Doing Process Research (20 – 22 November 2013)


This course is organized by Professor Robin Holt. Faculty, apart from Holt, includes Professor Daniel Hjorth, also at CBS, and Professor Jean Clarke, University of Leeds.

Course coordinator 

Registered on compatible PhD-programme. In order to receive the course diploma, participants have to be present during the whole course period.


The aim of this course is to introduce students to the field of organizational process studies. Particular emphasis is placed on providing students with the analytical means to analyse and discuss how to undertake process work in the context of organization studies and process philosophy.

Theory and methods will be engaged with using studies from the teachers’ own research. This is not done for reasons of ego, but places the students in a setting where work is being explicated from within, rather than commented on from without.


The course covers the areas of organization studies, methods, entrepreneurship studies, critical management studies, art and management, governmentality studies, and process philosophy (processual approaches to organisation)

Teaching style 

The form of the seminar is a combination of lectures, and discussions with the invited professors, who will join for several days of the course, creating a form of “summer-school”.

Learning objectives 

The course objective is to establish familiarity with contemporary research broadly in the field of organization studies that is inspired by, or has sympathy with, a processual worldview. The emphasis is very much on allowing the students to appreciate both what a processual worldview entails and how, given such a view, a researcher might be expected to engage in the practice of studying phenomena. Students will learn how others have done such. Those taking the course have all conducted process work, and throughout it is their study and experience of such that provides a source of example. This approach allows the student to appreciate the demands of undertaking process work from within.  

Emphasis is placed on PhD-students’ development of a framework and perspective in which their own methodological techniques for can be developed.

Lecture plan 

Day One

10.00 – 10.20 Introduction

Overview of the course, expectations and introductions

10.20 – 11.30

11.30 – 12.30

What is process?
Professor Robin Holt

Using examples from philosophy and literature (Virginia Woolf, Henri Bergson, Heraclitus, Nietzsche), this part of the course will entail presentation and discussion on the nature of the world understood and experienced processually. Particular emphasis will be given to Bergson’s method of ‘intuition’
How do the students’ understand their projects as being processual in some way?  

12.30 - 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 15.00

\15.00 – 15.30

15.30 – 16.30


Doing process work.

Professor Robin Holt

Discussing processual writing in social studies and the humanities.   

Alphonso Lingis selections from ‘The Imperative’

Georges Perec ‘Things’ and ‘An Attempt to Exhaust a Parisian Place’


Discussing how students’ projects might be informed by process work. Discussing how through process work social science might expand the criteria of meaning – using a wider range of sources and different styles of analysis and presentation.








Day Two

10.00 – 11.15

11.15 – 12.30

Processual work and different forms of data and analysis
Professor Robin Holt

Using letters as a data source  - examples from Business History.

Using fiction and television – ‘The Wire’ as a setting for analysis.    

12.30 - 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 14.30

15.00 – 15.30

15.30 - 16.30

Processual work and different forms of data and analysis
Professor Daniel Hjorth, Professor Jean Clarke and Professor Robin Holt

Fictionalisation, dramatizing, performing: altering genres of writing in process studies (examples entrepreneurship studies and aesthetics and organisation)


Studying these and similar methods in the students’ own projects: potentialities and possibilities.


Day Three

10.00 – 12.00

12.00 -12.30

Processual work and different forms of data and analysis
Professor Daniel Hjorth, Professor Jean Clarke and Professor Robin Holt

Using film and video. This will be both a discussion of a study that used film and video as a method and a practical session, making short interview films and discussing how they might be analysed.  
How can film be used in students’ projects?

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 15.30

15.30 – 16.00


Using photographs and drawing. This session will involve discussion of two related research projects, one of which used postcards as a method of data collection, the other using drawing. Practical engagement with techniques such as drawing will be encouraged.  
How can drawing and other visual methods be used in students’ own projects?
Reflections – Open discussion on resonance of the course


Course literature 

(Course participants are expected to have read selections from these sources before the course. Given many of them are books, we do not expect a full reading of all such.)

Day 1

Bergson, Henri The Creative Mind: An Introduction to Metaphysics.

Helin, Jenny, Hernes, Tor, Hjorth, Daniel, & Holt, Robin  ‘Introduction’ to Oxford Handbook of Process Philosophy and Organization Studies. Oxford. 2014

Lingis, Alphono  The Imperative. Indiana University Press. 1998. (Preface, Nightwatch, Things)

Nayak, Ajit On the Way to Theory: A Processual Approach. Organization Studies, 29(2): 173-190

Perec, Georges Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, ed. and trans. by John Sturrock, London: Penguin, 1997.

Perec, Georges, ‘Things: A Story of the Sixties’ in Things: A Story of the Sixties & A Man Asleep, trans. by David Bellos and Andrew Leak, London: Vintage, 1999

Rescher, Nicholas Process Metaphysics: An Introduction to Process Philosophy. SUNY. 1995.

Rescher, Nicholas Process Philosophy: A Survey of Basic Issues. University of Pittsburgh Press. 2000

Woolf, Virginia A Room of One’s Own. (Start of Chapter Two)

Day 2

De Cock, Christian (2000) ‘Reflections on fiction, representation and organization studies: An essay with special reference to the work of Jorge Luis Borges’ Organization Studies, 21(3): 589-609.

De Cock, Christian, Land, Christopher (2006) ‘Organization/Literature’, Organization Studies, 27(4): 517-535.    

Holt, Robin and Popp, Andrew (2013) ‘The romantic enterprise: The case of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons’. Business History

Popp, Andrew, Holt, Robin Entrepreneurship and being: The case of the Shaws. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 25(1/2): 52-68

Zundel, Mike. Holt, Robin., Cornelissen, Joep (2013) Institutional work in The Wire: An ethological investigation of flexibility and organizational adaptation. Journal of Management Inquiry. 22: 102-120

Bill, F. and Olaison, L. “Limits of the Gift: Exploring Interaction in Antiquarian Bookshops,” Tamara – Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry, 9(3-4): 11-21.

Steyaert, C. and Hjorth, D. 2002, “Thou Art a Scholar – Speak to It!: On Spaces of Speech”, Human Relations, 55(7): 767-797.

Day 3

Clarke, Jean, Holt, Robin. (2010) ‘The mature entrepreneur: A narrative approach to entrepreneurial goals’, Journal of Management Inquiry, 19(1): 69-83

Clarke, Jean. (2011). Revitalising entrepreneurship: How visual symbols are used in entrepreneurial performances. Journal of Management Studies, 48, (6), 1365-1391

Cornelissen, Joep., Clarke, Jean. and Cienki, A. (2012), Sensegiving in entrepreneurial contexts: The use of metaphor in speech and gesture to gain and sustain support for novel business ventures. International Small Business Journal, 30 (3), 212-241.

Background Literature:

Bergson, Henri. (1911/2002) Key Writings. K. Ansell Pearson and J. Mullarkey (eds) Selected writings. New York: Continuum

Law, John After Method: Mess in Social Science Research Routledge. 2004.

Taussig, Michael What Color is the Sacred? Chicago. 2009. (Redeeming Indigo)

PhD School 
PhD School in Organisation and Management Studies
Enroll no later than 
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 23:45


PhD School
Doctoral Schoool of Organisation and Management Studies

Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy




Copenhagen Business School
Porcelænshaven 18 B
DK-2000 Frederiksberg                                                                                                                                                               Room: S.023

DKK 3,900 (covers the course, coffee, tea, lunch and one dinner)

Minimum number of participants

Maximum number of participants

Enrol no later than
23 October 2013

Please fill in the application form and send it by e-mail to Katja Høeg Tingleff


In case we receive more registrations for the course than we have places, the registrations will be prioritized in the the following order: Students from Doctoral School of Organisation and Management Studies (OMS), students from other CBS PhD schools, students from other institutions than CBS.

Contact PhD Administration
Katja Høeg Tingleff