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Taking Goffman seriously: Developing Strategy-as-Practice

Mueller, F.

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As yet, there has been no systematic exposition of the whole of Goffman’s work in its significance for strategy and strategic management. This paper aims to fill this gap by providing a more wide-ranging treatment of Goffman’s central ideas that goes beyond some of the more widely circulated core notions, such as frontstage/backstage and facework. The paper focuses on ‘performance’ and hypothesizes that skilled performance at the interactional level will influence outcomes at organizational level. It can be assumed that these performances will influence the broader diffusion of a practice at field level. Thus, the paper develops the theoretical idea − an idea implicit in Goffman − that for a performance to be performative, in the first instance it has to be competent, credible and believable. Under these conditions, it can dominate over and drive out less credible interpretations. This can help to understand the progress, or lack thereof, of organizational change.


Mueller, F. (2018). Taking Goffman seriously: Developing Strategy-as-Practice. Critical Perspectives On Accounting, 53, 16-30.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 9, 2016
Online Publication Date May 26, 2017
Publication Date 2018-06
Deposit Date Jun 23, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 23, 2020
Journal Critical Perspectives On Accounting
Print ISSN 1045-2354
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Pages 16-30
Public URL


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