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2020 Summer School on Practice-based Studies

An international gathering dedicated to the study, advancement and future development of practice-based studies in organization, administrative and social studies.

Practice, Process and Issues of Scale in Global Challenges  

University of Warwick, Coventry, 13-16 July 2020

Co-directors: Katharina Dittrich and Mira Slavova


About the Summer School

The Summer School is a yearly initiative aimed at the diffusion, development, and advancement of practice-based studies. Our ethos is to be inclusive and open, and we aim to create a temporary learning community characterized by open dialogue, discussion, and joint exploration.

The School is programmatically multi-disciplinary and open to a variety of approaches and sensitivities. It is organised by Warwick’s Practice, Process, and Institutions (PPI) Research Programme in collaboration with the International Symposium Series on Process Organization Studies (PROS). This year the event is coordinated by Katharina Dittrich and Mira Slavova. The School has been running yearly since 2013. Past directors include Hari Tsoukas, Maja Korica, Ila Bharatan, Davide Nicolini.

The program of the Summer School covers state-of-the-art understandings of practice and process studies (2 days) and a variable theme (1 day) with relevance to current debates.

State-of-the-art Understandings

The first two days of the program introduce students to the thinking and doing of practice and process research. We discuss publishing strategies and provide selected participants with an opportunity to receive feedback on their work from senior scholars. Manuscripts, research proposals and progress reports are shared during ‘research clinics’. The faculty includes:

Davide Nicolini, Warwick Business School

Sotirios Paroutis, Warwick Business School

Jorgen Sandberg, Warwick Business School & University of Queensland

Hari Tsoukas, Warwick Business School & University of Cyprus

Practice, Process and Issues of Scale in Global Challenges

Increasingly, scholars are interested in studying global challenges, such as climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, inequality, healthcare, policy making and regulation, etc. Capturing such large-scale phenomena can be a challenge for practice and process scholar: Should we take a micro or macro lens? Where should we look? How do we connect small scale and large-scale phenomena? How about local actions and global actions? The dualisms of large vs. small, global vs. local and near vs. far, aggravate the situation. In the summer school, we will advance discussions of scale in two ways: We will (1) rethink the methods we use to study phenomena of societal importance, and (2) shift from scale as a category of analysis to scale as a category of practice, i.e., how scale is experienced, developed and deployed by ordinary social actors in everyday practice. Guest speakers include:

Neil Pollock, University of Edinburgh

Natalie Papanastasiou, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

No further applications for the Summer School will be accepted.

Online Summer School 2020

Due to the current pandemic, the 2020 Summer school will be conducted as an online event. This will consist of an online community (where participants can engage with pre-recorded videos, readings, discussion forum, networking tools etc.) and LiveSessions (in which participants can interact with each other and the speakers). The online community will be launched one month before the summer school. The schedule for the LiveSessions is as follows:


Tuesday (July 14th)

Wednesday (July 15th)

Thursday (July 16th)


(9:30 – 11 BST)

State of the art process research


(Hari Tsoukas and Joergen Sandberg)

How to write practice and process papers


(Hari Tsoukas and Joergen Sandberg)

Closed to selected participants: Rethinking methods for studying large-scale phenomena


(Neil Pollock)


(13:00 – 14:30 BST)

State of the art practice research



(Davide Nicolini)

Closed to selected participants: Research clinics


(30min time per participants to discuss their research with an experienced faculty member)

Closed to selected participants: From scale as a category of analysis to a category of practice


(Natalie Papanastasiou)

Those participants that have been selected for closed sessions are notified in a separate email about how to register for the summer school.

All LiveSessions will be recorded and made available to participants afterwards.