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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2014

Henna Syrjälä, Hanna Leipämaa-Leskinen and Pirjo Laaksonen

This paper examines in what ways cultural representations of money reveal deprivation and empowerment in poverty.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines in what ways cultural representations of money reveal deprivation and empowerment in poverty.

Methodology/approach

The study draws on Finnish poor consumers’ narratives of their daily lives to identify the discursive practices involved in money talk. Poverty is seen as a frame in which the tacit cultural knowledge of money and the ways of enacting discursive practices are sustained and produced.

Findings

The research constructs a theoretical illustration of consumer empowerment and deprivation in poverty, which is based on four discursive practices: Moneyless is powerless, Capricious money, Wrestling with money, and Happiness cannot be bought with money. The illustration shows the dynamic evolution of empowerment and deprivation as they grow from and vary within the discursive practices.

Social implications and value

The study highlights the practical carrying out of life in poverty, which does not emerge only as deprived or as empowered, but instead involves a tension between them.

Details

Consumer Culture Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-158-9

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Article
Publication date: 15 October 2018

Cristiano Busco, Elena Giovannoni, Fabrizio Granà and Maria Federica Izzo

The purpose of this paper is to explore the enabling role of accounting and reporting practices as discourses about sustainability unfold inside organizations. In…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the enabling role of accounting and reporting practices as discourses about sustainability unfold inside organizations. In particular, the authors investigate how managers attempt to connect the concept of “sustainability” to their specific experience, as they seek to make sustainability meaningful (i.e. filling it with unfolding meaning) through accounting and within particular discursive spaces.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors rely upon the case of LOGIC, a large international oil and gas company operating in more than 70 countries worldwide. The authors analyze the evolution of discourses concerning sustainability inside the company, as well as the changing accounting and reporting practices, with a particular focus on integrated reporting.

Findings

The authors show that accounting and reporting practices (such as integrated reporting within LOGIC) provide the conditions for “sustainability”—as a discursive concept—to become meaningful, while evolving themselves as they are attached to this concept. They do so by enabling individuals (the management team within LOGIC) to connect their diverse experiences and aspirations to the concept of sustainability. Rather than filling sustainability with stable meaning, the authors observed that individuals are attracted by the gaps left by accounting representations, leading to the development of new practices and unfolding meanings within specific discursive spaces.

Originality/value

Most of the literature on sustainability accounting and reporting practices concentrate on the need for these practices to mirror what companies do about sustainability. Differently, the authors add to the very few studies on “aspirational” reporting that have emphasized the enabling effects of the gap between what companies say and do about sustainability. The authors do so by demonstrating that accounting is “aspirational” not only because it stimulates corporate efforts toward an imaginary better future, but also because it attracts managers’ particular aspirations through its representational gap. The authors show that this gap enables meaningful connections between individuals (their particular experience and aspirations) and “sustainability,” bringing this concept into their specific discursive space and, thereby, leading to the emergence of new practices.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Clare Rigg

To illustrate methodologically and conceptually how understanding of entrepreneurial management can be enhanced through a discourse perspective which focuses on discourse…

Abstract

Purpose

To illustrate methodologically and conceptually how understanding of entrepreneurial management can be enhanced through a discourse perspective which focuses on discourse as both noun and verb, encompassing discursive resources and discursive practices.

Design/methodology/approach

An ethnographic study of SME managers and their companies, which deployed a discourse perspective to managing, organising and learning. Through two case study companies the paper explores how managers' formal management learning influenced their organisation practice.

Findings

Demonstrates how significant communicative acts are to understanding a company. Illustrates how apparent organisation dysfunction might be analysed and sense made of it.

Research limitations/implications

By differentiating between discursive practice and discursive resource it shows that entrepreneurship research can be enriched through ethnographic study of both the content of communication between organisation members and their communicative practices.

Practical implications

Illustrates a method of gaining insight into dysfunctional organisational processes. Provides new ways of understanding and researching the interconnections between learning, knowledge and management in small enterprises.

Originality/value

In the small firm sector there are still few empirical discursive analyses of organization and managing. Discursive organization studies have also tended to be undervalued as “an obsession with talk” and “an intellectual luxury”. This article addresses both these gaps, both offering evidence of the practical utility of the methodological approach for advancing organisation understanding and providing a rare empirical discursive study of managing in SMEs.

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International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 11 August 2014

Noora Jansson

– The purpose of this paper is to examine how discursive practices are involved in organizational change.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how discursive practices are involved in organizational change.

Design/methodology/approach

This research scrutinizes organizational change by combining discourse and practice approaches. A case study at a public university hospital is conducted with a narrative analysis method.

Findings

The key finding of this research is that discursive practices are involved in organizational change through discourse phronesis. Discourse phronesis is a socially and contextually developed phenomenon, and hence discursive practices are particular within context. The case study revealed four particular discursive practices as examples of discourse phronesis: field practices, mandate practices, priority practices and word practices.

Practical implications

The results of this research advance awareness of the concealed power within discursive practices and, more importantly, invite practitioners to pursue the intellectual virtue of discourse phronesis while implementing organizational change. Discourse phronesis may be utilized as a gateway to advance change goals and to translate various discourses and actions that otherwise might remain unexplained.

Originality/value

Although extensively studied, organizational change has not previously been directly approached through discourse phronesis, and by doing so this empirical research provides novelty value to both organizational change research and discourse analysis. By introducing the concept of discourse phronesis, this research offers scholars an alternative lens, the intellectual practicality lens, through which to approach organizational change and perhaps to develop new understandings of the great challenges that organizational change complexities usually generate.

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Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2007

Rihab Khalifa, Nina Sharma, Christopher Humphrey and Keith Robson

This paper aims to develop understanding of how the pursuit of practice change in auditing, especially in relation to audit methodologies, is conveyed, presented…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop understanding of how the pursuit of practice change in auditing, especially in relation to audit methodologies, is conveyed, presented, reflected in and enabled (or hindered) through discursive, textual constructions by audit firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses an extensive series of interviews with audit practitioners, educators and regulators and a textual study of the content, concordances and narratives contained in two key audit methodological texts published by KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms.

Findings

Major discursive shifts in audit methodologies are identified over the last decade, with the dominant audit discourse switching from one of “business value” to one of “audit quality”. Such shifts are analysed in terms of developments in the wider, organisational field and discursive (re)constructions of audit at the level of the audit firm.

Originality/value

The identified shifts in auditing discourse are important in a number of respects. They demonstrate the significance of discursive elements of audit practice, contradicting influential prior claims that methodological discussions and developments in audit over the last decade had focused consistently on notions of “audit quality”. Methodologically, they demonstrate the importance and opportunities for knowledge development available by combining institutional, field‐wide analysis with a detailed discursive study of individual interviews and texts.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 27 March 2007

Tara Fenwick

Drawing from findings of a case study of inter‐organisational collaboration, this paper aims to employ organisational theory to examine the potential learning that opens…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing from findings of a case study of inter‐organisational collaboration, this paper aims to employ organisational theory to examine the potential learning that opens between educational organisations. The focus is discursive practices. Two questions guide the analysis. What (unique) practices are implicated in the “knotworking” of inter‐organisational collaboration? What knowledge and capacities are learned in these discursive practices?

Design/methodology/approach

A case study was conducted of a collaboration between a university unit, school district, elementary school and parent executive board to govern a laboratory school. Documents were examined and 17 interviews conducted and analysed inductively. Document analysis and second stage transcript analysis employed methods of discourse analysis.

Findings

The case analysis suggests that collaborations open unique sites for organizational learning. Actors (teachers, administrators, parents) engage with various discourses in the “knots” of inter‐organisational networks. Those who thrive in the “knot” of collaboration learn how to be flexibly attuned to shifting elements that emerge in negotiations. Further, these actors appear to develop capacities of mapping, translating, rearticulating, and spanning boundaries among the diverse positions of organisations.

Research limitations/implications

The case study is limited in scope in order to allow in‐depth discourse analysis of the data.

Originality/value

The combination of theories employed here – a practice‐based organizational learning theory called “knotworking” and critical organisational discourse analysis – is unique in educational administration research. It is argued that together, these theories provide a useful analytic approach for administrators wanting to understand and work through the cultural and political complexities of inter‐organisational collaborations.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 45 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 22 July 2020

Laura Lucia Parolin

This article sheds light on the legal services offered by antiviolence centers through a discursive practice-based analysis of women who have experienced domestic violence…

Abstract

Purpose

This article sheds light on the legal services offered by antiviolence centers through a discursive practice-based analysis of women who have experienced domestic violence and the lawyers who volunteer in the center.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a practice-based framework, the article utilizes a case study of the first legal meeting between a lawyer and a woman who has experienced violence. The case study illustrates how the legal advisors' expertise is deployed in the use of “discursive practices” in dealing with women who have experienced domestic violence. Through a systematic analysis of the verbatim narrative, the case shows how the lawyer performs her legal help through expert “discursive practices” which are situated in recognition of the texture of practices experienced by women in the legal system.

Findings

The case study shows how a practice-based approach is able to account for lawyers' discursive and interactional knowledge in dealing with domestic violence. This expert doing and saying includes the ability to read the complexities of abusive situations, using “professional vision” to identify, highlight and codify clues and patterns of a partners' violent behavior; the mastery of “co-implication” with women to support the development of a narrative of the abuse as a crime recognizable both by the victim and the legal system.

Originality/value

The analysis shows that practice-based approaches to knowing and learning in investigating discourse practices can provide insights on practitioners' interactional expertise as well as the relevance of the service. While a close look at the actual practices illustrates the lawyer's interactional mechanisms, the crucial role of legal aid in the antiviolence center can be appreciated by contextualizing within the texture of practices that characterizes women's experiences with violence.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2011

Aileen Lawless, Sally Sambrook, Tom Garavan and Claire Valentin

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how a discourse approach to theorising human resource development (HRD) can open a “discursive space” to challenge dominant…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how a discourse approach to theorising human resource development (HRD) can open a “discursive space” to challenge dominant discourses within the field; enabling a more critical discourse to emerge.

Design/methodology/approach

Discusses two approaches to discourse analysis, a “practice” and a “critical” approach, and illuminates how both approaches can contribute to theorising HRD.

Findings

The notion of what constitutes HRD is being constantly renegotiated both in theory and in practice. While contemporary HRD discourses are many and there is fluidity in the field a dominant discourse can be identified. The authors argue that a focus on the discourses which construct and constitute HRD need to consider both the “practice” and “the order of discourse” enabling the emergence of alternative discourses within the field.

Research limitations/implications

Due to word restrictions an empirical example has not been included. However, future work will address this limitation.

Practical implications

The two approaches to discourse analysis discussed provide a useful framework; enabling an analysis of the dominant and competing discourses within the field of HRD.

Originality/value

Discourse analysis is rarely discussed in business settings despite the evidence that applied discourse analysis focuses on questions that are of relevance to the field. This paper contributes to a perceived gap and demonstrates how discourse analysis can contribute to researching alternative notions of HRD in order to encourage a variety of conceptual developments.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Steve Jaynes

– The purpose of this paper is to present the findings from a discourse model that was developed for an empirical study of a strategic change program.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the findings from a discourse model that was developed for an empirical study of a strategic change program.

Design/methodology/approach

The perspective informing the discourse model is that discursive processes are central to strategic change in organizations, and that strategic change works by constructing a particular organizational reality in which the possibilities for change are preconditioned. This perspective offers a discursive understanding of how strategic change is formed, articulated, engaged, and contested by managers and employees.

Findings

The paper reports the findings from a study in which the discourse model was applied to a strategic change program in a Bank. The findings demonstrate the inter-discursive nature of strategic change in showing how different levels of discourse, from the grand to the local, were intertwined in an organizational and situated context.

Research limitations/implications

This paper builds on the small but growing body of empirical work that studies organizational strategy as a discourse. In this paper it has been argued that discursive processes are central to strategic change in organizations - central to the understanding and the practice of how strategic change is formed, articulated, and engaged by managers and employees. This argument was informed by a post-structuralist definition and articulation of language and an understanding of language as discourse in organizations.

Practical implications

The paper demonstrates the central role of language and discourse in the formation of a strategic change program. The findings reported in the paper show the importance of strategy discourse in providing a framework for strategic change, for mobilizing change in an organization, and for legitimizing the change imperative.

Social implications

A critique of the management of emotional intelligence is set out. The centrality of employee identity and subject position to the processes of change is illustrated.

Originality/value

The discourse model made possible an investigation of how a program of strategic change was formed through the discursive framing of organizational reality.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Book part
Publication date: 8 June 2011

Ann Langley and Chahrazad Abdallah

Purpose – This chapter presents four different approaches to doing and writing qualitative research in strategy and management based on different epistemological…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter presents four different approaches to doing and writing qualitative research in strategy and management based on different epistemological foundations. It describes two well-established “templates” for doing such work, and introduces two more recent “turns” that merit greater attention.

Design/Methodology/Approach – The chapter draws on methodological texts and a detailed analysis of successful empirical exemplars from the strategy and organization literature to show how qualitative research on strategy processes can be effectively carried out and written up.

Findings – The two “templates” are based on different logics and modes of writing. The first is based on a positivist epistemology and aims to develop nomothetic theoretical propositions, while the second is interpretive and more concerned to capture and gain insight from the meanings given to organizational phenomena. The two “turns” (the practice turn and the discursive turn) are not as well defined but are generating innovative contributions based on new ways of considering the social world.

Originality/Value – The chapter should be helpful to researchers considering qualitative methods for the study of strategy processes. It contributes by comparing different approaches and by recognizing that part of the challenge of doing qualitative research lies in writing it up to communicate its insights in a credible way. Thus while describing the different methods, the chapter also draws attention to effective forms of writing. In addition, it introduces and assesses two more recent “turns” that offer promising routes to novel insight as well as having particular ontological and epistemological affinities with qualitative research methods.

Details

Building Methodological Bridges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-026-1

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