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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 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

Who should attend?

In 2020, the Summer School is aimed at advanced PhDs students and early career scholars who already have experience with process and practice approaches in their research.


The Summer School is limited to 35 participants. Applicants experienced with practice and process research and applicants set to benefit from the event will be selected to attend. Please include in your application a personal statement about your research and the reasons for attending the summer school. Please indicate if you are planning on attending the ‘research clinics’.

We are pleased to offer the 2020 Warwick Practice Fellowship, an award covering summer school fees for a participant who is affiliated with an institution based outside of Europe, North America, Australasia or East Asia, or who is resident there. The fellowship is intended to support scholars who document practices indigenous to non-traditional setting.

No further applications for the Summer School will be accepted.

Please use the ‘Any additional comments’ field on the application form to state that you would like to be considered for the Warwick Practice Fellowship Award.

Location and Fee

The Summer School will take place in the high-quality conference facilities at the University of Warwick. The all-inclusive, subsidised fee for the 2020 Summer School is £595. The fee is inclusive of 3 nights bed and breakfast accommodation (Monday 13 to Wednesday 15 July), all lunches and refreshment breaks and three evening meals. Off-site dinner on Wednesday 15 July will offer opportunities for networking and continued conversations beyond the school setting.