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The language of interests: the contribution of discursive psychology

Whittle, Andrea and Mueller, Frank 2011. The language of interests: the contribution of discursive psychology. Human Relations 64 (3) , pp. 415-435. 10.1177/0018726710386395

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In this article we outline the contribution of the field of Discursive Psychology (DP) for the understanding of interests in organization studies. We discuss the limitations of viewing interests and motives as cognitive states, essential drivers of action and explanatory variables. Following DP, we propose to view interests and motives as a key component of meaningful social practice, making interests and motives a topic for analysis rather than resource for explanation. DP offers a distinct approach to analyzing the accounts that people make about their interests in a particular state of affairs, their stake in a particular situation, or their motive in pursuing a particular course of action. To illustrate our argument, we analyze two data extracts from a qualitative study of a UK public-private partnership. By illustrating the way in which interests are dealt with in different interactional situations, we seek to contribute by outlining a more sophisticated and insightful way of understanding interests within organization studies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Discourse; Discursive psychology; Interest; Motive; Organization theory; Stake
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0018-7267
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:36

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