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How Matter MattersObjects, Artifacts, and Materiality in Organization Studies$
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Paul R. Carlile, Davide Nicolini, Ann Langley, and Haridimos Tsoukas

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199671533

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671533.001.0001

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Materializing the Immaterial: Relational Movements in a Perfume’s Becoming

Materializing the Immaterial: Relational Movements in a Perfume’s Becoming

Chapter:
(p.58) 4 Materializing the Immaterial: Relational Movements in a Perfume’s Becoming
Source:
How Matter Matters
Author(s):

Nada Endrissat

Claus Noppeney

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671533.003.0004

In artistic perfumery, new perfumes are not based on last year’s top sellers, but on original, often unconventional ideas such as making a perfume that smells like melancholy. While this can sound promising to potential consumers, it poses a real challenge to the actors involved in the product development process: they need to organize their work in such a way that the immaterial, often deeply personal emotion can materialize into a concrete product. The chapter presents data from longitudinal, qualitative research on perfume making in artistic perfumery and outlines how the question of materializing the immaterial is approached by the creative director and two perfumers. Central to the chapter’s findings is a visual concept that serves as a material representation of the emotion. Throughout the process, it takes on different roles in response to the specific situational challenges (boundaries) and relationships in which it is embedded. Together, they define the relational movements that are necessary for the product’s becoming. The authors discuss insights and implications for understanding how materiality comes to matter in organization studies.

Keywords:   materiality, relational ontology, sociomateriality, boundaries, product development process, perfume-making, design process

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