Real-Estate Valuation and the Organization of the City

  • Uri Ansenberg

Student thesis: Phd


The city, as an object of organisational study, has received scant attention within the discipline of Organisational Studies in particular, and in the business school in general. While the management and organisational literature dealing with urban matters is abundant, the city itself, as opposed to phenomena taking place within it, has rarely been the focus of true scholarly attention, from an organisational point-of-view. This research aims to address this very issue, by first identifying the strands of organisational thought about the city and problematizing the prevalent narratives underlying most urban OS scholarship, thus stressing the need to generate a novel urban account. By conducting an Actor-Network Theory oriented ethnographic study in and around the Tel-Aviv council, all the while rethinking the theoretical premises which inform our fieldwork, an attempt is made to advance our understanding of the city with a view to resolve this lacuna. Opening the Real-Estate Value (REV) black-box by following the praxis of professional valuation and the ways it assembles the city landscape, and by focusing on REVs material manifestation via Real-Estate Valuation documents, we were able to register a novel account of urban-organization that succeeds in portraying a complex and multifarious city. This novel account allows us, in conclusion, to gain new insights into heterogeneous urban phenomenon and their interrelation to the various different Actor-Networks which make up the city. We showcase the utility of our approach by examining gentrification, without pre-assuming its nature, via a follow-up of the ways REVs and their manufacturing connects diverse sets of actors into what is commonly understood as a symptom of either an economic, political, or cultural reality. This breaking down of misapprehensions regarding the assembly of an unbounded organisation such as the city is not only useful for broadening our organisational understanding of the city, but has far-reaching implications on the field of OS as a whole, as it allows one to study different registers of formality without succumbing to pre-assumed structural limits and myths.
Date of Award1 Aug 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJohn Hassard (Supervisor) & Damian O'Doherty (Supervisor)


  • Actor-Network Theory
  • Real-Estate Valuation
  • Urban Management and Organization
  • Latour
  • Tel-Aviv

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