Wednesday, October 06, 2010

From Call to Abstract 2

We began by searching for articles about the European Union and embeddedness that also cited Granovetter 1985. One of the most interesting papers that we found were:

Spicer, Andre. 2006. "Beyond the Convergence–Divergence Debate: The Role of Spatial Scales in Transforming Organizational Logic". Organization Studies 27 (10): 1467-1483.

The paper is interesting to the problem we set ourselves in the last post because (1) I recognize the author (he is already part of my scholarly network) and (2) it constitutes an "inter-disciplinary" engagement on the subject of space (bringing together economic sociology and organization studies).

As to the paper itself, Spicer argues that "organizational logics are transformed as they move across space ... through three interconnected processes: capital accumulation, regulation and articulation of discourse." Given the argument that I want to make, it is especially the way organizational logics are transformed through "articulation of discourse" that is of interest to me. Also, he uses Granovetter to establish the fact that "logics are not unique to each organization, but tend to be embedded in shared spaces, such as the nation state", which is interesting for two reasons. First, we can agree about the lack of organizational uniqueness but, for my purposes, we will need, second, to take the sense of "shared space" beyond the (standard) focus on the nation state. (That is, we will need to do with an economic region what Granovetter and Spicer unproblematically do with the nation state. ) In other words, Spicer (and this article in particular) seems to engaged in precisely the conversation that I want to enter. Or, at the very least, he is someone who might be interested in the conversation that I want to start.

So our abstract might now read:

The past is shaped by the present. More specifically, our image of the past is shaped by the way contemporary events are embedded in social relations, which constrain their development and condition their interpretation. Building on Granovetter’s (1985) classic argument for the social embeddedness of economic action, this paper examines the ways in which an economic region—the so-called “├śresunds region”—constructs an image of its own past, as well as the history of the European common market, in its attempt to establish opportunities for future growth. This process is always dependent on a complex arrangement of contemporary social relations. Guided by Spicer's (2006) call to move the discussion "beyond convergence-divergence", it construes the region as a "shared space" for organizations in which images of the past are transformed through capital accumulation, regulation and, especially, discourse.

On Friday, we'll add another reference and wrap things up.

2 comments:

GyllingRoepstorff said...

"Guided by Spicer's (2006) call to move the discussion "beyond convergence-divergence", it construes the region as a "shared space" for organizations in which images of the past are transformed through capital accumulation, regulation and, especially, discourse."

Hi Thomas

A few comments to your abstract:

What does IT refer to?

And you cannot see that it is Spicer who suggest the analytical categories of capital accumulation, regulation and, discourse. Is that not bad referencing, eventhough it is in an abstract?

Kristian

Thomas said...

Hej Kristian,

"it" is the paper and you're right that that should be fixed. I ran out of time when working on the post this morning.

My intention (which is of course ultimately irrelevant) was to cover those last three categories with the reference (which is, after all, in the same sentence). But perhaps "guided by" is too vague and actually obscures more than it clarifies. I'll have to work on that on Friday. The idea will be able to say something more like "Like Spicer (2006), ..."