Controversies as method for ANTi-history

Main Article Content

César Tureta
Bruno Américo
Stewart Clegg


Our aim is to develop and propose a method for ANTi-historians, using analysis of controversy as the
starting point. Despite the theoretical and methodological development of the ANTi-history approach to the study of knowledge of the past and the creation of its history, there is room for method development based on controversy analysis. We ground our proposal in some of ANTi-history’s assumptions (relationalism, the symmetry principle, and multiplicity) and practical concepts (translation and politics of actor-networks). In addition, we recommend four criteria that researchers should use in choosing a controversy to serve as a starting point for investigation. Finally, we present five steps for investigating knowledge of the past and the creation of history.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

How to Cite
TURETA, C.; AMÉRICO, B.; CLEGG, S. Controversies as method for ANTi-history. RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 61, n. 1, p. 1–12, 2021. DOI: 10.1590/S0034-759020210105. Disponível em: Acesso em: 20 jul. 2024.


Alcadipani, R., & Hassard, J. (2010). Actor-network theory, organizations and critique: Towards a politics of organizing. Organization, 17(4), 419-435. doi: 10.1177/1350508410364441.

Anderson, P. (1974). Lineages of the absolutist state. London, UK: New Left Books.

Bettin, C., & Mills, A. J. (2018). More than a feminist: ANTi-Historical reflections on Simone de Beauvoir. Management & Organizational History, 13(1), 65-85. doi: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1446835.

Blum, A. F., & McHugh, P. (1971). The social ascription of motives. American Sociological Review, 36(1), 98-109. doi: 10.2307/2093510.

Booth, C., & Rowlinson, M. (2006). Management and organizational history: Prospects. Management & Organizational History, 1(1), 5-30. doi: 10.2307/2093510.

Bothello, J., & Salles-Djelic, M.-L. (2018). Evolving conceptualizations of organizational environmentalism: A path generation account. Organization Studies, 39(1), 93-119. doi: 10.1177/0170840617693272.

Busse, R., & Warner, M. (2017). The legacy of the hawthorne experiments: A critical analysis of the 'Human Relations School of Thought'. History of Economic Ideas, 5(2), 91-114. Doi: 10.19272/201706102004.

Callon, M. (1986). Some elements of a sociology of translation: Domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St. Brieuc Bay. In J. Law (Ed.), Power, action, and belief: A new sociology of knowledge? (pp. 196-223). London, UK: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Callon, M. (1989). Society in the making: The study of technology as a tool for sociological analysis. In W. E. Bijker, T. P. Hughes, & T. Pinch (Eds.), The social construction of technological systems (pp. 83-103). Cambridge, USA: MIT Press.

Clegg, S. R. (1989). Frameworks of power. London, UK: Sage.

Coraiola, D. M., Suddaby, R., & Foster, W. M. (2017). Mnemonic capabilities: Collective memory as a dynamic capability, RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, 57(3), 258-263. doi: 10.1590/s0034-759020170306.

Corrigan, L. T. (2016). Accounting practice and the historic turn: Performing budget histories. Management & Organizational History, 11(2), 77-98. doi: 10.1080/17449359.2015.1115743.

Corrigan, L. T., & Mills, A. J. (2012). Men on board: Actor-network theory, feminism and gendering the past. Management & Organizational History, 7(3) 251-265. doi: 10.1177/1744935912444357.

Deal, N. M., Mills, A. J., & Helms Mills, J. (2018). Amodern and modern warfare in the making of a commercial airline. Management & Organizational History, 13(4), 373-396. doi: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1547647.

Durepos, G. (2015). ANTi-History: Toward amodern histories. In P. McLaren, A. J. Mills, & T. Weatherbee (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to management and organizational history (pp. 153-180). New York, USA: Routledge.

Durepos, G., & Mills, A. (2012a). ANTi-History: Theorizing the past, history, and historiography in management and organizational studies. Charlotte, USA: Information Age Publishing.

Durepos, G., & Mills, A. J. (2012b). Actor-network theory, ANTi-history and critical organizational historiography. Organization, 19(6), 703-721. doi: 10.1177/1350508411420196.

Durepos, G., & Mills, A. J. (2017). ANTi-History, relationalism and the historic turn in management and organization studies. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, 12(1), 53-67. doi: 10.1108/QROM-07-2016-1393.

Durepos, G., & Mills, A. J. (2018). ANTi-History: An alternative approach to history. In C. Cassell, A. L. Cunliffe, & G. Grandy (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative business and management research methods. (pp. 431-449). California, USA: Sage.

Durepos, G., & Mills, A. J., & Helms Mills, J. (2008). Tales in the manufacture of knowledge: Writing a company history of Pan American World Airways. Management & Organizational History, 3(1), 63-80. doi: 10.1177/1744935908090998.

Durepos, G., Mills, A. J., & Weatherbee, T. G. (2012). Theorizing the past: Realism, relativism, relationalism and the reassembly of Weber. Management & Organizational History, 7(3) 267-281. doi: 10.1177/1744935912444353.

Durepos, G., Shaffner, E. C., & Taylor, S. (2019). Developing critical organizational history: Context, practice and implications. Organization, online first, 1-19. doi: 10.1177/1350508419883381.

Foster, J., Mills, A. J., & Weatherbee, T. (2014). History, field definition and management studies: The case of the New Deal, Journal of Management History, 20(2), 179-199. doi: 10.1108/JMH-02-2013-0011.

Foster, W. M., Coraiola, D. M., Suddaby, R., Kroezen, J., & Chandler, D. (2017). The strategic use of historical narratives: A theoretical framework. Business History, 59(8), 1176-1200. doi: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1224234.

Hartt, C., Mills, A. J., Helms Mills, J., & Corrigan, L. T. (2014). Sense-making and actor networks: The non-corporeal actant and the making of an Air Canada history. Management & Organizational History, 9(3), 288-304. doi: 10.1080/17449359.2014.920260.

Hassard, J. S. (2012). Rethinking the Hawthorne Studies: The Western Electric research in its social, political and historical context. Human Relations, 65(11), 1431-1461. doi: 10.1177/0018726712452168.

Heikkurinen, P., Clegg, S. R., Pinnington, A., Nicolopoulou, K., & Caraz, J. M. (2020). Managing the Anthropocene? Relational agency and planetary boundaries. Organization & Environment, online first. doi: 10.1177/1086026619881145.

Hinnebusch, B. J. (1997). Bubonic plague: A molecular genetic case history of the emergence of an infectious disease. Journal of Molecular Medicine, 75(9), 645-652. doi: 10.1007/s001090050148.

Hussenot, A. (2008). Between structuration and translation: An approach of ICT appropriation. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 21(3), 335-347. doi: 10.1108/09534810810874813.

Hussenot, A. (2014). Analyzing organization through disagreements: The concept of managerial controversy. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 27(3), 373-390. doi: 10.1108/JOCM-01-2012-0006.

Hussenot, A., & Missonier, S. (2010). A deeper understanding of evolution of the role of the object in organizational process: The concept of “mediation object”. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 23(3), 269-286. doi: 10.1108/09534811011049608.

Jehn, K. A. (1995). A multimethod examination of the benefits and detriments of intragroup conflict. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(2), 256-282. doi: 10.2307/2393638.

Kivijarvi, M., Mills, A. J., & Helms Mills, J. (2018). Performing Pan American Airways through coloniality: An ANTi-History approach to narratives and business history. Management & Organizational History, 14(1), 33-54. doi: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1465825.

Kuper, S. (2019, June 21). How Oxford university shaped Brexit: And Britain’s next prime minister. Financial Times, 18 September. Retrieved from

Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1985). Hegemony and socialist strategy: Towards a radical democratic politics. London, UK: Verso.

Lanzara, G. F., & Patriotta, G. (2001). Technology and the courtroom: An inquiry into knowledge making in organization. Journal of Management Studies, 38(7), 943-971. doi: 10.1111/1467-6486.00267.

Latour, B. (1987). Science in action: How to follow scientists and engineers through society. Cambridge, USA: Havard University Press.

Latour, B. (1999). Pandora’s hope: Essays on the reality of science studies. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Press.

Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social: An introduction to actor-network-theory. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Latour, B., & Woolgar, S. (1986). Laboratory life: The construction of scientific facts. Princeton, USA: Princeton University


Law, J. (1987). Technology and heterogeneous engineering: The case of Portuguese expansion. In W. E. Bijker, T. P. Hughes, & T. Pinch (Eds.), The social construction of technological systems: New directions in the sociology and history of technology. (pp. 111-134). Cambridge, USA: MIT Press.

Law, J. (1992). Notes on the theory of the actor-network: Ordering, strategy and heterogeneity. Systems Practice, 5(4), 379-393. doi: 10.1007/BF01059830.

Law, J. (1994). Organizing modernity. Oxford, England: Blackwell.

Law, J. (1999). After ANT: Complexity, naming and topology. In J. Law, & J. Hassard (Eds.), Actor network theory and after (pp. 1-14). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Law, J. (2004). After method: Mess in social science research. London, UK, New York, USA: Routledge.

Maclean, M., Harvey, C., & Clegg, S. R. (2016). Conceptualizing historical organization studies. Academy of Management

Review, 41(4), 609-632. doi: 10.5465/amr.2014.0133.

Maclean, M., Harvey, C., & Clegg, S. R. (2017). Organization theory in business and management history: Present status and future prospects. Business History Review, 91, 457-481. doi: 10.1017/S0007680517001027.

Mannevuo, M. (2018). The riddle of adaptation: Revisiting the Hawthorne studies. The Sociological Review, 66(6), 1242-1257. doi: 10.1177/0038026118755603.

Michaud, V. (2014). Mediating the paradoxes of organizational governance through numbers. Organization Studies, 35(1), 75-101. doi: 10.1177/0170840613495335.

Mills, A. J., & Durepos, G. (2010). ANTi-history. In A. J. Mills, G. Durepos, & E. Weibe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of case study research (pp. 26-29). California, USA: Sage.

Mills, A. J., Suddaby, R., Foster, W. M., & Durepos, G. (2016). Revisiting the historic turn 10 years later: Current debates in management and organizational history – an introduction. Management & Organizational History, 11(2), 67-76. doi: 10.1080/17449359.2016.1164927.

Mol, A. (1999). Ontological politics: A word and some questions. In J. Law, & J. Hassard (Eds.), Actor network theory and after (pp. 74-89). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.

Mol, A. (2002). The body multiple: Ontology in medical practice. Durham, USA: Duke UP.

Mol, A. (2010). Actor-network theory: Sensitive terms and enduring tensions, Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 50(1), 253-269.

Muldoon, J. (2017). The Hawthorne studies: An analysis of critical perspectives, 1936-1958. Journal of Management History, 23(1), 74-94. doi: 10.1108/JMH-09-2016-0052.

Myrick, K., Helms Mills, J., & Mills, A J. (2013). History-making and the Academy of Management: An ANTi-History perspective. Management & Organizational History, 8(4), 345-370. doi: 10.1080/17449359.2013.821662.

Ocasio, W., Mauskapf, M., & Steele, C. W. J. (2016). History, society, and institutions: The role of collective memory in the emerging and evolution of societal logics. Academy of Management Review, 41(4), 676-699. doi: 10.5465/amr.2014.0183.

Popper, K. (2014). Conjectures and refutations: The growth of scientific knowledge. London, UK: Routledge.

Scott, P., Richards, E., & Martin, M. (1990). Captives of controversy the myth of the neutral social researcher in contemporary scientific controversies. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 15(4), 474-494. doi: 10.1177/016224399001500406.

Secord, P., & Corrigan, L. T. (2017). ANTi-History and the entrepreneurial work of privateers. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, 12(2), 94-110. doi: 10.1108/QROM-06-2016-1389.

Venturini, T. (2010a). Diving in magma: How to explore controversies with actor-network theory. Public Understanding of Science, 19(3), 258-273. doi: 10.1177/0963662509102694.

Venturini, T. (2010b). Building on faults: How to represent controversies with digital methods. Public Understanding of Science, 21(7), 796-812. doi: 10.1177/0963662510387558.

Venturini, T., Ricci, D., Mauri, M., Kimbell, L., & Meunier, A. (2015). Designing controversies and their publics, Design Issues, 31(3), 74-87. doi: 10.1162/DESI_a_00340.

Weatherbee, T. G., Durepos, G., Mills, A., & Helms Mills, J. (2012). Theorizing the past: Critical engagements. Management & Organizational History, 7(3), 193-202. doi: 10.1177/1744935912444358.

Yaneva, A. (2012). Mapping controversies in architecture. Manchester, UK: Ashgate Publishing Company.