Ascribing materiality and agency to strategy in interaction: A language-based approach to the material agency of strategy

Pekka Pälli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Adding to the existent research on strategy as discourse and practice, this paper develops a language-based approach to viewing the agency and materiality of strategy. The study draws insights from the communicative constitution of organization (CCO) approach and linguistic agency to investigate how organizational members ascribe materiality and performative agency to strategy in their talk-in-interaction. The data consist of 14 video-recorded dyadic manager-to-manager conversations from one private and one public Finnish organization. The findings highlight how strategy is habitually spoken of as a material concrete entity and as a nonhuman agent that makes a difference in the course of described actions. The findings thus suggest that the performative position of strategy has been encoded in language and its use, which further suggests that object-like concreteness and agentivity are key elements of the organizational strategy discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-450
JournalLong Range Planning
Volume51
Issue number3
Early online date2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Communicative constitution of organization
  • Discourse
  • Materiality
  • Nonhuman agency
  • Strategy-as-practice

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