The article considers the discourse surrounding culture change programmes in two British manufacturing organisations. The analysis of organisational discourse is pursued as a means of revealing the indeterminacy of organisational experiences and the problems inherent to the introduction of generic change approaches such as TQM (Total Quality Management) and BPR (Business Process Reengineering). An examination of the discourse used in the case companies will show an intricate set of structural, cultural, economic, and personal pressures passing through the TQM/BPR concepts. Organisational actors from all hierarchical levels are shown to be "disciplined" by the change discourse to various degrees. Three discursive movements are examined: the imposition/ introduction of a hegemonic discourse, the resistance to this discourse, and the appropriation of the discourse by line managers to reconstitute their actions and those of senior management. The outcome of these movements is a contested set of stories, full of contradiction and ambiguity. If the change discourse is to be embodied in local practices it cannot remain purely monologic, but has to engage in a dialogic relationship with existing and emerging concepts and meanings.
|Publication status||Published - 1998|