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