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.


Download data is not yet available.


American Psychological Association. (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct (Amended February 20, 2010). American Psychologist, 57, 1060–1073.

Blumenthal, A. (2019). An Historical View of Psycholinguistics. In Linguistics and Adjacent Arts and Sciences (Part 2, pp. 1105–1134). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.

Chen, X., & Hu, J. (2019). Evolution of U.S. Presidential Discourse over 230 Years: A Psycholinguistic Perspective. International Journal of English Linguistics, 9(4), 28–41.

Das, S., Dutta, A., Biswas, S., & Majumdar, K. (2019). Psycholinguistics – A Study on how it affects effective communication. International Journal of English Learning & Teaching Skills, 2, 925–945.

Barker, C., & Galasinski, D. (2001). Cultural Studies and Discourse Analysis: A Dialogue on Language and Identity. (1st ed.). London: SAGE Publications.

Eades, D. (2005). Chris Barker & Dariusz Galasinski, Cultural studies and discourse analysis: A dialogue on language and identity. London: Sage, 2001. Pp. viii, 192. Pb. Language in Society, 34(1), 137–141.

Ethical code (2009). Etychnyi kodeks uchenoho Ukrainy [Code of ukrainian scientist`s ethics].

Foucault, M. (1972). The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language. (Translated from the French by A.M. Sheridan Smith). New York. Pantheon Books.

Gandino, G., Di Fini, G., Bernaudo, A., Paltrinieri, M., Castiglioni, M., & Veglia, F. (2020). The impact of perinatal loss in maternity units: A psycholinguistic analysis of health professionals’ reactions. Journal of Health Psychology, 25(5), 640–651.

Gelman, S.A., & Roberts, S.O. (2017). How language shapes the cultural inheritance of categories. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(30), 7900–7907.

Giancaspro, M.L., Manuti, A., & Mininni, G. (2015). How to manage organizational identity with words: Applying psycholinguistics to organizational studies. In Fabrizio Serra (Ed.), Rivista di Psicolinguistica Applicata (Part XV, Ch. 1, pp. 77–88). Pisa: Fabrizio Serra.

Grey, S., & Tagarelli, K.M. (2018). Psycholinguistic Methods. In Phakiti A., De Costa P., Plonsky L., & Starfield S. (Eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Linguistics Research Methodology (Part I–IV). (Part II, pp. 287–312). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Jeffries, L. (2010). Opposition in discourse: The construction of oppositional meaning. Continuum International Publishing.

King, B. (1991). Ellen Contini-Morava. Discourse Pragmatics and Semantic Categorization: The Case of Negation and Tense-Aspect with Special Reference to Swahili. Mouton: De Gruyter. 1989. Pp. 205. DM 98, – (hardcover). Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue Canadienne De Linguistique, 36(2), 196–197.

Manuti, A., & Mininni, G. (2013). Narrating organizational change: An applied psycholinguistic perspective on organizational identity. Text & Talk, 33(2), 213–232.

Moder, C.L., & Martinovic-Zic, A. (Eds.). (2004). Discourse Across Languages and Cultures. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Myskin, S.V. (2021). Introduction to Organizational Psycholinguistics. Journal of psycholinguistic research. Advance online publication.

Paradis, C., Löhndorf, S., van de Weijer, J., & Willners, C. (2015). Semantic profiles of antonymic adjectives in discourse. Linguistics, 53(1), 153–191.

Putnam, L., & Fairhurst, G. (2001). Discourse analysis in organizations. issues and concerns. In Fredric M. Jablin, & Linda L. Putnam (Eds.), The New Handbook of Organizational Communication (pp. 79–136). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Sherzer, J. (1987). Discourse-Centered Approach to Language and Culture. American Anthropologist, 89, 295–309.

Shymko, V. (2018a). In Pursuit of the Functional Definition of a Mind: The Pivotal ole of a Discourse. Available at SSRN.

Shymko, V. (2018b). Object field of organizational culture: methodological conceptualization. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 26(4), 602–613.

Shymko, V. (2022). Study of the managerial culture. Harvard Dataverse.

Storjohann, P. (Ed.). (2010). Lexical-Semantic Relations. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Szymanski, M., & Kalra, K. (2019). Foreign Language Acquisition, Bilingualism, and Biculturalism: A New Theoretical Avenue for Organizational Research. In B. Christiansen, & E. Turkina (Ed.), Applied Psycholinguistics and Multilingual Cognition in Human Creativity (pp. 31–54). IGI Global.

Tripp, A., & Munson, B. (2021). Perceiving gender while perceiving language: Integrating psycholinguistics and gender theory. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, e1583.

Abstract views: 269
PDF Downloads: 121 PDF Downloads: 26
How to Cite
Shymko, V. (2022). Psycholinguistics of Organizational Phenomena: A Case of the Managerial Culture Study. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 31(1), 173-186.