• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This major work from renowned scholars in the field analyzes the role of language and symbolic media and show how this enables us to move to new levels of understanding of contemporary organizational issues. Chapters examine the role and growing importance of discourse in the study of organizations; the relationship between discourse, action, and interaction and their impact on organizational structure and behavior; the analytical potential of the “store” as a means of illuminating the ways in which organizational members make sense of their experience of organization; the fundamental significance of linguistic usage and discursive construction to the ontologies of “organization.” Finally, a concluding discourse explores the claims and limitations of organizational discourse as a means of enriching our understanding of organization.

Discourse, Organizations and Paradox
Discourse, organizations and paradox
RichardDunford and IanPalmer

In the introductory chapter to this book Grant, Keenoy and Oswick conclude with a discussion of the role of paradox in understanding discourse and the need for a ‘highly reflexive approach’ to the study of organizational discourse. In this closing chapter we develop this proposition by identifying the extent to which attempts to analyse discourse are complicated by the paradoxical nature of the phenomena one seeks to understand. The analysis is in two parts. First, we identify six paradoxes which are represented among the chapters in this book. Second, we identify six different strategies of engagement which a researcher can utilize in addressing these paradoxes.

Paradoxes in Talk and Action

Two broad paradoxes can be identified that involve the ...

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