Organisationen som dispositiv: et diskursteoretisk speciale

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Christina M. Andersen
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)
This theoretical thesis takes its point of departure in the French philosopher Michel Foucault’s work on discourse. The thesis seeks to examine and account for the nature and range of discourse in relation to sociality within an organizational context.
From a Foucauldian perspective discourse is understood as what can be said to be meaningful, true and reasonable about objects, subjects and relations in the world. As such discourse is what can be uttered as opposed to what cannot be uttered in a certain social context. The rules of discursive formation, what renders possible a certain discourse to emerge, are historical and socially constructed. By analyzing how these changes over time the contingency of sociality and the historicity of men are revealed.
Language is understood as the constitutive and constructive force of sociality as opposed to merely a means of representation and as such the thesis is founded in social-constructivism and post-structuralism. Hence, the organization is understood as constituted by communicative and discursive processes in which language holds a central and crucial position. In continuation hereof the organization is conceptualized as a dispositive. This term was developed by Foucault in order to describe the emergence and function of social technologies in relation to the discipline and government of human beings. A dispositive is compounded by several elements such as discourse, architecture, law, institutions and more. A web of linguistic and material elements pieced together. Together these elements have a prescriptive effect on the field of action, in this case on the organization as it renders probable certain ways of behavior, identity and interaction in the organizational context.
On this ground the thesis questions whether and to what extend it is possible to produce organizational change. The thesis argues that in order to understand, describe and develop organizations language and especially discourse must be taken into account.

Publication dateJun 2012
Number of pages56
ID: 65227805