Integrating Economic and Organization Theory
Edited by Anna Grandori
Chapter 8: Language and economic organization
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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