Ph.D. projects

Organization as cognition - A context-critical investigation of organizational processes
Ph.D. project conducted by Rasmus Gahrn-Andersen (Supervisor: Sune Vork Steffensen)

This project is on social organizing. Being strictly theoretical, the project is based on a phenomenological approach (including Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty) with a focus on securing a high level of epistemological consistency. In addition, it also incorporates contributions from externalist approaches in modern cognitive science. The outset of the project is a critical attitude towards organizational theories. Theorists from this particular area of research traditionally tend to neglect vital cognitive and social aspects by using the social container metaphor (such as ‘the organization’) to describe the phenomenon of social organizing. By doing so, this phenomenon becomes reified as something which actors are able to step into and out of without fundamentally changing the internal coherence of the phenomenon itself. This project aims at formulating an epistemological position which applies the phenomenological first person perspective and yet is capable of explaining how social phenomena emerge and evolve without falling into the abovementioned pitfall. In order to formulate an epistemological stance on the strongest grounds possible, the project centers on developing a transcendental approach towards explaining social organizing, building on the theories of Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Bergson.


Interactivity and human errors in emergency medicine: distributed language and cognition in medical teams. Ph.D. project conducted by Sarah Bro Pedersen (Supervisor: Sune Vork Steffensen)

The project focuses on human factors in medical teams in emergency medicine. In particular how practitioners make sense and how they – through interactivity (cognitive and language processes) – are able to link bodies, expressive features of the environment and meaning. It is a research of ‘what happens’ in real-life treatment situations and focuses on how sociocultural norms are lived through bodies on the floor. For instance, by showing how medical culture models real time interactivity and how it is shaped by the exact same dynamics, to explain how cognition is more - and something else - than purely situated. A methodological concern, thus, falls on how interactivity connects the rapid processes of real-time coaction with situation transcendent processes of social knowledge, norms and meaning – in a way that forms results. 

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