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Skillful PerformanceEnacting Capabilities, Knowledge, Competence, and Expertise in Organizations$
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Jörgen Sandberg, Linda Rouleau, Ann Langley, and Haridimos Tsoukas

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198806639

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198806639.001.0001

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Reconsidering Language Use in Our Talk of Expertise—Are We Missing Something?

Reconsidering Language Use in Our Talk of Expertise—Are We Missing Something?

(p.231) 11 Reconsidering Language Use in Our Talk of Expertise—Are We Missing Something?
Skillful Performance

John Shotter

Oxford University Press

There is currently a troubling disconnect between scientific and rational accounts of how experts act in specific situations, and the kind of non-deliberate thinking involved in the actual enactment of expertise. The dominant Cartesian approach provides scientific after-the-fact accounts of expertise, in the sense that it portrays expertise as made up of a set of general rules, frameworks, plans, and procedures for how to act in specific circumstances. Such after-the-fact accounts do not, however, capture how expertise is enacted and developed in the midst of particular circumstances. Specifically, such accounts overlook how experts make sense of the particularities of the unfolding situation. This chapter proposes a Wittgensteinian approach, which enables a real-time account of what expertise looks like, feels like, and sounds like from within experts’ efforts to handle the particularities of an unfolding situation.

Keywords:   expertise, skill, language, sense making, thinking

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