Critical Language and Discourse Awareness in Management Education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Communication and, through it, language have become key elements of business and organizational life. How organizations interact within their walls and with the outside world fundamentally affects business processes, creating organizational culture, shaping public perceptions, and influencing consumer choices. This essay calls for a greater acknowledgment of language and communication and suggests that management educators may want to review how they are incorporated in management education curricula. Expanding on the skill-based approach typically adopted in business school classes, the essay points to the utility of exposing business students to the dual function of language as a means of doing work and as a social action that constitutes social reality. Drawing on examples from scholarship in linguistics and discourse analysis, the essay demonstrates that the ability to notice, identify, and reflect on linguistic and discourse practices is a crucial managerial skill. Nurturing such analytical and thinking skills enables people to become not only better communicators but also critical thinkers able to understand and challenge when social control, power, or injustice is enacted in organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-672
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Management Education
Volume43
Issue number6
Early online date20 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

© Sage 2019. The final publication is available via Sage at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1052562919848023

Keywords

  • communication skills
  • critical language awareness
  • critical thinking
  • discourse awareness
  • organizational discourse
  • social constructivism
  • soft skills

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