After mastery: Insights from practice theorizing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Much of the practice studies literature, especially in a phenomenological vein, focuses on novices learning, acquiring what the master “has.” This leaves two under-theorized areas: a “life-cyle” of practitioner and practicing phases, including pre-novice and post-mastery; and forms of practice-learning across these, including that characteristic of mastery itself. In conceiving of themselves as all-knowing and then “rushing to judgment” or making “premature diagnoses,” for instance, masters seem to lose their ability to inquire. Might learning to become a master contribute to some things being “unlearned” which are key to good practicing in being a master, thereby generating problems in the practice? This chapter elucidates the characteristics of novice-learning in organizational settings of various sorts. It then frames several problems in need of further theorizing, including the changing character of practitioners’ awareness of “tools” across the practice life-cycle and the need for work-practice studies to theorize about practices entailing human “tools.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe emergence of novelty in organizations
EditorsRaghu Garud, Barbara Simpson, Ann Langley, Haridimos Tsoukas
PublisherOxford Academic
ISBN (Print)9780198728313
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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