A post-social conceptual framework for exploring object narratives in sport organisations

Smith, A and Humphries, C 2017, 'A post-social conceptual framework for exploring object narratives in sport organisations', Sport Management Review, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 20-32.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title A post-social conceptual framework for exploring object narratives in sport organisations
Author(s) Smith, A
Humphries, C
Year 2017
Journal name Sport Management Review
Volume number 20
Issue number 1
Start page 20
End page 32
Total pages 13
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract In this article we propose a theoretical framework for narrative analysis that gives voice to objects in sport organisations. Despite considerable interest in the symbolic and mnemonic potency of some sporting objects - most notably memorabilia - many organisational objects go unnoticed, whilst little attention has been paid to methods for gathering stories from inanimate objects. We suggest that material objects in sport organisations participate in narrative production and therefore constitute a rich investigative site. We adopt a post-social approach to narrative methodology where objects are recognised as non-human actors in organisational sense-making, not as narrative repositories that 'contain' stories and memories. A three-domain research framework is developed recommending an approach to eliciting an object narrative within a sport organisation. First, object materiality exposes the significant networks of forces, materials and people - and therefore episodes and actors - that engage with and through objects. Second, since people and objects are enmeshed in sequenced, workplace activities, object practice allows organisational agents to define what stories objects can tell whilst objects reciprocally bound the scope of human performance. Third, object biography provides a strategy to map the connections and transitions that occur over the lifecourse of an object, which reveals a changing web of organisational relations.
Subject Sport and Leisure Management
Keyword(s) Materiality
Narrative methodology
Object biography
Object narrative
Object practice
Post-sociality
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.smr.2016.09.002
Copyright notice © 2016 Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand
ISSN 1441-3523
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