Insights Through Performative Approaches

Martina Battisti, Tanja Eiselen


This script aims to explore how performative approaches can be used to enhance the understanding of social situations by going beyond the presenting or outermost layer of a problem. The script evolves in six acts and focuses on a group of academics and consultants who meet to develop a theoretical understanding of performative approaches, to experiment with performative approaches by applying them to a consulting case, and finally to reflect on the learning experiences and the understanding of social situations implicit in the case. We found that with traditional scientific methods it may be difficult to understand the underlying—often unconscious—dynamics, emotions and resistances within social situations. Using performative approaches opens up the possibility to gain an understanding of the social situation beyond the rational and cognitive level. In particular, the use of creative approaches like painting, role-plays or fairy tales may allow new and alternative perspectives and interpretations of a social situation to emerge. The script concludes with practical implications for action research in the context of organizational consulting and development.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0802444


organizational consulting; cognition theory; metaphors; symbols; resistance

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Copyright (c) 2008 Martina Battisti, Tanja Eiselen

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