Chapter summary

In this chapter we discuss the fundamental role of language and discourse in its ability to shape meanings as well as strategy processes. We begin with a discussion of the constitutive role of language in organizations, and proceed with an elaboration of corresponding views of strategy and organization. We then discuss the different ways in which language and discourse have been studied, in terms of the functional, interpretive, structurational, and critical approaches. In addition to providing several brief examples, we also provide two brief cases which help to clarify the role of language in influencing practitioners, practices, and praxis.

Keywords: discourse; influencing strategy; language in organizations