We study organizational vocabularies as complex social structures emerging from the association between organizational participants and words they use to describe and make sense of their experiences at work. Using data that we have collected on the association between managers in a multi-unit international company and words they use to describe their organizational units and the overall company, we examine the relational micro-mechanisms underlying the observed network structure of organizational vocabularies. We find that members of the same subsidiary tend to become more similar in terms of the words they use to describe their units. Members of the same subsidiary, however, do not use the same words to describe the corporate group. Consequently, the structure of organizational vocabularies tends to support consistent local interpretations, but reveals the presence of divergent meanings that organizational participants associate with the superordinate corporate group.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Bipartite networks, Exponential random graph models, Meanings, Multiunit companies, Organizational vocabularies, Social structure
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20170000053010, hdl.handle.net/1765/102270
Series Research in the Sociology of Organizations
Citation
Lomi, A. (Alessandro), Tasselli, S, & Zappa, P. (Paola). (2017). The network structure of organizational vocabularies. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. doi:10.1108/S0733-558X20170000053010