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Title: "It's the secret to the universe" : the communicative constitution and routinization of a dominant authoritative text within a UK cosmetics company
Author: Hollis, David J. D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 4672
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2018
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A gap in Organization and Management Theory exists regarding how, as a relational phenomenon, authority routinely makes a difference to the daily functioning of organization. A ‘Communication as Constitutive of Organization’ (CCO; e.g. Cooren et al., 2011) view of text (e.g. Taylor et al., 1996) is identified as holding unrealized potential to address this omission. A nine-month ethnography of a UK cosmetics company, followed by an abductive analysis (Alvesson and Kärreman, 2007, 2011) of fieldwork material focusing on ventriloquism (e.g. Cooren, 2012), aesthetics (e.g. Hancock, 2005) and practice theory (e.g. Schatzki, 2006), provides original insight into how authority routinely acts. The thesis’s main contribution to knowledge is the crafting of ‘dominant text’ which is defined as; a series of orchestrated texts which simultaneously exercise authority by routinizing the daily workings of organization. To elaborate, actors are instructed and taught to make sure a ventriloqual text routinely directs clients’ attention toward a particular course of action. At the same time, interventions are made to ensure aesthetic and practice texts routinely remind actors to represent a collective identity and disciplines how they act. While CCO studies show how texts periodically exercise authority (Fauré et al., 2010; Güney and Creswell, 2012; Holm and Fairhurst, 2017; Jordan et al., 2013; Koschmann, 2012; Spee and Jarzabkowski, 2011), a dominant text enhances knowledge about how authority routinely organizes activities which constitute and characterize organization. Theoretical insights are also generated that extend the CCO project of developing a communicational interpretation of organizing and organization.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral