Announcing Change: Discourse, Uncertainty, and Organizational Control

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Embracing a meso-level approach to discourse and change, I examine relationships among organizational-level discourses in the days following a formal change announcement at an international data services organization. The findings of this study show how particular articulations of the future aligned with existing organizational meanings to constitute a discursive constellation that maintained – rather than changed – organizational meaning systems. These findings reimagine organizational control as a process of organizational-level discursive alignments that further naturalize organizational understandings by suppressing alternative ways to know an uncertain future. Conceptualizing organizational control in terms of meso-level discursive alignments has potential implications for both scholars and practitioners of organizational change by refocusing attention on the ways participants talk about change while remaining sensitive to how announcing change might enable discourses of ‘sameness’ rather than promote discourses of ‘change’.