Institutions are structures or regularities in social behavior that are self-perpetuating or self-policing. They are a central element of human social life. Examples include organizations (like corporations, small or medium enterprises, churches, armies, and the like), professions (which regulate behavior of their members through ethical codes), and markets (which regulate behavior of actors through supply and demand or conventional means of exchange like currencies). Institutional reality expresses itself through cognitive (taken-for-granted shared beliefs), normative (binding social obligations), and regulative (e.g. legal sanctions) aspects (Scott, 2003). It is now widely recognized that discourse is a central and constitutive element of institutions. It is through discourse that the daily business of institutions is conducted, and so it is through discourse that institutions are enacted and reproduced in everyday life (Phillips, Lawrence, & Hardy, 2004; Cornelissen, Durand, Fiss, Lammers, & Vaara, 2015). As a result, research on discourse processes in institutions can reveal much about how institutions function. At the same time, such research can also lead to a better understanding of the nature of discourse processes, not least because even activities like everyday conversation are constituted by regularities like rules, norms, and conventions, all of which imply some degree of institutionalization.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315687384, hdl.handle.net/1765/109382
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Bangerter, A. (Adrian), & Cornelissen, J.P. (2017). Studying discourse processes in institutional contexts. In The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Processes, Second Edition (pp. 69–96). doi:10.4324/9781315687384