Decolonializing discourse: Critical reflections on organizational discourse analysis

Alvesson, Mats and Karreman, Dan (2011) Decolonializing discourse: Critical reflections on organizational discourse analysis. Human Relations, 64 9: 1121-1146. doi:10.1177/0018726711408629

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Author Alvesson, Mats
Karreman, Dan
Title Decolonializing discourse: Critical reflections on organizational discourse analysis
Journal name Human Relations   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0018-7267
Publication date 2011-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0018726711408629
Open Access Status
Volume 64
Issue 9
Start page 1121
End page 1146
Total pages 25
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Organizational discourse has emerged as a large research field and references to discourse are numerous. As with all dominating approaches problematizations of assumptions are important. This article, partly a follow up of the authors' frequently cited 2000 Human Relations article, provides a critical and perhaps provocative overview of some of the more recent work and tendencies within the field. It is argued that discourse continues to be used in vague and all-embracing ways, where the constitutive effects of discourse are taken for granted rather than problematized and explored. The article identifies three particular problems prevalent in the current organizational discourse literature: reductionism, overpacking, and colonization and suggests three analytical strategies to overcome these problems: counter-balancing concepts - aiming to avoid seeing 'everything' as discourse - relativizing muscularity - being more open about discourse's constitutive effects - and disconnecting discourse and Discourse through much more disciplined use of discourse vocabulary.
Keyword Discourse
Organizational culture
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 55 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 69 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 29 Mar 2012, 11:25:31 EST by Ms Ramona Hooyer on behalf of UQ Business School