Abstract: Space is a fundamental issue in organizing yet remains unexplored by cultural historical activity theory. The growing interest for this theory in organization studies asks for reflecting on the role of space in activity. The activity system model — a triangle-shaped diagram that is often used to study organizations within this theory — is evaluated against the issue of the production of space. The episodic experience of the author in applying the model to study the design of a new healthcare facility is presented for reflection. The facility was supposed to produce a boundary crossing activity; however, the production of this shared space made contradictions emerge beyond the reach of the activity system model. Some possibilities are considered to ground the model with the dialectics of the production of space, including the triad of representations of space, space of representations, and spatial practices.
Amstel, F.M.C. van; Hartmann, T; Voort, M. van der; Dewulf, G.P.M.R. (2014) Grounding the flying triangle: activity theory and the production of space. In: Proceedings of the European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium, Rotterdam.