File(s) under permanent embargo
Re-making jobs : enacting and learning work practices
journal contributionposted on 01.11.2009, 00:00 authored by Oriana Milani Price, Hermine Scheeres, David BoudDavid Boud
This paper takes up understandings of organisations where practices constitute and frame past and present work, as well as future work practice possibilities. Within this view, work practices, and thus organisations, are both perpetuated and varied through employees’ enactments of work. Using a practice lens, we are particularly interested in the ways workers simultaneously maintain and alter practices in their workplace—we characterise this as re-making one’s job. This perspective challenges ways in which managers often depict jobs and everyday work—as rational, linear and easily describable. We suggest that workers at various levels of responsibility contribute more to the formation of organisational practices than is often assumed. The processes of re-making jobs and remaking organisational practices create tensions that we posit as sites for learning. This paper addresses these issues through a focus on work practices in two Australian organisations that have been undergoing significant cultural change.