Organizing Tekhnē: Configuring Processes and Politics through Craft

Marta Gasparin*, Daniel Neyland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this paper we investigate how craft as tekhnē configures organizations and their politics by exploring the relations of technology and organization. Through a two-year ethnographic study of remote craft villages in Vietnam, we consider how political concerns are mobilized, distributed and materialized through craft. Defining craft as a process of organizing that often involves mundane objects, but also sits at the centre of political concerns, we are interested in understanding how craft as tekhnē is realized in organizations and suggest two key features: craft as a location for politics and as a basis for mobilizing politics of scale. We provide three main contributions. First, we show that tekhnē can hold steady a focus on organizing through mundane objects. Second, we demonstrate that attending to the mundane reveals distinct relationships between technology and forms of organizing, that mobilize political concerns. Third, we explore the ways mundane objects of tekhnē are not only involved in representing and preserving cultural heritage, but also in challenging the marginalized status of these communities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganization Studies
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 5 Apr 2022.


  • Craft
  • Technology
  • Science and technology studies
  • Objects
  • Tekhnē
  • Politics
  • Scale
  • Ethnography

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