Artifacts in organizations are ubiquitous but often overlooked. The chapters in this book illustrate that artifacts are everywhere in organizational life. They prevail in how offices are decorated, language is used, business cards are designed, and office cartoons are displayed. In addition, artifacts can be seen in the name of an organization and its employees, products, buildings, processes, and contracts, and they represent people, organizations, and professions.
Artifacts and Organizations suggests that artifacts are neither superficial nor pertinent only to organizational culture. They are relevant to a rich and diverse set of organizational processes within and across multiple levels of analysis. Artifacts are shown to be integral to identity, sense-giving and sense-making processes, interpretation and negotiation, legitimacy, and branding. The book seeks to communicate that artifacts are often much more than what is currently recognized in organizational research. The four sections of this edited volume address various aspects of what is known about and known through artifacts. Together, the full set of chapters challenge the field to move beyond a narrow conceptualization and understanding of artifacts in organizations.
This book leads students to embrace the full complexity and richness of artifacts. In addition, the text seeks to inspire those who focus on artifacts as symbols to delve deeper into the complexities of artifacts-in-use, for individuals, organizations, and institutions.