While the activity, always social and organized, is located “within” an organization, the organization as well is located « within » the activity. In a processual perspective about organizations (the organization viewed as a continuous process of emergence rather than as a structure), the socially organized activity is immediately perceptible, because it is fragmented by the division of labour and spread out on multiple periods and places. It can only make sense through its permanent process of reconstruction, which produces simultaneously: a performation, i.e. a practical transformation of the situation; the meaning of collective action in-progress; and the continuous renewal of roles, instruments, rules, temporal and spatial frameworks, i.e. ongoing « organizing ». Starting from a concrete example (work organisation in a situation of merger between two mass distribution groups), the chapter develops the pragmatist theoretical basis of this approach and its methodological implications.
LORINO, P. (2017). l’Activité, processus collectif de signification et d’organisation. Implications méthodologiques. Dans: Encyclopédie d’analyse des activités. 1st ed. PUF.