Why Do Practices Change and Why Do They Persist? Models of Explanations

  • Silvia GherardiEmail author
Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL, volume 8)


Whilst mainstream innovation literature assumes knowledge as an object, a new resource for innovation, a practice-based approach to innovation, conceptualizes it in processual, incremental and continuous terms. Innovative processes will consequently be analyzed as situated in the everyday activities of a community of practitioners, such that innovation is conceptualized as neither separate nor separable from learning, working and organizing.

From this perspective derives a specific dynamics of innovation as the constant refinement of practice within a texture of practices. When work practices are viewed from the standpoint of the practitioners, what is of interest is the attachment that ties subjects to objects, technologies, the places of practices and other practitioners.

The continuous innovation of practice springs from the constant elaboration of the canons with which the community appraises and judges the object of the practice. Dissent is therefore an element that drives the constant endeavour to refine the methods and meaning of the practice for those who derive identity from it. The pleasure of practising and sharing that pleasure, passion as attachment to the object of the practice and mediation with the tools of the practice are the elements that sustain the reproduction of practices and which make it possible to answer the questions as to why a practice continues to be practised and how it changes by being practised.


Organizational Learning Work Practice Situate Knowledge Aesthetic Judgement Epistemic Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of SociologyUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly

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