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The Language of Organizational Styling


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  • Author: Lionel Wee, National University of Singapore
  • Date Published: January 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107054806

£ 67.99

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About the Authors
  • The ways in which commercial organizations and service providers 'style' themselves - creating the image they wish to portray to their potential consumers - is a long-established area of research in the fields of sociology and business studies. However, language also plays an important role in organizational styling, something which until now has been largely overlooked in the literature. This is the first book-length study of the linguistics of organizational styling, looking at the language and semiotic resources used by holiday resorts, pharmaceutical companies, restaurants and insurance companies in order to project their identities, and style themselves. It discusses in detail a number of case studies and presents an innovative take on the notion of style, as well as bringing together work from linguistics, business studies and sociology. This interdisciplinary book will be of interest to scholars and advanced students in sociolinguistics, and scholars of sociology and business studies.

    • Extends the notion of styling to organizations and provides insight into how the styling of organizations differs
    • Provides detailed discussion of examples so readers can easily understand the concepts being introduced
    • A multidisciplinary approach to the study of organizations, combining insights from sociolinguistics, business studies and social theory
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    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015

    Reviews & endorsements

    'By juxtaposing the styling of persons and organizations, this important book elegantly demonstrates how we are shaped by corporate actors as they shape themselves and organizational others through their discursive force. It will be an invaluable resource for scholars in sociolinguistics, management and organization studies, and the field of communication.' Boris H. J. M. Brummans, Université de Montréal

    'Full of fascinating case studies and new theoretical insights, and brilliantly written, Lionel Wee's book explains how organisations large and small build and exploit corporate images and engage in style wars. The Language of Organizational Styling breaks important new ground for sociolinguistics.' Nikolas Coupland, University of Copenhagen and University of Technology Sydney

    '… a fascinating read for anyone interested in the process of how businesses promote themselves through specific language choices. Language has power, and this book explores the power behind linguistic choices.' S. E. Vie, Choice

    'In sociolinguistics, and more particularly in social semiotics, Lionel Wee has attempted to break new ground … Wee's perspective that the styling of organizations is fundamentally different from (yet related to) that of individuals emerges as a particularly salient theme.' Sebastian Muth, Journal of Sociolinguistics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107054806
    • length: 212 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the organization as a corporate actor
    2. Styling: from persons to organizations
    3. Enterprise culture as a master ethical regime
    4. Size matters: the semiotics of big versus small businesses
    5. When Peter meets Harry: the emotional labor of organizations
    6. Organizational restyling
    7. Styling the organizational other
    8. Organizations and speakers: structure and agency in language.

  • Author

    Lionel Wee, National University of Singapore
    Lionel Wee is a Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the National University of Singapore.


    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015

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