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date: 16 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Discourse and communication have become central concepts in organization studies. This chapter begins by clarifying what scholars mean when they use discourse and communication, by considering interrelationships between the concepts, and by representing critical realist critiques of this literature. It then presents two streams of theory that depict discourse and communication as not merely processes occurring within organizations, but rather as constitutive of organizations. In so doing, it shows how pursuing a constitutive claim enables distinct visions for what ‘the’ organization is taken to be, the relationships between micro and macro phenomena, and the role of agency in organizing. The chapter concludes by suggesting that conceptions of sociomateriality and (dis)organization in organization theory would benefit from an engagement with a richly constitutive conception of discourse and communication.

Keywords: discourse, communication, critical realism, communication as constitutive of organization, agency, sociomateriality, disorganization

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