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Is Actor Network Theory Critique?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andrea Whittle



In this essay we debate the extent to which Actor Network Theory (ANT) provides a meaningful contribution to the body of critical theories of organization. Critical approaches are commonly associated with a denaturalizing ontology, a reflexive epistemology and an anti-performative politics. In contrast, we suggest that ANT relies on a naturalizing ontology, an un-reflexive epistemology and a performative politics. This does not completely dismiss ANT as a useful approach to studying organizations. It does however question the contribution of ANT to developing a critical theory of organization.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Whittle A, Spicer A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Organization Studies

Year: 2008

Volume: 29

Issue: 4

Pages: 611-629

Date deposited: 24/04/2015

ISSN (print): 0170-8406

ISSN (electronic): 1741-3044

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0170840607082223


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