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The politics of strategy practice and the (non-)valuation of expertise: The case of designers

Conference contribution
Authors Ulises Navarro Aguiar
Published in 35th European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium (EGOS), University of Edinburgh, UK
Publication year 2019
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Language en
Subject categories Business Administration, Design


Despite great advancements in our understanding of strategy practice, especially with the surge of strategy-as-practice research, as yet, the question of how actors make things ‘strategic’ remains a blind spot in the current literature, one which has only recently begun to be explored. The present study builds on these efforts by providing an empirically situated account of designers’ attempts (both vigorous and frail) at ‘strategifying’ their expertise. I argue that the valuation of expertise, understood as a felicitous claim to knowledgeability, is a crucial aspect of the politics involved in rendering things ‘strategic.’ Further, the extant literature addressing the link between designers’ expertise and strategy has tended to focus on epistemological questions, reproducing the dominant orientation of strategy research that has left ontological considerations out of the picture. Thus, drawing on (post-)actor-network theory, the aim of this paper is to contribute to our understanding of ‘strategicness’ as a fragile accomplishment whose ontological status is in a state of continual flux.

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