Psycholinguistics of Organizational Phenomena: A Case of the Managerial Culture Study

Keywords: discourse, organization, managerial culture, dispersion of meanings, paradigmatics, syntagmatics


Purpose. This article is devoted to the case study of relevant linguacultural stereotypes of the particular organization’s managerial culture and based on corresponding results the inquiry of the discourses formation features associated with the lexico-semantic meanings dispersion of (Foucault).

Methods and Procedure of Research. Top managers of a large Ukrainian enterprise (67 respondents) were asked to arbitrarily describe the following concepts “manager”, “subordinate”, “managerial style”. Each concept was differentiated according to the principle of the lexico-semantic opposition (“productive  counterproductive”). The obtained set of texts was lemmatized and a frequency analysis of the lemmas was carried out as well. Collocations were also evaluated, in particular, repeated n-grams were identified.  In the further analysis were used all detected n-grams and those lemmas, the observed frequencies of which statistically significantly exceeded the expected ones.

Results. Discourse formation features are determined by the paradigmatic relations of lexico-semantic units (words) and their semantic linear compatibility. The paradigmatic dispersion of a discourse is represented by the quality of connections between lemmas according to the criterion of the paradigm types to be found. Also informative is the assessment of the lemmas number (granularity of the discourse) and the spectrum diversity of paradigmatic relations in the discourse. These parameters reflect the properties of homogeneity/complexity of discourse meanings dispersion. The syntagmatic dissemination of discourse is manifested by the features of the words semantic linear interrelationship in each n-gram. This parameter reflects the quality of rationalizations (verbal-logical chains) associated with the corresponding discourses. The length of n-grams (the number of words) is also indicative – the higher n, the more differentiated the discourse is and vice versa. Matching the words semantics in n-grams with lemmas allows one to draw a conclusion regarding the internal consistency (integration) of the discourse.

Conclusions. Psycholinguistic tools can be effectively used in an organizational phenomena study. In particular, the frequency analysis of lemmas, their lexico-semantic evaluation, as well as the qualitative analysis of n-grams in the problem-targeted texts of respondents allows one to solve applied research issues related to the assessment of current linguacultural trends in an organization and understanding their possible causes. Managerial culture, as a linguacultural phenomenon, is represented by a set of stably reproduced discourses in the process of the organization’s functioning. At the same time, discourses are constituted by the dispersion of meanings (words), which is being realized in two linguistic dimensions – paradigmatic and syntagmatic ones.


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Shymko, V. (2022). Psycholinguistics of Organizational Phenomena: A Case of the Managerial Culture Study. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 31(1), 173-186.