Travelling concepts : performative movements in learning/playing

Simpson, Barbara and Tracey, Rory and Weston, Alia (2018) Travelling concepts : performative movements in learning/playing. Management Learning, 49 (3). pp. 295-310. ISSN 1350-5076 (

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This paper examines the generative interplay between learning and playing in managing and organizing by taking a performative approach that theorizes learning/playing as an assemblage in which playing and learning emerge as co-evolving processes in practice. Addressing the methodological challenges associated with this performative approach, the learning/playing assemblage is probed using travelling concepts, which attend to the dynamic movements rather than the stabilities of organizing, functioning as proposed by Vygotsky as both a research tool and an emergent result of research. This notion of ‘travelling concepts’ is developed empirically by engaging with Mead’s ‘sociality’, which he defined as the simultaneous experience of being several things at once. Three interweaving strands of sociality – relational, spatial, and temporal – are elaborated in the context of travelling with and through four artisan food production sites, each of which sought to engage differently with the aesthetics and functionality of the food we consume.