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Organization as A Multi-dimensional Network of Actants Mediated by An Organized and Organizing Network of Cultural Rules

Abstract : This paper aims to provide a complementary perspective to the Montreal School's conceptual framework on the organizing properties of communication. The network metaphor is used to address two issues of this theory: how to link entities with variable ontologies together and how to explain that entities are objects (inherent ontology) and mediators (relational ontology) at the same time? Networks are considered both as material structures (directed graphs seen as topological objects) and as abstracted ones (matrixes). Complex networks display structural properties when they emerge as structures. However, the emergence of structure is only considered as a realization of one of the virtual states and possible patterns of a meta-network made up of at least three networks on several dimensions: a material network of actants, a cognitive network and a cultural network of rules. The latter network is linked to human entities only. Cultural rules are seen as habitus, i.e. kinds of force fields that guide but do not determine action. Human agency is constrained by cultural rules so that human beings are able to reproduce social systems. Agency is also seen as continuous modification and displacement. It modifies the structure of the network of actants and that of the network of rules. The network of actants makes the network of rules evolve through feedback loops. The network of rules generates calculations in the cognitive network. Sensemaking results from the continuous process of reproduction-modification of the cognitive structure.
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https://archivesic.ccsd.cnrs.fr/sic_00489099
Contributor : Mylene Hardy <>
Submitted on : Friday, June 4, 2010 - 7:46:36 AM
Last modification on : Monday, March 30, 2020 - 8:42:15 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, September 17, 2010 - 12:57:00 PM

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  • HAL Id : sic_00489099, version 1

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Mylene Hardy, Serge Agostinelli. Organization as A Multi-dimensional Network of Actants Mediated by An Organized and Organizing Network of Cultural Rules. International Communication Association Preconference: “What is an Organization? Materiality, Agency and Discourse”, May 2008, Canada. pp.1-28. ⟨sic_00489099⟩

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