Authorithy-in-Action: How voices are negotiated through idiomatic formulations during organizational downsizing

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In response to the recent calls from strategy research to focus on the processual aspects of strategic actions in real life and based on a downsizing process in a large public organization, the chapter seeks to better understand the role of multi- and univocality in the pursuit to reach a strategic decision about downsizing. In specific, the chapter shows how managers during polyphonic communication processes where managerial authority, power, and differing interests are at stake balance multiple voices. Based on a micro-ethnographic approach, the study illustrates how discursive, micro-level practices like idiomatic formulations can play a decisive role in accomplishing a position of authority that in consequence allows the speaker to direct or re-direct the ongoing discussion about strategic decisions. Authority here is not a stable, pre-assigned position that can be employed strategically in the interaction. Instead, the study reveals that authority as a way to control future actions is accomplished by means of locally situated discursive practices in form of idiomatic formulations. Moreover, the chapter contributes methodologically to the growing research on micro-foundations of authority by demonstrating the usefulness of video-based micro-ethnography to advance our understanding of the relationship between the interactional establishment of authority, the reliance on idiomatic formulations, and the dynamics between multivocality and univocality.
TitelSpeaking with one voice: : Multivocality and univocality in organizing
RedaktørerChantal Benoit-Barné, Thomas Martine
Antal sider22
UdgivelsesstedNew York
Publikationsdato23 sep. 2021
ISBN (Trykt)9780367264529
ISBN (Elektronisk)9780429297830
StatusUdgivet - 23 sep. 2021
NavnRoutledge Studies in Communication, Organization, and Organizing series.


  • Medier, kommunikation og sprog


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