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Organizational Semiotics
Multimodal Perspectives on Organization Studies



  • Available for pre-order on April 14, 2023. Item will ship after May 5, 2023
ISBN 9780367504557
May 5, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages 49 Color & 11 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This edited volume brings together two largely separate fields – organization studies and multimodal social semiotics – to develop an integrated research agenda for the novel interdisciplinary field of ‘organizational semiotics’.

Organizations, whether for profit, non-profit, or governmental, dominate much of everyday life, and multimodal communication is not only an output of organizations, it is constitutive of them. This volume argues in particular for the importance of organization studies for social semioticians: not just as a site of application, but as a critical contemporary context which requires novel and expanded methods of analysis and critique, and new practices of partnership. The volume addresses a range of institutions and sectors, from civil to retail to medical, from corporations to universities, and reveals how a deep engagement with their meaning-making practices produces insights not just about communication but also about the broader contemporary cultural context in which organizations play such a significant role. Fundamentally, it reveals that the rich analytical and theoretical resources of multimodal perspectives on organizations studies can – and should – make a fundamental contribution to our understanding of organizations in social life.

This volume is relevant to social semioticians and organizational researchers, as well as to practitioners and decision-makers in organizations.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

 

Chapter 1 ‘Organizational Semiotics’: Towards an Integrated Research Agenda

Louise Ravelli, Theo van Leeuwen, Markus Höllerer, Dennis Jancsary

 

Chapter 2. Social Semiotics and Organization Studies: Building an Effective Bridge

Dennis Jancsary, Markus A. Höllerer, Louise Ravelli, Theo van Leeuwen

 

Chapter 3. The resemiotization of health information in a Family Planning organization

Theo van Leeuwen, Nikolina Zonjic

 

Chapter 4. Organizational identity design: The evolution of a university web homepage

Nataliia Laba

Chapter 5. The emotional civil servant: On the multimodal construction of affect in ‘platform of values’ texts of Swedish public authorities

Anders Björkvall

 

Chapter 6. Communicating in space: relating the physical and the social in open-plan offices

Ken Tann, Oluremi B. Ayoko

 

Chapter 7. Redesigning organizational relations through the built environment:

Changes at a university campus

Louise Ravelli

 

Chapter 8. How multimodal structures constitute organization: The meaning of structure in offline and online shopping environments

Morten Boeriis

 

Chapter 9 "It’s not just getting a biopsy": Transposing ‘take-home’ messages from the operating theatre to a proforma

Arpan Tahim, Jeff Bezemer

 

Chapter 10. Texture and texturization in organizational identity design and legitimacy work

Giorgia Aiello

 

Afterword

Theo van Leeuwen, Renate Meyer

 

Contributors

Giorgia Aiello

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9636-1016

Giorgia Aiello is Professor of Culture and Communication, University of Leeds and Associate Professor of Sociology of Culture and Communication, University of Bologna. Her books include Communication, Espace, Image (2022, Les Presses du Réel) and Visual Communication: Understanding Images in Media Culture (with Katy Parry, 2020, SAGE).

Oluremi B. Ayoko

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0208-0254

Oluremi (Remi) Ayoko is Associate Professor of Management in the UQ Business School at the University of Queensland, Australia. Her main research interest is the physical/virtual workspaces. Remi is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Management and Organization. She has co-edited several books and published in high quality journals.

Jeff Bezemer

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9086-937X

Jeff Bezemer is Professor of Communication at UCL Institute of Education. His research is focused on clinical communication and education and health care delivery, and aimed at developing an account of the semiotics of healthcare and tools to support frontline staff. Central to this approach are theoretical advances in social semiotics, applied linguistics, and ethnography, and the in-depth analysis of video recordings of professional activity.

Anders Bjorkvall

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6396-4240

Anders Björkvall has a Ph.D. in Scandinavian Languages, Stockholm University, and is Professor of Swedish at Örebro University, Sweden. His interests include organizational discourse, critical genre analysis and semiotic change in urban landscapes. Recent publications have appeared in The Cambridge Handbook of Discourse Studies, Discourse & Communication, and Visual Communication.

Morten Boeriis

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7198-1550

Morten Boeriis is PhD in multimodality and moving images. He is Associate Professor in Visual Communication at University of Southern Denmark, specializing in multimodality and business communication, and teaches BA, MA, and PhD courses on visual communication at Business Communication and Film and Media studies at University of Southern Denmark.

Markus A. Höllerer

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2509-2696 

Markus A. Höllerer is Professor in Organization and Management at UNSW Sydney. His scholarly work currently focuses on social change, novel forms of organization and governance, and institutions as multimodal accomplishments, and has been widely published in leading academic outlets. He is currently co-Editor-in-Chief of Organization Theory.

Dennis Jancsary

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7836-4133 

Dennis Jancsary is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Organization Studies at WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business). He is particularly interested in the role of language and multimodal communication at the interface of organizations and institutions. His work further includes methodological contributions to visual and multimodal analysis.

Nataliia Laba

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0724-1467

Nataliia Laba is a Ph.D. Candidate in Media Studies at the University of New South Wales. Her research focuses on organizational identities communicated on university websites from a multimodal social semiotic perspective. 

Renate Meyer

Renate Meyer is Professor of Organization Studies at WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Head of the Institute for Organization Studies and Co-Director of the Research Institute for Urban Management & Governance. She holds visiting positions at Saïd Business School (Oxford University), and the Universities of Alberta and Liverpool.

Louise Ravelli

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1416-5389 

Louise Ravelli is Professor in the School of Arts and Media, the University of New South Wales. Her research explores how multimodality works in specific communication contexts, such as museums. She has published widely with monographs, edited volumes and articles, and is joint Chief Editor of the journal Visual Communication.

Arpan Tahim

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7744-4473

Arpan Tahim is a specialty trainee in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with an interest in medical education. His research focuses on workplace learning in healthcare environments, where he uses ethnographic techniques and in-depth video analysis to better understand how workplace learning practices unfold and impact upon learners.

Ken Tann

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5888-3705

Ken Tann is Lecturer in Communication Management, UQ Business School, University of Queensland, Australia. His research applies linguistics and sociological methods to management, organizational and marketing communication, and to educational contexts. He has published on communication in business and NGO partnership, institutional policy, industry media representation, and open-plan office design.  

Theo van Leeuwen

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2163-8700 

Theo van Leeuwen is Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Southern Denmark. He has published widely in the areas of visual communication, multimodality, and critical discourse analysis. His latest books are the 3rd revised edition of Reading Images – The Grammar of Visual Design (with Gunther Kress) and Multimodality and Identity.

Nikolina Zonjic

Nikolina Zonjic is a public health professional working in Sydney Australia. While working as the Health Promotion Manager at Family Planning NSW she oversaw health promotion programs aimed at improving sexual health for priority populations, including culturally diverse communities, Indigenous Australians, people with disability, and young people.  

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Editor(s)

Biography

Louise Ravelli

Louise Ravelli is Professor in the School of Arts and Media, the University of New South Wales. Her research explores how multimodality works in specific communication contexts, such as museums. She has published widely with monographs, edited volumes and articles, and is joint Chief Editor of the journal Visual Communication.

Theo van Leeuwen

Theo van Leeuwen is Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Southern Denmark. He has published widely in the areas of visual communication, multimodality, and critical discourse analysis. His latest books are the 3rd revised edition of Reading Images – The Grammar of Visual Design (with Gunther Kress) and Multimodality and Identity.

Markus A. Höllerer

Markus A. Höllerer is Professor in Organization and Management at UNSW Sydney. His scholarly work currently focuses on social change, novel forms of organization and governance, and institutions as multimodal accomplishments, and has been widely published in leading academic outlets. He is currently co-Editor-in-Chief of Organization Theory.

Dennis Jancsary

Dennis Jancsary is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Organization Studies at WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business). He is particularly interested in the role of language and multimodal communication at the interface of organizations and institutions. His work further includes methodological contributions to visual and multimodal analysis.

Reviews

"This new volume is a unique resource for anyone keen to apply their social semiotic expertise to life in organizations and institutions, as it is for those wanting to broaden their analysis and theorization of formal organization to cover the symbolic and interactive dimensions of its practices and communication. The book’s hybrid approach is expertly exemplified in each of its individual chapters offering well-researched and supremely evidenced insights."

(Professor Rick Iedema, Director of the Centre for Team-Based Practice & Learning in Health Care, King's College London)

"Recently, we have seen a growing interest in organizational communication and processes beyond words. But how, exactly, should we go about studying such multimodal dynamics? This book offers a deep conceptualization of and rich empirical inquiries into organizational semiotics – the multimodal, social, and contextual meaning-making practices that constitute organizing and organizations. By bringing together social semiotics and organization studies, the book offers ways to capture, interpret, and theorize semiotic artifacts and practices in and around organizations."

(Professor Tammar B. Zilber, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Business School; Editor-in-Chief, Organization Studies)