Research Projects

ANTi-History is an alternative approach to historiography whose theoretical development and empirical application to craft an organizational history of Pan American Airways was the focus of Gabrielle Durepos’ PhD dissertation. ANTi-History draws on insights from three distinct literatures: 1)The sociology of knowledge; 2) Cultural theory historiography; 3) Actor-network theory

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For many Atlantic Canadian communities, heritage sites such as museums are vital to cultural identity and a key source of revenue, both of which are paramount for community survival.  Perhaps a less conventional, though arguably interesting way of conceiving of museums is as knowledge organizations.  Indeed museums play a key role in the production and dissemination of knowledge of the past as well as the present.  For these reasons and many others, museums are of increasing interest for scholars in the field of Management & Organization Studies.

Recently, scholars in the field of Management & Organization Studies have called for an historicturn (Booth & Rowlinson, 2006; Kieser, 1994; Üsdiken & Kieser, 2004). The latter has focused on engaging researchers in de-naturalizing, contextualizing and illustrating the socially constructed nature of businesses, business practices and management knowledge.  What has been cited as needed to answer this call are new methodologies that can be used to undertake histories of organizations. Through an empirical study on the history of a museum complex in Nova Scotia, Canada called Nova Scotia Museums, ANTi-History is being developed as an alternative methodology that answers the call for a historic turn.

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The overall objective of this study is to gain a greater understanding of how management knowledge in Canada is developed and what the implications are for:

  1. management education and the diversification and dissemination of ideas, 
  2. gender equity, and 
  3. Canadian identity and history in management theorizing. 

Drawing on insights from research on the sociology of knowledge, in which `knowledge' is viewed as socially constructed, we seek a greater understanding of the myriad of ways that knowledge is produced; how it comes into being, how it is sustained over time; what are some of the key outcomes of socially constructed knowledge. We are particularly interested in three areas of debate that reflect on knowledge production and social outcomes:

  1. Knowledge production: how do certain forms of (management) knowledge develop? Through greater understanding of the process we are better placed to understand/encourage/and disseminate diverse ideas or forms of knowledge; 
  2. The gendering of knowledge: how do certain forms of (management) knowledge become gendered (i.e., favour masculinity over femininity; maleness over femaleness, etc.)? By understanding some key processes through which knowledge comes to privilege men's ideas over those of women, and to privilege masculinity over femininity, we can identity more profound ways of addressing discriminatory practices;
  3. The relationship between knowledge and history: how is knowledge of the past created and how does this shape our understanding of management and organizational history (in Canada)? Here we are interested in examining the processes through which a history (or histories) of Canadian management thought is lacking and where US management thought appears to dominate Canadian management theorizing.

Click Here to read more about the Reassembling of Canadian Management Knowledge project