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A Theoretical and Analytical Synthesis of Autopoiesis and Sociolinguistics for the Study of Organisational Communication

Graham, Philip W. & McKenna, Bernard (2000) A Theoretical and Analytical Synthesis of Autopoiesis and Sociolinguistics for the Study of Organisational Communication. Social Semiotics, 10(1), pp. 41-59.

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, we propose a systemic view of communication based in autopoiesis, the theory of living systems formulated by Maturana & Varela (1980, 1987). Second, we show the links between the underpinning assumptions of autopoiesis and the sociolinguistic approaches of Halliday (1978), Fairclough (1989, 1992, 1995) and Lemke (1995, 1994). Third, we propose a theoretical and analytical synthesis of autopoiesis and sociolinguistics for the study of organisational communication. In proposing a systemic theory for organisational communication, we argue that traditional approaches to communication, information, and the role of language in human organisations have, to date, been placed in teleological constraints because of an inverted focus on organisational purpose-the generally perceived role of an organisation within society-that obscure, rather than clarify, the role of language within human organisations. We argue that human social systems are, according to the criteria defined by Maturana and Varela, third-order, non-organismic living systems constituted in language. We further propose that sociolinguistics provides an appropriate analytical tool which is both compatible and penetrating in synthesis with the systemic framework provided by an autopoietic understanding of social organisation.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 29747
Item Type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1080/103503300114540
ISSN: 1035-0330
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Cultural Theory (200204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Language in Culture and Society (Sociolinguistics) (200405)
Divisions: Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 Taylor & Francis.
Deposited On: 19 Jan 2010 12:07
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 02:04

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