Handbook of Economic Organization
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Handbook of Economic Organization

Integrating Economic and Organization Theory

Edited by Anna Grandori

This comprehensive and groundbreaking Handbook integrates economic and organization theories to help elucidate the design and evolution of economic organization. Economic organization is regarded both as a subject of inquiry and as an emerging disciplinary field in its own right, integrating insights from economics, organization theory, strategy and management, economic sociology and congnitive psychology. The contributors, who share this integrated approach, are distinguished scholars at the productive peak in their fields. Each original, state-of-the art chapter not only addresses foundational issues, but also identifies key issues for future research.
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Chapter 8: Language and economic organization

Massimo Warglien


In this chapter, two broad perspectives on organization and language are reconstructed. The first perspective focuses on language in organizations: how language is used in organizational settings. This includes economic modeling and experimental work, both inspired by Arrow’s influential notion of ‘organizational code’, but also more qualitative field work on language games organizations play. The second perspective focuses on organizations as language. Moving from Searle’s view that institutions are at the heart a fact of language, two main issues are explored: the combinatorial (generative) nature of organizational processes and forms, and recursion as a fundamental organizing principle. Despite its apparent fragmentation, the study of organization and language appears mature for integrative efforts that may help to reconsider how language shapes organizational life.

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