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date: 15 August 2022

actor-network theory (ANT) 

A Dictionary of Organizational Behaviour

Emma Jeanes

A theory that adopts the notion of generalized symmetry between the actions of human and non-human actors (called ‘actants’) such that objects, ideas, and institutions as well as humans all play equally important roles in creating and sustaining our social world through networks. Associated with the work of Michael Callon, Bruno Latour, and John Law, the fundamental aim of ANT is to explore networks and the relational ties that comprise a network. The capacity for non-human agency in networks is considered by some as controversial but it does not assume that actants are intentional (i.e. have cognitive capacity akin to humans). It has been used primarily to consider technology as an actant. This recognizes that our organizational lives are as much influenced by management ideas, the natural environment, physical infrastructure, technological advances, seasons, and weather, etc. as they are by the acts of other people, and similarly our capacity to influence is shaped by these also.... ...

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