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  • Palo, Mason & Roscoe_Author accepted manuscript

    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Organization Studies, ? (?), 2018, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2018 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Organization Studies page: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/OSS on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/

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Performing a myth to make a market: The construction of the ‘magical world’ of Santa

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>9/08/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Organization Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date9/08/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

If you believe in Santa, do not read this paper. Through an in-depth, qualitative, empirical study, we follow the Santa myth to a remote northern location in Lapland, Finland where, for 1 month a year, multiple actors come together to create a tourist market offering: the chance to visit Santa in his ‘magical world’. We explore how the myth is transformed into reality through performative, organisational speech acts, whereby felicitous conditions for the performance of visits to Santa are embedded in a complex socio-material network. We develop the performative turn (Gond et al., 2016) in organisational studies by introducing a new category of speech act, ‘translocution’, a compendium of imagining, discussing, proposing, negotiating, and contracting that transforms the myth into a model of an imaginary-real world. Through translocutionary acts, actors calculate, organise the socio-material networks of the market, and manage the considerable uncertainty inherent in its operation. Details of the myth become market facts, while commercial constructs fade into the imaginary. The result, when felicitous conditions are achieved, is a ‘Merry Christmas’ of magical, performative power.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Organization Studies, ? (?), 2018, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2018 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Organization Studies page: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/OSS on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/