Integrating multiple cycles of a discourse-based management model

Greyling, Wilfred (2011) Integrating multiple cycles of a discourse-based management model. Communication Journal of New Zealand: He Kohinga Korero, 12 (2). pp. 89-111. ISSN 1175-4486

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Against the backdrop of an increasing interest in the study of organisational discourse (Phillips, Sewell and Jaynes, 2008; Thomas, Hardy and Sargent, 2007; Phillips, Lawrence and Hardy, 2004), we revisit Hardy, Palmer and Phillips (2000) who proposed a discourse-based management model for planning, monitoring and reflecting on change in organisations. The question we asked at a tertiary institute of technology in New Zealand was whether their model could be used as a critical-reflective tool, alongside other project management tools, to map the flow of activities in a government-funded literacy- and numeracy- (LN-) embedding project. More specifically, our research objectives were to illustrate that the LN-embedding project activities could be mapped in terms of multiple, often mutually-dependent iterations of the model; and to show that the model could be used as a framework for establishing a trail of discursive evidence, referred to by Thomas, Hardy and Sargent (2007: 4-8) as boundary objects, of the processes and outcomes of change. Another objective was to highlight the communication-directed relational meaning-making dimension of the model. We attempted to capture this aspect in a reworked account of Hardy, Palmer and Phillips’s three-fold distinction of concepts, objects and subjects. Given the almost inexhaustible range of lenses available to make sense of relational meaning making in organisations, we propose a constructivist methodology for investigating the complexity of change as a function of both the meanings held by individuals and their shared meaning making with other stakeholders in the organisation (see Fransella, Bell and Bannister, 2004; Thomas et al., 2007: 4-8). We have selected the LN-embedding project as the context for presenting our findings. Our findings show that each of the primary tasks of a project may be viewed as a configuration of activities which follow the three circuits of the model. Moreover, as a preliminary conclusion, we refer to five permutations of the three-circuit model. We conclude that if we adopt the notion of multiple concurrently evolving cycles of the model, we have a tool that may be used to integrate the primary tasks within an educational value chain, and direct organisational members in their interactions as they coordinate their actions to achieve their primary tasks in the organisation (see Kleinbaum, Stuart and Tushman, 2008), aligning our approach with models in strategic communication (see Argenti, Howell and Beck, 2005).

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords that describe the item:Discourse-based management model, constructivism, boundary objects
Subjects:L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Foundation Studies
ID Code:2019
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Deposited On:12 Jun 2012 02:09
Last Modified:12 Jun 2012 02:09

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