Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This article seeks to present and explore the relevance of a figurational, or process sociological approach, as developed by Norbert Elias, to the investigation of innovation and change. It is argued that Elias’s work offers a theoretically robust framework for exploring such issues. Applications of the principles of his work, in particular the emphasis on an understanding of longer-term unplanned processes, are a potential help to those charged with planning and managing complex change, such as the introduction of innovation. The example of health policy-makers’ attempts to use the principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM) to change clinical practice is used to explore these claims.


Journal article


Organization Studies


Sage Publications Ltd.

Publication Date





1125 - 1144


innovation; evidence-based medicine; change; Elias; figurational sociology;