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Preserving a Professional Institution: Emotion in Discursive Institutional Work

Elizabeth Goodrick, Lee C. Jarvis and Trish Reay

Journal of Management Studies, 2020, vol. 57, issue 4, 735-774

Abstract: We studied the discursive institutional work written by pharmacy leaders as part of a larger institutional project to preserve the institution of pharmacy. Our analysis of monthly editorials printed in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association from 1960 to 2003 shows how different discrete emotions were systematically incorporated in specific rhetorical argument structures over the course of an institutional project. In contrast to previous research, we show how discursive institutional work that is directed to members of the same specific social group (e.g., a profession) can vary over time in response to significant events and changes in practices of the target audience. Our longitudinal study shows that the relative frequency of argument types, the incorporation of emotion, and the content of rhetorical argumentation changed over time. We contribute to theory about the role of emotions in discursive institutional work by unpacking the role of discrete emotions and showing how such discourse evolves over time in concert with field conditions.

Date: 2020
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