chair in Strategic Management in Pluralistic Settings, HEC Montréal discusses her research work. Process thinkers and scholars understand organizing and managing in terms of movement, activity and flow rather than in terms of success factors, best practices and static relationships between inputs and outcomes: in other words, they are interested in “how” questions, rather than “what” questions, and they take time and temporality to be central. However, there are a variety of ways of considering what a process perspective might mean, each involving different assumptions and each demanding different approaches to research and intervention. In this lecture, the speaker will examine four different modes of thinking about process (as development; as narrative; as activity; and as withness) and consider their implications for managing and researching organizations.