In this article, we develop and advance an understanding of institutions as multimodal accomplishments. We draw on social semiotics and the linguistic concept of metafunctions to establish the visual as a specific mode of meaning construction. In addition, we make semiotic modes conducive to institutional inquiry by introducing the notion of distinct “modal registers” – specialized configurations of linguistic signs within a particular mode that are adapted and applied in the reproduction of institutions or institutional domains. At the core of our article, we operationalize metafunctions to develop methodology for the analysis of visual registers. We illustrate our approach with data from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting in Austria.
We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Danish Research Council: DFF-1327-00030. Dennis Jancsary also wishes to thank SCANCOR and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University for providing an excellent and supportive working environment. We wish to express our gratitude to the participants of the 2nd International Conference: Visuality, Materiality, Multimodality in Copenhagen for their inspiring comments. In particular, we are indebted to our two reviewers for their in-depth engagement with our ideas and their valuable suggestions.
Jancsary, D., Meyer, R.E., Höllerer, M.A. and Boxenbaum, E. (2017), "Institutions As Multimodal Accomplishments: Towards the Analysis of Visual Registers", Höllerer, M.A., Daudigeos, T. and Jancsary, D. (Ed.) Multimodality, Meaning, and Institutions (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 54A), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 87-117. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X2017000054A004Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited