• 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.

Workplace Conversations: The Text of Organizing
Workplace conversations: The text of organizing

Talk is everywhere in organizations, as members take for granted communication, information and decisions that are all based in interaction and language use. Talk also documents and constitutes worklife as members make sense of past events or anticipate future actions. Such talk becomes fundamental data for organizational research: ethnographic studies quote language-in-use to demonstrate particular meanings, survey researchers present statements assuming similar understanding by researcher and respondents, while critical scholars re-examine meanings within texts already ‘written’.

Conversation, implying two people talking directly to each other to share information, ideas and feelings, is the most taken-for-granted process of social talking. Conversation appears as fragmented managerial interactions, or during meetings forming the backbone of organizational work, or ...

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