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How to Use a Discursive Approach to Study Organizations

Hardback

How to Use a Discursive Approach to Study Organizations

9781839106224 Edward Elgar Publishing
Cynthia Hardy, Laureate Professor Emerita, Department of Management & Marketing, University of Melbourne, Australia
Publication Date: April 2022 ISBN: 978 1 83910 622 4 Extent: c 192 pp
Discourse-based approaches to studying organizations have grown in significance over the last 25 years. This accessible and insightful book exemplifies how to use a discursive approach to study organizations. By drawing on her own empirical research, Cynthia Hardy aligns key theoretical assumptions with a range of case studies to demonstrate the value and adaptability of a discursive approach.

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Discourse-based approaches to studying organizations have grown in significance over the last 25 years. This accessible and insightful book exemplifies how to use a discursive approach to study organizations. By drawing on her own empirical research, Cynthia Hardy aligns key theoretical assumptions with a range of case studies to demonstrate the value and adaptability of a discursive approach.

The book presents the key theoretical assumptions associated with a discursive approach and shows how to align them with the design of specific empirical studies. Cynthia Hardy also illustrates how data collection and analysis can be customized to suit the issues under investigation. By reviewing empirical settings that range from older workers to refugees, from businesses to voluntary organizations, from strategy making to inter-organizational collaboration, and from environmental regulation to chemical risk, the author shows the value and adaptability of this approach. Forward-thinking, the book concludes with a look towards the future challenges of the discursive approach, covering specific issues of resistance to and reflexivity in research on discourse. 

Demonstrating the importance of empirical work, data collection, and analysis, this book will be a useful guide on discursive approach for students of organization and management studies. It will also prove useful for researchers studying HIV/AIDS organizations, refugees and environmental regulation, which are particularly focused on in the book.
Critical Acclaim
‘How to Use a Discursive Approach to Study Organizations is a savvy and wonderfully practical book that demonstrates how researchers can generate rich understandings of contemporary organizational phenomena and societal challenges through discursive study. It combines accessible explanations of theory with first-hand insights and sage advice on how researchers might conduct empirical work and analysis with care and creativity. This is a book that the field has needed for a long time.’
– Gavin Jack, Monash University, Australia

‘This book is a most welcome addition to the literature on organizational discourse. At once accessible and illuminating in its writing, it offers a practical and informative guide that will help to initiate newcomers into the field of organizational discourse and inspire old-timers. As one of the leading scholars of discourse in the field of organization studies, Cynthia Hardy has a fine-tuned sensitivity to the discursive construction of our organizational worlds. Her imaginative insights into organizational actors’ discursive moves and countermoves demonstrate the analytical potential of a discursive approach to study organizations.’
– Sierk Ybema, Anglia Ruskin University, UK and Vrije Universiteit, the Netherlands

‘At last we have a book that simultaneously explains and demonstrates the value of the discursive approach to the study of organizations. Cynthia Hardy has been a pioneer in organizational discourse analysis over the years and this book is a vivid demonstration of her talent as a prolific, insightful, and influential researcher. I can think of no better introduction to the main ideas and methods of the discursive approach in organizational research than this volume. In simple and attractive language, patiently and methodically, Cynthia Hardy shows the reader how to use the discursive approach. Insofar as language matters in organizational life, this book explains why and shows how to explore its effects systematically. Cynthia Hardy has offered a valuable toolkit to help us better understand and study how organizational phenomena are talked into existence through language. I am certain her book will further invigorate the discursive approach and this will be no small gain for the field.’
– Haridimos Tsoukas, University of Cyprus, Cyprus and University of Warwick, UK

‘Cynthia Hardy has written a superb text on organizational discourse studies. Using extensive empirical examples, she provides insightful discussions of discourse basics, levels of analysis, reflexivity, and materiality. Each chapter also contains vital methodological advice for the analyst. It is truly a must-read for both seasoned and novice scholars.’
– Linda L. Putnam, University of California, Santa Barbara, US
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