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The Discourse of Management and the Management of Discourse


  • Bruce, Bertram C.

    (University of IL)

  • Connell, Jeanne M.

    (University of IL)

  • Higgins, Chris

    (University of IL)

  • Mahoney, Joseph T.

    (University of IL)


Discourse is a pervasive tool of management; one might even say that discourse is what managers do. A widespread assumption among managers is that discourse is not only a pervasive tool, but an effective one for precise communication of information, for making decisions, and for enlisting action, essentially a transmission tool. This paper maintains that the transmission view is a limited conception of language use, one which leads to a faulty conception of what managers do. It ignores the need for an ethics of communication and misjudges the creative aspects of language use. Management discourse is a far more complex and fluid phenomenon, one requiring not just effective use, but management itself. In other words consideration of the discourse of management leads us to the need for the management of discourse.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce, Bertram C. & Connell, Jeanne M. & Higgins, Chris & Mahoney, Joseph T., 2011. "The Discourse of Management and the Management of Discourse," Working Papers 11-0100, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:illbus:11-0100

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    1. Alan M Rugman & Alain Verbeke, 1992. "A Note on the Transnational Solution and the Transaction Cost Theory of Multinational Strategic Management," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 23(4), pages 761-771, December.
    2. Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra & Mary M Maloney & Shalini Manrakhan, 2007. "Causes of the difficulties in internationalization," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 38(5), pages 709-725, September.
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