Reflections on actor-network theory, governance networks, and strategic outcomes


BAR, Braz. Adm. Rev.




In an attempt to instigate discussion in the areas of organizational studies and strategy, this essay focuses on themes related to Governance, Actor-Network Theory, and Strategic Outcomes. We seek to expand understanding of the Governance Network Theory by proposing the inclusion of human and non-human actors from the Actor-Network Theory in its scope. Recent studies concerning the notion of heterogeneous networks have demonstrated the importance of non-human actors for understanding social and organizational phenomena. When combined with a network perspective, strategy is seen as something that people within organizations do and not something that organizations have (Johnson, Langley, Melin, & Whittington, 2007). Networks require interaction, movement, and process; i.e., the active participation of actors involved. Decision making and activities are continuously realized based on the ties between actors and the content they deal with. We believe that this theoretical framework will reveal aspects and issues taken for granted that should be incorporated in the Governance Network Theory's empirical scope of analysis, primarily for research in plural and complex organizations permeated with ambiguous and power-related issues.

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