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Title: 'This is a problem (.)' : discursive construction of the organisational 'problems' in a multinational corporate workplace
Author: Kim, Kyoungmi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 6623
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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Problem solving in the workplace is a high stakes activity that has important implications for organisations and individuals. Although problem-solving has attracted a lot of attention, there is little research on the interactional aspects of problem-solving processes. There are also few attempts to make interactional research relevant to business studies on organisational problems. In this thesis, I adopt a discursive approach and understand problems as locally produced in and through interaction. I draw on one case study and discuss data collected in one multinational company. Through interviews and interactional data, the thesis investigates how organisational ‘problems’ are constructed (and occasionally solved). The discussion focuses on the discursive resources employees draw upon in formulating problems and their professional roles and responsibilities negotiated in problem solving meetings. Special attention is paid to the meeting event and the HQ-subsidiary context in relation to the ways in which issues are negotiated and ratified as ‘problems’. The findings show that in interviews, language and culture, as abstract concepts, constitute key resources for the construction of organisational problems. In participants’ talk about language and culture, the individuals’ ideologies are enacted, and the abstract concepts become critical means for positioning (them)selves and others in the organisational setting. In problem-solving meetings, I focus on interactional activities which emerge in the timeframe of the meeting event. The patterns of these activities are not linear but shaped by the participants’ interactional and institutional positioning through which their professional roles are enacted. I argue that the processes of constructing organisational problems are contingent on the ability of individuals to access and challenge dominant institutional and professional discourses and ideologies. Based on the analysis, I propose a model that visualises interactional moves that constitute problem-solving activities in the meeting event. I conclude the discussion of the data by also proposing a model on the HQ-subsidiary relationships as emergent in the problem-solving interaction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor