‘I/We Have Concerns’: When Innovation Work Disturbs Institutionalized Traditions

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Both traditions and innovations are cognitively transmitted and reproduced via the modalities of (in)formal scripts and talk. However, innovations can disturb traditions and precipitate performative discourses of concern. In this way, innovations frequently confront institutional expressions of concerns when actors cognitively filter the past and the ‘way things are to be done here’. By employing Reader-Response Theory, a prominent school of literary criticism, of two textbook innovations within a university establishment which had a distinct tradition to research beginning in the early 1960s, this study explores how innovation work disturbs institutionalized traditions. The findings show how actors transmit traditions, via the articulation of values, expressions of boundary containment and identity work. The findings also reveal three distinct forms of tradition vocabularies employed in pedagogic innovation – breach concerns, redress articulation and reintegration epistemology. Overall, the findings contribute to a better understanding of pedagogic innovation and university traditions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventEuropean Academy of Management - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jun 201724 Jun 2017


ConferenceEuropean Academy of Management
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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