Exploring Multimodal Registers in and Across Organizations and Institutional Fields: Sketching an Approach for Larger-Scale Multimodal Analysis

Renate Meyer, Dennis Jancsary, Markus Höllerer, Eva Boxenbaum

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


In this article, we develop methodology that enables a systematic analysis of the structuralaspects of multimodal discourse from larger amounts of data. While existing research in visualorganization studies has provided interesting insights into the content and meaning(s) of visualand multimodal communication, comparably little is known about how precisely multimodalcommunication establishes such meanings, suggests relationships between text producers,topics, and audiences, and interacts with the written word. Conceptually, we suggest the conceptof ‘visual register’ as a way of capturing the particular repertoires of expression that the visualoffers and argue that studying such registers substantially contributes to understanding thedistribution of meanings in and across organizations and institutional fields, but also acrosspoints in time. By drawing on the social semiotic concept of ‘metafunction’, we develop codingadvice that aims at facilitating the analysis of larger quantities of visual data while stillacknowledging the particular performativity of the visual mode. We illustrate our ideas withempirical data on the reporting of Austrian publicly traded corporations about Corporate SocialResponsibility (CSR), a complex and multivocal management idea that touches a variety oftopics and incorporates multiple levels of audience engagement with regard to a substantialdiversity of audiences.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event2nd International Conference on Visuality, Materiality, Multimodality - Copenhagen Business School, København, Denmark
Duration: 22 Sept 201623 Sept 2016
Conference number: 2


Conference2nd International Conference on Visuality, Materiality, Multimodality
LocationCopenhagen Business School

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