CSAM Seminar: The Mangle of Practice as a framework for studying Action Research, Design Science and Participative Modelling


Speaker:Christina Phillips PhD, University of Leeds
Date: Thursday 28 June 2018
Time: 11:00-12:00
Location: Building:One Marchant Syndicate Room A

Further details


A presentation by Dr Christina Phillips, Business Analytics/Statistics Lecturer, Leeds University Business School.


This talk follows from work on a 4.5 yr longitudinal case study in a complex pharmaceutical manufacturer with particular focus on operations and supply chain.  The project encompassed many techniques and demanded a multidisciplinary approach and application of modelling and analytics.  Studying this complex web of socio-material interactions in a real time environment needed lenses which have broad boundaries yet provide enough structure for recoverable information to emerge.  We used some explicit methodologies which couple soft/hard Operational Research methods within an Action Research outer frame.


The Mangle of Practice (Pickering, 1995) proved useful to study and write up the different aspects of the study from a practitioner perspective (the researcher also worked in the company most weeks of the project) as recommended by Ormerod (2014).  The Mangle also provided a structure with which to recover information which was common across the interventions allowing for theory building and comparison with past and future studies.  Attempts were made to apply other study lenses such as Critical Realism (Bhaskar, 2008; Mingers, 2015) and Structuration Theory (Giddens, 1984; Orlikowski, 2000; Cecez-Kecmanovic et al., 2014), all are social theoretic approaches with elements of a dynamic actor network viewpoint.  Only the Mangle provided a structure for recovering information directly from the interventions with which to build theory, whilst the other lenses provided insights which prompted further theoretical and modelling developments.



For a complete biography see