Contradictions, transitions, and materiality in organizing processes: An activity theory perspective

  • Kirsten Foot U. Washington
  • Carole Groleau U. Montreal
Keywords: sociomateriality, contradictions, network, activity theory

Abstract

This article develops the concept of multilevel contradictions in organizing processes, from the perspective of cultural-historical activity theory. In most activity theory-based scholarship, systemic contradictions are collapsed into a singular, generic construct, and the generative force of the different levels of contradictions in socio-organizational relations is overlooked. In contrast, we explicate when, how and why four distinct layers of contradiction precipitate one another, provoke distinct epistemic actions from different sets of organizational actors, and catalyze the development of organizing processes.

Author Biographies

Kirsten Foot, U. Washington
Associate Professor, Communication
Carole Groleau, U. Montreal
Associate Professor, Communication
Published
2011-05-20
How to Cite
Foot, K., & Groleau, C. (2011). Contradictions, transitions, and materiality in organizing processes: An activity theory perspective. First Monday, 16(6). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v16i6.3479