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Labours of division: Legitimacy, membership and the performance of business knowledge

Knox, Hannah; O'Doherty, Damian; Vurdubakis, Theo; Westrup, Chris; (2023) Labours of division: Legitimacy, membership and the performance of business knowledge. Management Learning 10.1177/13505076231194831. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The idea(l) of ‘legitimate peripheral participation’ remains at the heart of debates over the nature and potential of communities of practice. Yet the question of how the legitimacy or otherwise of participation is actually established is seldom addressed. In this article, we focus on ‘legitimacy’ as figure instead of ground. We attend to the ‘displays of competence’, and their associated ‘labours of division’, by means of which ‘practitioners’ claim recognition and are made recognisable to each other as members, or non-members, of an ‘us’. We seek to understand how members come to recognise particular ‘doings’ and forms of knowledge as belonging (or not belonging) to a particular practice. How is the common ‘domain’ (communis) of practice settled (or un-settled) in the course of specific performances of membership? Empirically, the article draws upon a 2-year investigation of how community of practice boundaries and participation were negotiated in ‘UltraGlass Plc’, a multinational manufacturing company, and specifically of the failure of ‘community’ to cohere around practices.

Type: Article
Title: Labours of division: Legitimacy, membership and the performance of business knowledge
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/13505076231194831
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/13505076231194831
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages
Keywords: Business & Economics, Business process, COMMUNITIES, CULTURE, enterprise resource planning, IDENTITY WORK, knowledge, legitimacy, Management, membership, POWER RELATIONS, Social Sciences, technology, TECHNOLOGY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10182435
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