ontologically processual, becoming approaches. If organization is indeed dynamic, fluid and continuously emergent,
and if organizing is understood as performative social practice, how should inquiry proceed? Studies that attend solely to
entities such as products, outcomes, structures, strategies, identities, leaders, careers, stories, rules and procedures,
do so by arresting the flow of organizing in order to abstract these elements from the ongoing movement. Research methods
such as narrative inquiry, grounded theory, and phenomenological studies tend to focus primarily on these things
(entities) of organization. By contrast, ontologically processual research gives priority to movement or flow and considers
entities only as derivative from the flow. Here, researchers need to adopt radical empiricist approaches (see, for instance,
William James, 1912) that acknowledge their direct immersion in situated inquiries.
This SWG invites empirical researchers to in some way enter into the flow, becoming part of the emergent social experiences
of organizing. In doing so, they seek to transcend the multiplicity of dualisms that characterise entitative thinking, struggling
instead with a world-on-the-move that is both convergent and divergent, ordered and disruptive, predictable and ambiguous,
recurrent and creative. Shadowing, following, and travelling approaches offer a potential way forward for process researchers,
but there is still much to be worked out in order to refine such methods and articulate the nature of their knowledge claims.
Process thinking speaks to a whole range of topics that interest organization scholars. In particular, it is highly relevant
to studies of dynamics and flow in areas such as sensemaking, leadership, strategic management, innovation, ethical and aesthetic
practice, entrepreneurship, creativity and of course, organizational change. More generally, process offers a coherent theoretical
foundation for the as-practice moves that are increasingly evident in organization studies.
Given this context, the specific aims of this SWG are to focus on the doing rather than thinking about
process research by:
- Promoting and fostering empirical studies that reflect the underpinning assumptions of process philosophy
- Clarifying the methodological implications of empirical process research
- Supporting the writing and publication of process-informed empirical research
- Encouraging early career (and PhD) scholars to undertake process-oriented research
- Building a global community of process-informed writers and reviewers