Material artifacts: practices for doing strategy with 'stuff'

Jarzabkowski, Paula, Spee, Andreas Paul and Smets, Michael (2013) Material artifacts: practices for doing strategy with 'stuff'. European Management Journal, 31 1: 41-54. doi:10.1016/j.emj.2012.09.001

Author Jarzabkowski, Paula
Spee, Andreas Paul
Smets, Michael
Title Material artifacts: practices for doing strategy with 'stuff'
Journal name European Management Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0263-2373
Publication date 2013-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.emj.2012.09.001
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 31
Issue 1
Start page 41
End page 54
Total pages 14
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Abstract This paper addresses the dearth of research into material artifacts and how they are engaged in strategizing activities. Building on the strategy-as-practice perspective, and the notion of epistemic objects, we develop a typology of strategy practices that show how managers use material artifacts to strategize by a dual process of knowledge abstraction and substitution. Empirically, we study the practice of underwriting managers in reinsurance companies. Our findings first identify the artifacts - pictures, maps, data packs, spreadsheets and graphs - that these managers use to appraise reinsurance deals. Second, the analysis of each artifact's situated use led to the identification of five practices for doing strategy with artifacts: physicalizing, locating, enumerating, analyzing, and selecting. Last, we developed a typology that shows how practices vary in terms of their level of abstraction from the physical properties of the risk being reinsured and unfold through a process of substituting. Our conceptual framework extends existing work in the strategy-as-practice field that calls for research into the role of material artifacts.
Keyword Strategizing
Epistemic objects
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
UQ Business School Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 32 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 49 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sat, 15 Jun 2013, 02:15:11 EST by Susan Peeters on behalf of UQ Business School