Toward a theory of coordinating: creating coordinating mechanisms in practice

Paula Jarzabkowski, Jane K. Lê, Martha S. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses a practice perspective to study coordinating as dynamic activities that are continuously created and modified in order to enact organizational relationships and activities. It is based on the case of Servico, an organization undergoing a major restructuring of its value chain in response to a change in government regulation. In our case, the actors iterate between the abstract concept of a coordinating mechanism referred to as end-to-end management and its performance in practice. They do this via five performative–ostensive cycles: (1) enacting disruption, (2) orienting to absence, (3) creating elements, (4) forming new patterns, and (5) stabilizing new patterns. These cycles and the relationships between them constitute a process model of coordinating. This model highlights the importance of absence in the coordinating process and demonstrates how experiencing absence shapes subsequent coordinating activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-927
Number of pages20
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number4
Early online date19 Oct 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • oragnizing
  • practice
  • performative
  • ostensive
  • coordination
  • coordinating


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward a theory of coordinating: creating coordinating mechanisms in practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this