Summoning the Spirits: Organizational Texts and the (Dis)ordering Properties of Communication

Consuelo Vasquez, Dennis Schoeneborn, Viviane Sergi

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    Abstract

    This article addresses the question: why does disorder tend to simultaneously accompany efforts to create order when organizing? Adopting a communication-centered perspective, we specifically examine the role of texts in the mutual constitution of order and disorder. Drawing on empirical material from three qualitative case studies on project organizing, we show that attempts of ordering through language use and texts (i.e. by closing and fixing meaning) tend to induce disordering (i.e. by opening the possibility of multiple meanings), at the same time. As we contend, these (dis)ordering dynamics play a key role in the communicative constitution of organization, keeping them in motion by calling forth continuous processes of meaning (re-)negotiation.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalHuman Relations
    Volume69
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)629-659
    Number of pages31
    ISSN0018-7267
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

    Keywords

    • Communicative constitution of organization
    • Cross-case analysis
    • Disordering
    • Order and disorder
    • Organization theory
    • Organizational texts
    • Project organizing

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