Communication & Language at Work <p><em>Communication and Language at Work</em> is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal focusing on communicative and discursive practices relating to organizations. With a view to disciplines, the journal invites contributions navigating sociological and philosophical considerations of communication, knowledge, agency, and organization.</p> en-US <p>The journal is published under a Creative Commons license <em>Attribution Non-commercial No derivatives (cc by-nc-sa)</em> <a href=""><span style="color: #1f497d;"></span></a>. CLaW allows the author(s) to retain publishing rights without restrictions. Copyright remains with authors without restrictions.</p> (Peter Kastberg) (Peter Kastberg) Tue, 13 Dec 2022 12:31:05 +0100 OJS 60 Editorial Peter Kastberg Copyright (c) 2022 Peter Kastberg Tue, 13 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 Expanding the Theoretical Landscape of Organizational Socialization Research <p>Our essay challenges an understanding of organizational socialization as a process whereby newcomers adapt to objectified organizational entities. To this end, we explore potential theoretical contributions of organizational institutionalism and related discourses on institutional logics, organizational hybridity, and organizational imprints. All of these perspectives support a concept of organizations as ‘moving targets’ in their relationship to dynamic environments. Accordingly, individuals such as newcomers can be positioned as active agents who engage in complex sense-making processes. However, institutionalism also has its shortcomings, as a deeper analysis of a seminal paper on organizational socialization in hybrid organizations reveals. We observe an ongoing commitment to an evolutionary adaptation paradigm, a paternalistic managerial attitude, and the denial of hegemonial market logics in organizations. In conclusion, we propose additional perspectives beyond institutionalism, which can further expand the theoretical landscape of organizational socialization research through independent and critical studies.</p> Jochen Hoffmann, Mia Thyregod Rasmussen Copyright (c) 2022 Jochen Hoffmann, Mia Thyregod Rasmussen Tue, 13 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 The Myth of the Ideal Graduate <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Power is a defining feature of organizational life in general and in organisational socialisation in particular. In this study we aim at developing a deeper understanding of the tension between newcomers’ search for expressing their authentic selves and the pressure to comply with what we call the myth of the ideal employee. We conceptualise the myth of the ideal employee as a dominant narrative that structures the process of membership negotiation as discussed by McPhee and Zaug&nbsp;(2000). Drawing on Alvesson and Wilmott (2002) and Ashforth and Schinoff (2016), we conceptualise the process as identity regulation pertaining to how newly hired graduates come to define “who they are” in a large corporation. We present findings from a longitudinal, qualitative study with data consisting of sixty-two interviews with a cohort of graduates in a corporate graduate programme. Over a period of six months, three interviews were conducted with each graduate; one before entering the organization, one after three months, and one after six months. As we conceptualise identity as embedded in narrative, the data has been analyzed through a narrative analysis, using Greimas’ actantial model. Our analysis dives into each interview round as well as narrative trajectories across interview rounds with a central emphasis on identity regulation and becoming a member.</p> <p>The findings demonstrate how the myth constrains graduates to match a specific narrative identity and ideology in accordance with the organization’s own and how the newcomers strategize to establish a particular presence in the organization. It also reveals small but consequential attempts to “stay true to oneself”, thus unravelling the complex, ongoing negotiation of “who one is” and the key stakeholders involved.</p> Leo Smith, Ida Gaardsdal Løth, Sara Lasskogen Copyright (c) 2022 Leo Smith, Ida Gaardsdal Løth, Sara Lasskogen Tue, 13 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 Resisting Attempts at Organizational Socialization <p>The study explores resistance towards managerial attempts at socializing workers to specific forms of behaviour. The case regards the introduction of time registration practices among upper secondary school teachers. Data originates from interviews with 31 teachers. Qualitative content analysis is used to map the stances towards time registration and their supporting arguments. The arguments supporting a negative or ambivalent stance are linked to two different norm-creating contexts and sets of rules which are viewed as the bases that legitimize resistance. Findings are that ambivalent and negative stances dominate. These stances are grounded in arguments which express both professional and political concerns. Professional concerns regard the need to protect a professional identity and the needs of clients and can be linked to norms and sets of rules acquired through professional socialization. The political concerns regard the inadequacy of time registration as a means to regulate effort. These concerns can be linked to the norms and sets of rules acquired by co-worker socialization. A critical attitude towards time registration is complicated by the fact that time registration is also championed by the union. However, both the consideration of possible negative side effects unforeseen by the union and experiences of active rule-twisting from management can make rule breaking legitimate even if the rules broken are also championed by the union.</p> Thomas Borchmann, Bendt Torpegaard Copyright (c) 2022 Thomas Borchmann, Bendt Torpegaard Tue, 13 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 We Are Not “Newly Appointed Staff” <p>In contemporary societies, corporate organisations’ discourses are progressively colonising the everyday practices of individuals or collectives in organisational settings. In Ghana, the government mobilizes state institutions’ technologies for colonising the everyday practices of staff and management of public university organisations. One of such state institutional technologies and practices is the state’s migration of university staff onto the government mechanized payroll. The question is, how do state institutions colonize and control the everyday management practices of public university organisations including employee socialization practices, and what are the ramifications? Data for this study include text in the form of letters and press releases realised from mediated interactions between government institutions and university management and workers’ unions, and talk realised from interview. The data is analysed in relation to the new public universities’ management discourse inspired by dialectical-relational approach to critical discourse studies. This study demonstrates that the discursive practices of the government institutions and the migration of the staff of SDD-UBIDS onto the government mechanized payroll, IPPD2 technology is a political strategy to control public universities. The ramifications are that such institutionalized practices curtail academic freedom and competitiveness of public universities locally and globally as employees’ competing discursive practices, contestations and enactments are ignored. The highlight of this article is that, generally, in preparing the new public university bill and implementing new public universities’ regulations in Ghana, the government and the management of public universities strategically align and go along. However, an inclusive and pluralistic discourse to shape public universities’ regulation and management in Ghana to ensure academic freedom, and a competitive national and global higher education is badly needed.</p> Dennis Puorideme Copyright (c) 2022 Dennis Puorideme Tue, 13 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 The Dark Side of Mindfulness <p>Purpose: The aim of our paper is to analyze the role of mindfulness in organizational socialization, particularly how these techniques are mobilized by corporations to reshape employees’ subjectivities.</p> <p>Design/Methodology/Approach: Mindfulness is a process of awareness to moment-to-moment experience, allowing subjects to deal with emotions, sensations and thoughts in a non-judgmental way (Kabat–Zinn, 1991). Mindfulness has been characterized as the new opiate of the masses (Dawson and Turnbull, 2006) and the flagship technology of the self of neoliberal capitalism (Zizek, 2005), adjusting individuals “to the very conditions that cause their problems” (Purser, 2019, p.5). Over the past decade, several mindfulness interventions, such as MBSR (Mindfulness-based-stress reduction), have been implemented in corporate settings, aiming to improve employees’ resilience, flexibility, well-being and self-control. Recognizing that neoliberal selfhood requires individuals to rely on self-regulation devices to enhance their health and happiness, mindfulness interventions are emblematic examples of organizational socialization, as workers should undergo a set of performances to control, manage and regulate their affective states, thus increasing their productivity. By the “dark side of mindfulness”, we refer to the ways in which these practices are promoted, disseminated and applied to reconfigure workers’ subjectivities, leading to new articulations of neoliberal governmentalities coupling technologies of the self, affect and efficiency. Mindfulness becomes a disciplinary tool of self-control that aims at maximizing productivity through the moment-to-moment management of affect. Our paper draws on a qualitative methodology, including the thematic analysis of 44 papers published in the Harvard Business Review, and the examination of a specific mindfulness program carried out by the big tech corporation Amazon, which generated controversy.</p> <p>Findings: Our empirical findings are organized around four main themes: corporate mindfulness as an expansion of neoliberal selfhood; mindfulness and the ability to turn inner work into a driver of productivity; corporate mindfulness as an epiphenomenon of late capitalism; mindfulness as a technofix.</p> <p>Research Limitations: Our paper relies on a relatively limited data set, and by extending our research into a wider range of journals it would have been possible to identify alternative themes. Moreover, our theoretical framework (stemming from the neoliberal critique) may overshadow relevant phenomenological and embodied aspects.</p> <p>Theoretical and practical implications: This paper contributes to scholarship within Social Studies of Mindfulness and Organization Studies, unpacking the contemporary articulations of mindfulness, neoliberalism, affect and governmentality.</p> António Carvalho, Rita Grácio Copyright (c) 2022 António Carvalho, Rita Grácio Tue, 13 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100