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Articulation of principles on the micro level - observing argumentation in a merger process

Authors Sten Jönsson
Airi Rovio-Johansson
Gary Kokk
ISBN 1400-4801
Place of publication Göteborg
Publication year 2004
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Department of Business Administration, Management Accounting Group
Department of Education, Learning and Teaching Unit
Language en
Keywords mergers and acquisitions, integration, discourse analysis, process studies
Subject categories Business Administration


The merging process between a Swedish and a Norwegian manufacturing company has been studied using interviews, video recordings and comments explaining video recorded events at meetings. It is assumed that sensemaking includes a choice of con-text to apply to the text at hand. But sensemaking also offers opportunities to propagate a certain con-text/perspective. Here a central idea, "selvstendig bedrift" (independent and self-sufficient company), is taken as the object to unpack. We demonstrate how it has become value-laden in Norwegian managerial discourse and tied to a managerial role that differs slightly from the Swedish one. We also show an example of how principles packed into this idea become articulated in practical discourse in a management meeting and how participants interpret "what is going on". A conclusion is that a speaker must pay attention to what context he or she wants to mobilize in the audience. We also question to what extent terms like "shared values" or "shared information" has any useful meaning.

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