Speaking about vision, talking in the name of so much more: A methodological framework for ventriloquial analyses in organization studies

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Organizations have long been treated as stable and fixed entities, defined by concrete buildings, catchy names, and strategic goals neatly written on paper. The Communicative Constitution of Organizations (CCO) school proposes an alternative, practice-grounded conceptualization for studying organizations as emerging in communicative (inter)actions. In so doing, CCO invites organizational scholars to trace back organizational phenomena to how they are communicated into existence. The concept of ventriloquism can help us explain the communicative constitutive view as it depicts how various elements of a situation are communicated into being and make a difference in interaction. However, ventriloquism lacks a proper methodological outline. Taking employee conversations about visions—a classic constituent of organizations—as our venue, we created a four-step framework for ventriloquial analyses and explored how visions are talked into existence. In this paper, we introduce and illustrate our analytical framework, showing how to identify, order, and present ventriloquial effects. We thus provide organizational (communication) scholars with a new methodological tool that facilitates the systematic inquiry into organizing and the organized from a communicative constitutive perspective.

ZeitschriftOrganization Studies
Seiten (von - bis)1457-1476
Anzahl der Seiten20
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2021
Extern publiziertJa

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
An earlier version of this manuscript was presented in the standard working group’s sub-theme “Organization as Communication” at the 34th EGOS colloquium, 2018. The authors wish to thank the participants of this sub-theme. Special thanks to Christoph Haug, Nicolas Bencherki, and Michael Grothe-Hammer for their insights and advice. We also thank Senior Editor Graham Sewell and the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable guidance, as well as our participants for giving us insight into their work and experiences. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.

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