Insights Through Performative Approaches


  • Martina Battisti Massey University
  • Tanja Eiselen University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg



organizational consulting, cognition theory, metaphors, symbols, resistance


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


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Martina Battisti, Massey University

Martina is working as principal researcher for the New Zealand Centre for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Research at Massey University. Her areas of interest are in social capital, HRM, entrepreneurship and SMEs. She has several years of work experience in project management as well as a background in training and consulting.

Tanja Eiselen, University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg

Tanja is working a as lecturer for Human Resource Management at the University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg (Austria). Her main topics are organizational behavior, organizational development and leadership. She has more than 15 years experience in training and consulting of different companies and organizations.




How to Cite

Battisti, M., & Eiselen, T. (2008). Insights Through Performative Approaches. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2).