A Tale of Three Discourses: The Dominant, the Strategic and the Marginalized*
Journal of Management Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 5, 1059-1087
abstract This study drew from a structurational view of discourse and employed a discourse analysis approach based on rhetoric and hermeneutics to analyse the organizational discourses operating in the UK operations of a global human resources consulting firm, People Associates. The aims were firstly to understand in what sense we can speak of ‘modes of discourse’ in organizational settings; secondly to explore the potential existence and nature of interrelations among different modes of discourse; and thirdly to explore the constructive potential of modes of discourse on their social and organizational contexts. The results suggest that modes of discourse can usefully be seen as rhetorical enthymemes constituted of relatively stable, normative structures and flexible, action‐oriented structures; that modes of discourse can interrelate through their deeper structural features, and can have mutually co‐optive or antagonistic relationships; and lastly that the constructive potential of discourse is based primarily on its deeper structures, and on the consonance of surface communicative actions with these structures. This research thus sheds light on fundamental definitional and substantive issues in organizational discourse; in particular offering a novel conceptualization of the nature of discourse, a further understanding of discursive interrelations, and finally one way to understand its constructive effects on social organizations.
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:43:y:2006:i:5:p:1059-1087
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