The Organizational Valuation of Valuation Devices: Putting Lean whiteboard management to work in a hospital department
AbstractThis paper is about the interplay between multiple modes of valuation. The paper engages with the question of how a valuation device intersects with the working values of an organization. While the many studies of valuation practices have drawn attention to the pervasive effects of valuation devices, only a few studies have taken into account the fact that many spaces, including organizations, are already filled with practices and ideas that constitute what is valuable. Revisiting classical organization theory, this paper shows that organizations comprise multiple, more—or less—integrated modes of valuation. Empirically, the paper draws on an ethnographic study of Lean management at a children’s hospital, which is presented through analytical snapshots. The paper suggests that an organizational turn is relevant for valuation studies, as this fi rst allows an analytical expansion to include less ‘deviced’ valuations, contributes to the ongoing culture vs. device debate offering an alternative to the causal analysis of devices and effects without making the ‘ineffable culture’ what makes or breaks the causality.
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