What is an organization? What are the building blocks that ultimately constitute this social form, so pervasive in our daily life? Like Augustine facing the problem of time, we all know what an organization is, but we seem unable to explain it. This book brings an original answer by mobilizing concepts traditionally reserved to linguistics, analytical philosophy, and semiotics. Based on Algirdas Julien Greimas' semio-narrative model of action and Jacques Derrida's concept of ecriture, a reconceptualization of speech act theory is proposed in which communication is treated as an act of delegation where human and nonhuman agents are mobilized (texts, machines, employees, architectural elements, managers, etc.). Perfectly congruent with the last development of the sociology of translation developed by Michel Callon and Bruno Latour, this perspective illustrates the organizing property of communication through a process called 'interactoriality'. Jacques Lacan used to say that the unconscious is structured like a language. This book shows that a social organization is structured like a narrative.
1. Acknowledgments; 2. Preface (by Taylor, James R.); 3. Introduction; 4. PART I. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND; 5. 1. Speech Act Theory; 6. 2. Critiques Addressed toward Speech Act Theory; 7. 3. Narrativity and Speech Acts; 8. PART II. TOWARD A MODEL OF THE ORGANIZING PROPERTY OF COMMUNICATION; 9. 4. The Semiotic Model of Illocutionary Acts; 10. 5. The Semiotic Model of Perlocutionary Acts; 11. 6. The Organizing Property of Communication; 12. Conclusion; 13. Notes; 14. References; 15. Author Index; 16. Subject Index