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Materiality, Maintenance and Fragility. The Care of Things

Abstract : This communication attempts to go beyond a definition of materiality, largely accepted in organization studies, that only focusses on consistency and stability. Drawing on the results of an ethnography of subway signs maintenance it highlights the importance to consider material fragility and vulnerability, particularly in the case of ordering devices. Following maintenance workers helps to understand that the stability of artifacts is not an ontological property but the ongoing result of an exploratory and improvised work that consists in constantly taking care of things and being aware of their material multiplicity.
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Contributor : Jérôme Denis <>
Submitted on : Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 4:55:30 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 3:04:00 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, September 24, 2011 - 2:25:21 AM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-00602914, version 1



Jérôme Denis, David Pontille. Materiality, Maintenance and Fragility. The Care of Things. 'How Matter Matters', Third International Symposium on Process Organization Studies, Jun 2011, Corfu, Greece. ⟨halshs-00602914⟩



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