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On the force potential of strategy texts: a critical discourse analysis of a strategic plan and its power effects in a city organization

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Organization
Issue number6
Volume17
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)685-702
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Despite increasing interest in the discursive aspects of strategy, few studies have examined strategy texts and their power effects. We draw from Critical Discourse Analysis to better understand the power of strategic plans as a directive genre. In our empirical analysis, we examined the creation of the official strategic plan of the City of Lahti in Finland. As a result of our inductive analysis, we identified five central discursive features of this plan: self-authorization, special terminology, discursive innovation, forced consensus and deonticity. We argue that these features can, with due caution, be generalized and conceived as distinctive features of the strategy genre. We maintain that these discursive features are not trivial characteristics; they have important implications for the textual agency of strategic plans, their performative effects, impact on power relations and ideological implications.