Title: The inevitability of liminality in organising

Authors: Nuno Guimarães-Costa; Miguel Pina e Cunha

Addresses: ICN Business School Nancy – Metz, CEREFIGE, 13 rue Michel Ney, 54000 Nancy, France ' NOVA School of Business and Economics, INOVA, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Rua Marquês de Fronteira, 20, 1099-038 Lisboa, Portugal

Abstract: We explore the role of liminality, an anthropological and sociological concept, in the context of organisations. We argue that this transition-like condition of being in between is an outcome of organising, which emerges from an ongoing process of structuration. Through the identification of rites and community-like instances in the different processes that compose the act of organising we are able to retrieve what we call liminal elements. We conclude by describing in detail these liminal elements in order to provide a basis for generalisation beyond the examples covered in the paper to include any process that occurs in the context of organisations.

Keywords: liminality; organising; structuration; organisation processes; rites; communitas; liminal elements; liminal personae; anthropological concepts; sociological concepts; anthropology; sociology; transitions; communities; organisations; management concepts; management philosophy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2013.052831

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 2013 Vol.7 No.1, pp.47 - 63

Published online: 05 Apr 2013 *

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