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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Sara Walton and Bronwyn Boon

– The purpose of this paper is to present an analytical method through which a political analysis of intra and inter-organizational conflicts may be conducted.

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1614

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an analytical method through which a political analysis of intra and inter-organizational conflicts may be conducted.

Design/methodology/approach

The iterative method of data analysis the paper presents is based on a consolidation of work using Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory across both management and organization and social science disciplinary domains.

Findings

While the politically orientated discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe has begun to be used by management and organization researchers, little guidance is available for how to actually conduct the analysis of data using this discourse approach. The method the paper proposes involves making explicit an analytical process for reading available textual data.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is primarily for management and organization researchers who are attracted to discourse theory but feel intimidated or confused about how to operationalize this theory into data analytic practice.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Book part
Publication date: 3 December 2005

Robert J. Antonio

Theorists often point to social theory's normativity, but Gouldner's later works provide the most explicit, comprehensive treatment of it as post-traditional normative…

Abstract

Theorists often point to social theory's normativity, but Gouldner's later works provide the most explicit, comprehensive treatment of it as post-traditional normative discourse – a practice distinct from sociology and sociological theory, yet linked historically and analytically to them. His argument about the need for a discourse space to debate social science's normative directions and to strengthen its connections to civil society is relevant today. Because Gouldner's approach has gaps and is somewhat fragmented I will reconstruct his argument about social theory per se. Although I point to problems that derive from his incomplete pragmatic turn, his approach offers an excellent departure point for discussing the meaning of social theory.

Details

Social Theory as Politics in Knowledge
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-363-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1992

BERND FROHMANN

A discourse analysis of the cognitive viewpoint in library and information science identifies seven discursive strategies which constitute information as a commodity, and…

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1363

Abstract

A discourse analysis of the cognitive viewpoint in library and information science identifies seven discursive strategies which constitute information as a commodity, and persons as surveyable information consumers, within market economy conditions. These strategies are: (a) universality of theory, (b) referentiality and reification of ‘images’, (c) internalisation of representations, (d) radical individualism and erasure of the social dimension of theory, (e) insistence upon knowledge, (f) constitution of the information scientist as an expert in image negotiation, and (g) instrumental reason, ruled by efficiency, standardisation, predictability, and determination of effects. The discourse is guided throughout by a yearning for natural‐scientific theory. The effect of the cognitive viewpoint's discursive strategy is to enable knowledge acquisition of information processes only when users' and generators' ‘images’ are constituted as objectively given natural‐scientific entities, and to disable knowledge of the same processes when considered as products of social practices. By its constitution of users as free creators of images, of the information scientist as an expert in image interpretation and delivery, and of databases as repositories of unmediated models of the world, the cognitive viewpoint performs ideological labour for modern capitalist image markets.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Antonio Gelis‐Filho

The purpose of this paper is to present a metaphor of organizations as discursive gravitational fields.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a metaphor of organizations as discursive gravitational fields.

Design/methodology/approach

The metaphor was built based on Einstein's general theory of relativity and Lacan's theory of discourse. The dialogue with organization studies was made possible through the utilization of the communicative theory of organizations as theoretical background.

Findings

A number of insights were derived from the metaphor. First, organizations can distort their discursive surroundings up to the point of stopping any flux of independent discourse; second, the boundaries of organizations are to be understood as a gradient of discursive influence which fades away, often much beyond its legal limits; that also creates degrees of “stakeholding”, corresponding to different levels of influence and dependence on a specific organization by their stakeholders; third, the discursive fields of different organizations are often superposed, creating the phenomena of interference and superposition among organizational discursive fields; fourth, speciation among organizations is related to the kind of symbolic element attracted predominantly by their surrounding fields; and fifth, Lacanian theory suggests that no absolute and permanent discursive power is possible to persons or organizations, leaving room to the continuous production of new and potentially emancipating meaning, whose appearance, however, can be very difficult to predict due to its “discursive quantum nature”.

Practical implications

This metaphor can help researchers and managers to interpret the discursive phenomena involving organizations as a whole, as well as organizational relations with stakeholders.

Originality/value

By bringing together organization theory, Einstein's and Lacan's theories, this paper provides a new view on the relation between organizations, discourse and society.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1986

CLARE BEGHTOL

A strong definition of aboutness and a theory of its role in information retrieval systems have not been developed. Such a definition and theory may be extracted from the…

Abstract

A strong definition of aboutness and a theory of its role in information retrieval systems have not been developed. Such a definition and theory may be extracted from the work of T. A. van Dijk. This paper discusses some of the implications of van Dijk's work for bibliographic classification theory. Two kinds of intertextuality are identified: that between documents classified in the same class of the same classification system; and that between the classification system as a text in its own right and the documents that are classified by it. Consideration of the two kinds of intertextuality leads to an investigation of the linguistic/cognitive processes that have been called the ‘translation’ of a document topic into a classificatory language. A descriptive model of the cognitive process of classifying documents is presented. The general design of an empirical study to test this model is suggested, and some problems of implementing such a study are briefly identified. It is concluded that further investigation of the relationships between text linguistics and classification theory and practice might reveal other fruitful intersections between the two fields.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Eleanor MacKillop

The purpose of this paper is to explore power-resistance plays, or organisational change (OC) politics, from a discourse theory perspective to deepen our understanding of…

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1253

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore power-resistance plays, or organisational change (OC) politics, from a discourse theory perspective to deepen our understanding of the political and emotional dimensions of these phenomena.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper deploys Laclauian concepts of hegemony, fantasmatic narrative and empty signifiers alongside a recently-developed logics of critical explanation approach in the case study of an English local authority formulating a project of integrated commissioning in response to austerity.

Findings

The paper demonstrates how OC politics are played out in multiple ways, from social and political negotiations over the meaning of commissioning to the refuelling of the authority’s fantasmatic narrative.

Originality/value

The paper’s key value is to illustrate how and why discourse theory can contribute, alongside other discursive frameworks, to the in-depth qualitative and political study of organisational issues such as change.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

Jennifer L. Eagan

In Postmodern Public Administration: Toward Discourse (1995), Fox and Miller call for a postmodern discourse that can radicalize the reformist tendencies in public…

Abstract

In Postmodern Public Administration: Toward Discourse (1995), Fox and Miller call for a postmodern discourse that can radicalize the reformist tendencies in public administration theory. This first edition neglects a powerful ally that can deepen this view of the decentered subject and illuminate some roadblocks to postmodern discourse theory, Michel Foucault. This paper challenges Fox and Millerʼs phenomenological notion of the self and offers Foucaultʼs characterization of the subject as an alternative that addresses how selves are created in and through discourse. This paper argues that the redemption of authentic discourse that Fox and Miller desire is not possible precisely because of the nature of the subject as already constituted. However, this does not mean that rich discourse ceases. Political ethics are still possible for deformed and decentered subjects.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 August 2021

Dalia M. Hamed

This research is a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of Trump's speech on January 6, 2021, which results in his supporters' storming the US Capitol in order to challenge…

Abstract

Purpose

This research is a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of Trump's speech on January 6, 2021, which results in his supporters' storming the US Capitol in order to challenge certifying Biden's victory. The Democrats accused Trump of incitement of insurrection. Consequently, Trump was impeached. This article investigates Trump's speech to label it as hate speech or free speech.

Design/methodology/approach

Analytical framework is tri-dimensional. The textual analysis is based on Halliday's notion of process types and Huckin's discourse tools of foregrounding and topicalization. The socio-cognitive analysis is based on Van Dijk's ideological square and his theory of mental models. The philosophical dimension is founded on Habermas's theory of discourse. These parameters are the cornerstones of the barometer that will be utilized to reach an objective evaluation of Trump's speech.

Findings

Findings suggest that Trump usually endows “I, We, You” with topic positions to lay importance on himself and his supporters. He frequently uses material process to urge the crowds' action. He categorizes Americans into two conflicting poles: He and his supporters versus the media and the Democrats. Mental models are created and activated so that the other is always negatively depicted. Reports about corruption are denied in court. Despite that, Trump repeats such reports. This is immoral in Habermas's terms. The study concludes that Trump delivered hate speech in order to incite the mob to act in a manner that may change the election results.

Originality/value

The study is original in its tri-dimensional framework and its data of analysis.

Details

Journal of Humanities and Applied Social Sciences, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2632-279X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2014

Sofia Branco Sousa and António Magalhães

The aim of this chapter is to bring to the forefront the potential of discourse analysis in higher education research. It characterises discourse analysis as a…

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to bring to the forefront the potential of discourse analysis in higher education research. It characterises discourse analysis as a constructionist perspective, underlying its empirical applications in the field of higher education. A two-phase model is proposed as a possible answer to the often stressed lack of methodological devices in the area of discourse analysis. This model combines the theory of discourse of Laclau and Mouffe with the critical discourse analysis of Fairclough, on the assumption that they have complementary elements that may be employed for research in the field of higher education. We selected a text to exemplify the use of discourse organisers (phase one) and to analyse the way discourses become dominant/excluded (phase two). We conclude by arguing that higher education research looking into discourses has major advantages to consider discourse analysis, both as a theory and method.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-682-8

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Book part
Publication date: 24 September 2018

Antoinette Fage-Butler

Sleep apps installed on smartphones are increasingly being used to help people overcome sleep problems. The purpose of this chapter is to identify the discourses that…

Abstract

Sleep apps installed on smartphones are increasingly being used to help people overcome sleep problems. The purpose of this chapter is to identify the discourses that underpin discursive constructions of the potential sleep app user in sleep app marketing communication. According to critical marketing theory, discursive constructions of the potential consumer in marketing communication promote the potential consumer’s identification and alignment, priming the potential consumer to consider positively the product being marketed. In that sense, marketing (of sleep apps, or indeed anything) is culturally significant, as it provides templates for forms of identity, and affects the meanings and objects that circulate within a culture.

A data set consisting of the promotional material that was used to market acclaimed sleep apps was analysed using Foucauldian discourse analysis (FDA). The following discourses were identified in the data: disempowerment, pathologisation, ignorance, behaviourism, responsibilisation, mindfulness, seduction, convenience or common sense, empowerment and individualisation. These discourses indicate how sleep apps are legitimised as technical appendages to be installed into people’s phones and integrated into their lives. They also underpin the discursive identities that summon potential consumers into alignment. This chapter contributes to our understandings of the discursive mechanisms that lie behind the growing uptake of sleep apps. It also demonstrates the value of combining discourse analysis with relevant critical theory to gain insights into the emerging phenomenon of app culture.

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