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Constructing Organizational LifeHow Social-Symbolic Work Shapes Selves, Organizations, and Institutions$
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Thomas B. Lawrence and Nelson Phillips

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198840022

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198840022.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 December 2019

The Social-Symbolic Work Perspective

The Social-Symbolic Work Perspective

Chapter:
(p.14) 2 The Social-Symbolic Work Perspective
Source:
Constructing Organizational Life
Author(s):

Thomas B. Lawrence

Nelson Phillips

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198840022.003.0002

This chapter develops the arguments that underpin the rest of the book and introduces the three forms of social-symbolic work explored in greater detail in subsequent chapters. It begins by exploring how the possibility of social-symbolic work is rooted in the historical changes associated with the transitions to modernity and postmodernity. It then develops the concept of social-symbolic work, explaining its roots in studies of social structure and agency, identifying its three key dimensions—discursive, relational, and material—and introducing three key forms of social-symbolic work (self work, organization work, institutional work). Finally, it presents a process model of social-symbolic work that guides the analysis of the different forms of social-symbolic work.

Keywords:   social-symbolic work, social-symbolic objects, agency, modernity, postmodernity, social structure, discourse, relationality, materiality

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