The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new methodological framework for the identification and analysis of different types of discursive manifestations of contradictions.
The paper is based on the dialectical tradition of cultural‐historical activity theory. The methodological framework is developed by means of analyzing the entire transcribed corpus of the discourse conducted in a change laboratory intervention consisting of eight sessions and altogether 189,398 words.
Four types of discursive manifestations, namely dilemmas, conflicts, critical conflicts, and double binds, could be effectively identified in the data. Specific linguistic cues were a useful first level of approaching the different types of manifestations. Critical conflicts and double binds were found to be particularly effective lenses on systemic contradictions.
The paper points to the need for theoretical and conceptual rigor in studies using the notion of contradiction. Further empirical testing of the framework is needed and may lead to more refined or alternative categories.
Dynamics of different organizational change interventions may be effectively analyzed and compared with the help of the framework.
The paper presents an original, empirically‐tested methodological framework that may be a valuable resource for analyzes of contradictions driving organizational change.
Engeström, Y. and Sannino, A. (2011), "Discursive manifestations of contradictions in organizational change efforts: A methodological framework", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 368-387. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811111132758Download as .RIS
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