Using language games in studying organizational culture

Using language games in studying organizational culture

Our distinguished Culture Lab Senior Fellow, Anne-Laure Fayard, Associate Professor in the Department of Technology Management and Innovation at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering, has recently published a paper in the Journal of Communication Research and Practice proposing language games as a powerful concept in the study of organizational culture. As Dr. Fayard notes in the abstract:

In this article, I propose Wittgenstein’s language games as a dialectical (i.e. recognizing the possible coexistence of supposedly opposing perspectives) and performative concept that allows researchers to study the communicative constitution of organizational culture. Understood as ‘forms of life’, language games emerge through the sociomaterial practices of organizational actors and are constantly co-produced. Language games are diverse and multiple and also share ‘family resemblances’ that enable communication and action. I illustrate the value of this concept for organizational communication research by revisiting studies of organizational culture using language games. In particular, I provide a detailed analysis of Disney ride operators’ language games. I argue that the concept of language games offers valuable insights for extending the communication as constitutive of organization and sociomateriality perspectives.

Having used the concept of language games in our research with Dr. Fayard, we appreciate the insights it can produce. To access her full paper, you are welcome to follow the link above, and for more information on Dr. Fayard's research, please visit her page at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering.

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