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Journal Article

Discourse analysis and complex adaptive systems: Managing variables with attitudes  pp61-68

Charl Walters, Roy Williams

© Jul 2003 Volume 2 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 77

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There have been long‑standing debates about the relative values of quantitative vs. qualitative research, and of positivism vs. critical theory in management studies. In this paper we discuss the value of discourse theory and the tools of discourse analysis in the context of complex adaptive systems theory, which can usefully be seen as a synthesis of the thesis of modernism and the antithesis of post‑modernism. Discourse' has been developed and used in several disciplines, to interesting effect. It is now time to systematise the notion of discourse, and the tools of discourse analysis, both theoretically and practically, so that they can better be applied to management research, and to management practice.


Keywords: Discourse, modernism, post-modernism, complex adaptive systems, communities of practice


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