Textual artefacts at the centre of sensemaking: The use of discursive-material resources in constructing joint understanding in organisational workshops

Riikka Nissi, Pekka Pälli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The article examines the role of discourse in organisational sensemaking. By building links between the theorising undertaken within organisational studies and the empirical analysis of multimodal social interaction, it argues for a relational view of sensemaking and investigates how sense is made in and through social interaction in real organisational situations where language use intertwines with embodied actions and the manipulation of artefacts. In particular, the article studies the use of discourse technologies of textual artefacts in sensemaking processes. The data come from training workshops of a Finnish workplace organisation, conducted in order for the employees to delineate the history and future of their organisation with the help of writable papers. The results show how the papers exert agency in the situation by facilitating three specific discursive practices and by enabling and restricting the actions employed in constructing a shared understanding of the organisational reality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-145
JournalDISCOURSE STUDIES
Volume22
Issue number2
Early online date19 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Discourse technology
  • material-textual agency
  • organisational workshops
  • relational sensemaking
  • social interaction
  • textual artefact

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