• 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.

A Discourse on Discourse: Redeeming the Meaning of Talk
A discourse on discourse: Redeeming the meaning of talk

What happens when we think about thought and talk about talk?

Bruner and Feldman, 1990: 237

The end of the twentieth century is witnessing a rapidly growing movement of ideas away from the traditional, objectivist conception of reality towards a still not fully defined, but more subjective, constructionist ontology. Although the objectivist view has been a central part of the privileged dogma of Western philosophy and science since Plato (Finocchario, 1990; Soyland, 1994), in the last few decades there has been an impressive outpouring of alternative and ultimately constructionist views. As Laughlin et al. observe:

There have emerged at least two principal themes from this revolutionary readjustment of view: (1) a shift ...

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