• 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.

Talk and Action: Conversations and Narrative in Interorganizational Collaboration
Talk and action: Conversations and narrative in interorganizational collaboration
CynthiaHardy, ThomasB.Lawrence and NelsonPhillips

Insights from postmodern work have drawn our attention to the discursive, textual and social nature of organizing. For some, ‘to tell a story is to act upon the world’ (Cobb, 1993: 230). But these approaches raise an important question: if our world is purely social, can we simply think up - or talk up - a new one? It would appear not: the link between talk and action is more problematic than some voluntaristic explanations of social action might suggest (see Palmer and Dunford, 1995). This chapter attempts to explore the link between talk and action by integrating discourse theory (Fairclough, 1992; Parker, 1992; Mumby, ...

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