Sociomateriality and strategy-as-practice in higher education in the UK: performativity through distributed agency

Cagla Yavuz, Mine Karatas-Ozkan, Katerina Nicolopoulou, Muhammad Atiq

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Despite the widening field of strategy-as-practice in terms of relational dimensions of strategy, focus on discursive elements, mainly on strategic talks, use of meetings, interactions between agents, persists in strategy scholarship. Addressing this gap, we have contributed to knowledge by demonstrating multi-layered complexity of strategizing in a university context by focusing on how sociomateriality shapes the strategy process through a qualitative study with thirty-five participants. By applying insights from Bruno Latour’s approach to theorizing about agency, we highlight the importance of bridging the multiple components involved in strategizing and demonstrating the value of capturing the fullness of interplays between materials, actors, emergence of a strategy practice, and its embeddedness in a field. In addition to this theoretical contribution, we also offer implications for practice and call for a reflexive approach that requires authentic and thoughtful leadership particularly in times of paradigmatic changes in higher education. Ultimately, taking on board a sociomateriality approach highlights that the ways in which the social and material world inextricably inter-twine and help us perceive the space beyond the structure-agency dichotomy. To that extent, an approach building on Latour’s theoretical premises and linking to the concept of performativity is a meaningful framework for the above.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2017
Event33rd EGOS Colloqium: The Good Organisation - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 6 Jul 20178 Jul 2017


Conference33rd EGOS Colloqium


  • sociomateriality
  • higher education
  • strategy scholarship


Dive into the research topics of 'Sociomateriality and strategy-as-practice in higher education in the UK: performativity through distributed agency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this