Skillful coping: processes of becoming and being in practice

Anna Brown, Gail Jane Greig, Emilia Rita Ferraro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines and accounts for skillful coping and its complexity in a way that linear and staged models cannot. We propose a morphogenetic approach of enskilment that surmounts the limitations of such stepwise progressions from novice to expert. Based on rich empirical data that follows forwards the process of one author’s craft apprenticeship over time, we show that becoming enskiled is an ongoing process that unfolds against the background of practice. This reveals a recursive, multidirectional pattern of movement that is specific to each practitioner, depending upon his or her prior experiences and circumstances. Thus the pattern of enskilment may be shared by a range of skillful copers, but is given its specificity by each practitioner’s particular background practice(s).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSkillful Performance
EditorsJörgen Sandberg, Linda Rouleau, Ann Langley, Haridimos Tsoukas
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198806639
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2017

Publication series

NamePerspectives on Process Organization Studies (P-PROS)
PublisherOxford University Press


  • Process
  • Practice
  • Enskilment
  • Skillful coping
  • Skillful performance
  • Competence
  • Becoming
  • Morphogenetic
  • Hylomorphisms
  • Breakdown
  • Surprise
  • Failure
  • Flow
  • Apprenticeship
  • Craft
  • Making

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