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This chapter examines how proponents of industrialization used multiple modes of communication to socially construct the rational myth of industrialization in the French…
This chapter examines how proponents of industrialization used multiple modes of communication to socially construct the rational myth of industrialization in the French construction sector after World War II. We illuminate the respective roles of visual and verbal communication in this process. Our findings suggest that actors construct rational myths according to the following step-by-step method: first, they use visuals to suggest associations between new practices and valuable purposes; then they use verbal text to establish the technical rationality of certain practices; and lastly, they employ both verbal and visual communications to convey their mythical features.
In this editorial for a double volume on “Multimodality, Meaning, and Institutions” in Research in the Sociology of Organizations, we aim to achieve three objectives…
In this editorial for a double volume on “Multimodality, Meaning, and Institutions” in Research in the Sociology of Organizations, we aim to achieve three objectives: first, we provide a set of guiding ideas about what a multimodal prism entails for the study of meaning and institutions; second, we give an overview of the topics, concepts, and methods covered in this volume and briefly introduce the central contributions and insights of each article; third, we outline a number of open questions and fruitful avenues for a future research agenda at the intersection of organization studies, institutional theory, and multimodality research.
The purpose of our article is to contribute to the further understanding of individual responses to pluralism, by studying in particular the role played by critiques and…
The purpose of our article is to contribute to the further understanding of individual responses to pluralism, by studying in particular the role played by critiques and compromises in the formulation of such responses. Drawing on theoretical insights from the sociology of conventions, we look at the various modes of justification publicly advanced by French co-operators when engaging with co-operative principles. Our analysis allows us to identify three main instantiations, that is situated and flexible enactments, of these principles: pragmatic, reformist, and political. Our contribution to the understanding of pluralism and its instantiations by organizational members is threefold. First, in contrast with studies drawing on an institutional-logics perspective, our study shows that individual instantiations of pluralism rely not only on positive affirmations of logics but also on critical mobilizations of competing logics. Second, our study shows that pluralism can be understood not only as co-existing multiple logics, but also as different possible instantiations of the same logic, the ambiguity of which allows compromises to be settled with other logics. Third, we suggest that organizational members’ responses to pluralism often involve more than two logics, which are combined into a complex set of interdependent judgments. In addition, in relation to co-operative studies, our proposed typology provides a mapping that usefully extends the range of possibilities found in co-operators’ instantiations of co-operative principles, thus furthering our understanding of the diversity of the co-operative movement.
Past research on collectivist-democratic organizations has attributed their distinctiveness to their socio-political goals and democratic decision-making and largely…
Past research on collectivist-democratic organizations has attributed their distinctiveness to their socio-political goals and democratic decision-making and largely ignored their work processes. This ethnographic study examines how such organizations resist alienating forms of work even in the face of direct competition with for-profit companies. It focuses on Scopix, a French cooperative sheet-metal factory where the first author spent one year as a shop-floor worker. Cooperators there developed various practices to retain an emancipatory dimension to their work, regularly putting forward “craft ethics” as a counterweight to the sheet-metal industry’s drive to rationalize work processes. Drawing on the sociology of worth, the authors analyze how these practices emerged from the arrangements that workers made between the industrial world on the one side and the domestic and inspired worlds on the other. This study contributes to the literature into two main ways. First, the authors refine the sociology-of-worth framework by conceptualizing the emancipatory dimension of work as the result of ad hoc arrangements between different worlds. Second, the authors highlight the need for the literature on collectivist-democratic organizations to increase its focus on work, introducing the concept of work degeneration as a step in that direction.
This afterword reviews the chapters in this volume and reflects on the synergies between organization and management studies and multimodality studies that emerge from the…
This afterword reviews the chapters in this volume and reflects on the synergies between organization and management studies and multimodality studies that emerge from the volume. These include the combination of strong sociological theorizing and detailed multimodal analysis, a focus on materiality and on the way functionality and meaning combine in multimodal communication, and an interest in the historical transformations of identity and legitimation discourses.
Recent interest in the multimodal accomplishment of organization has focused on the material and symbolic aspects of materiality. We argue that current literature invokes…
Recent interest in the multimodal accomplishment of organization has focused on the material and symbolic aspects of materiality. We argue that current literature invokes diverse “multimodal imaginaries,” that is, ways of conceiving the relation between the material and the conceptual, and that the different imaginaries support a plurality of perspectives on materiality. Using the empirical case of a large urban renewal project in São Paulo, Brazil, we illustrate three different multimodal imaginaries – the concrete, the semiotic, and the mimetic – and indicate how each imaginary determines the way in which the site in question is discursively constructed. After outlining the different approaches, we discuss their theoretical implications, advantages, and constraints, setting an agenda for future studies of materiality in organizational and institutional contexts.
In this article, we develop and advance an understanding of institutions as multimodal accomplishments. We draw on social semiotics and the linguistic concept of…
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.