This article provides a conceptual underpinning for the study of bricolage in organizations. Based on a review of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s original writing, we propose that bricolage involves an ideal-typical configuration of acting (practice), knowing (epistemology) and an underlying world view (metaphysics) and develop the opposed ideal-types of the bricoleur and the engineer. We then explore and propose to distinguish two forms of collective bricolage—familiar and convention-based—depending on the type of interac- tion and the nature of the conventions employed. Finally, we highlight the tension between ideal-typical bricolage and general organizational norms and standards, and discuss both the bricoleur’s legitimacy and how a bricolage-based arrangement might be embedded into an organizational context.
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