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Spatiotemporality and cognitive-semiotic perspectives on corporate discourse for the web

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Maria Cristina Gatti

The book proposes a multi-perspective analytical model for the understanding of corporate identity meanings embedded in historical discourse for the web. The suggested theoretical framework conflates methodological perspectives derived from Discourse Analysis, Multimodality and Cognitive Linguistics. The contribution of Cognitive Linguistics to the proposed analysis is based on two main assumptions. First, the lack of principled distinction between semantics and pragmatics, whereby meaning is a function of the activation of conceptual knowledge structures in context. Second – and this is crucial for hypertext analysis – language, as the outcome of general properties of cognition, is closely related to visual perception. The originality of this approach to web discourse analysis resides in the deployment of tools considering the cross-modal integration of different resource systems. It also offers interpretive keys for the understanding of mechanisms underlying the formatting of the message as a multimodal construct. The empirical analyses presented in the book illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodological approach.

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II. A theoretical framework for Discourse: History, organizations and the World Wide Web

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A theoretical framework for Discourse: History, organizations and the World Wide Web II. ‘We suggest that organizations exist only in so far as their members create them through discourse. This is not to claim that organizations are “nothing but” discourse, but rather that discourse is the principle means by which organization members create a coherent social reality that frames their sense of who they are.’ Mumby and Clair (1997:181) II.l. The spatio-temporal dimension in organizational discourse: Rhetorical language and forms Time and space are fundamental to the manner in which organizations are managed and organized. Indeed, management and organization theory have a long history of recognizing space and time as significant resources. Taylor’s (1911) work is a landmark in this context. His time and motion studies advo­ cated work standardization, job and pay differentiation, detailed timetables, time clerks, and time allocations for specific tasks and rest periods. He also argued for the division of manufacturing and office work locations, workspace re­ organization and office space compartmentalisation. The management literature is now re-examining the relationship between time and space. For example, Walck (1996) uses the metaphor of ‘place’ to imagine how an organization could radically recreate itself. The special issue of the Journal o f Organizational Change Management, on the strategic use of the past and the future, identifies how organizations appropriate (Carroll 2002), and revise the past (Gioia/Corley/ Fabbri 2002) by crafting thoughts (Ooi 2002). Parker (2002) discusses the symbolic relationship between nostalgia and novelty, whereby organization changes without...

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