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How to Control Things with Words

Czarniawska-Joerges, Barbara; Joerges, Bernward

Inst. Soziologie

Labels, metaphors, and platitudes are linguistic artifacts that organizational leaders produce, steal, borrow, or buy from consultants for a high price. Studies on organizational change indicate that such linguistic artifacts are used as control tools and instruments of change. They enable leaders to manage meaning by explaining, coloring, and familiarizing, as opposed to traditional change and control methods—commanding, rewarding, and punishing. The article analyzes organizational use of linguistic artifacts through theoretical discussion and empirical examples.
  • Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
  • This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.