Stabilizing Movements: How Television Professionals Use Other People's Voices to Cope with New Professional Practices During Times of Change

Maria Norbäck, Jenny Helin, Elena Raviola

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Based on an extensive qualitative study, this article explores how professional workers in an organization, in this case television programme makers at a public broadcaster, cope with the complex changes that occur when their professional practices as well as their organization are in the midst of turbulent times. Departing from a process perspective to organizational change and insights from Bakhtin's notion of ‘double-voicing’, which means that people borrow other people's words in their own talk, two main contributions are offered. First, we show how stability cannot be taken for granted but rather takes continuous work. This work is conceptualized through the notion of ‘stabilizing movements’ in which other people's voices can be used to legitimate one's own practices and thereby create a space for one's own actions. In this way, stabilizing movements can create a feeling of stability, and a sense of a stabilized platform for action. Second, the research shows the need for inquiring into the contextualizing work carried out by professional workers during change. Thus, we find that there is no context ‘out there’ as a given. Rather, this study points at the importance of studying the contextualizing work people continuously do in various ways where different contexts are created and re-worked in the professionals' practices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Change Management
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)434-452
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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