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Director's Message

 Organizational Discourse for Socio-Economic Innovation (ODSEI) is a research center that brings together voluntary Seinan Gakuin University-based research groups that share discourse perspectives. At ODSEI, we conduct research and hold educational and promotional events toward the ultimate goal of contributing to sound societal and organizational development.

 Our approach is an extension of the linguistic turn in social sciences to studies of Japanese society, management and organizations. It is an interdisciplinary approach that examines, through discourse, contemporary social issues, management challenges and organizational changes. Our activities include the following: (1) fundamental research: to explore the significance of theoretical and philosophical studies with regard to discourse perspectives in various ハareas within social sciences; (2) applied research: research through analyzing a variety of discourse data in diverse subjects (e.g. identity, organizational culture, organizational changes, compliance, risk, management accounting, sports organizations and other groups of experts); (3) planning and organizing seminars and workshops as a research center that embraces discourse perspectives and analytical approaches. Through these activities, we intend to cast new light from discourse perspectives on contemporary societal issues that continue to grow in complexity; critically deconstruct daily assumptions concerning society, management and organizations (notions that are rarely questioned and reexamined in daily contexts such as efficiency, market, strategy …); and propose 21st-century management that better aligns society with organizations.

 We would love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions, opinions or proposals to share with ハus or if you wish to consult us regarding your problems. We are looking forward to dialogues with you.

Discourse Perspective and Its Background

 Amid advancing globalization, the contemporary societal environment that surrounds management and organizations continues to grow in complexity. In Japan, following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, Japanese society is confronted with the major challenge of change in terms of organization and management. The complex socio-economic reality compels rewriting of traditional theories of organization and major management research themes. In other words, the assumptions to which organizations have tacitly subscribed (e.g. efficiency and economic rationality) can no longer be taken for granted. A new paradigm is imminently needed. This goes beyond the mere creation of new research themes; even traditional ones now require an approach that is not premised on efficiency or economic rationality. At ODSEI, the researchers, who are active specialists in their respective fields, share such a view and seek out a new paradigm.

 In Europe, the search for a new paradigm started early, amid active debates in postmodern philosophy and post-structuralism mainly in France and Germany. As well, the recent development of social constructionism and its impact on social sciences, coupled with the strong influence of Foucauldian perspective, has brought discourse to the spotlight. The same tendency is found in the domain of management studies. In European academic circles, discourse is well established as a research method and approaches. For example, the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) and the Critical Management Studies (CMS) have built their major theoretical studies on discourse. In addition to these prestigious European societies, new academic associations are being formed to pursue research on the theme of discourse, including the Ideology and Discourse Analysis (established 2008) and the Special Topic Conference of Business Discourse (established 2009). One remarkable commonality of their studies is a predominant focus on discourse as originally proposed by Foucault. While such a discourse-centered approach is becoming increasingly important in Europe as a new paradigm in the realms of organizational theories and management studies, the Japanese research community is still largely under the influence of American-style management studies, and the application of a discourse approach to management is yet to be developed. In this regard, ODSEI can expect to play a significant role through its activities.

Organizational Discourse: Fundamental Concepts

 Here is a brief introduction to the fundamental concepts on which ODSEI relies in terms of its research (for greater detail, please refer to related literature). The following quotations concern the relationship  between organization and discourse from a discourse perspective.

Organization from a Discourse Perspective

"Organizations exist only in so far as their members create them through discourse. This is not to claim that organizations are 'nothing but' discourse, but rather that discourse is the principle means by which organization members create a coherent social reality that frames their sense of who they are." (Mumbly and Clair, 1997, p. 181)
Mumby, D. & Clair, R. (1997) Organizational discourse. In T.A. Van Dijk (ed.), Discourse as structure and process: Discourse studies vol.2 – A multidisciplinary introduction (pp.181–205).London: Sage.

Discourse and Organization

 In using the term 'organizational discourse', we refer to "the structured collections of texts embodied in the practices of talking and writing (as well as a wide variety of visual representations and cultural artifacts) that bring organizationally related objects into being as those texts are produced, disseminated, and consumed … Consequently, texts can be considered to be a manifestation of discourse and the distinctive unit on which the organizational discourse researcher focuses." (Grant, Hardy, Oswick and Putnam, 2004, p. 3)
Grant, D., Hardy, C., Oswick, C., & Putnam, L.L. (2004). The Sage Handbook of Organizational Discourse. London: Sage Publications.



 ODSEI intends to conduct research activities as outlined below on a continual basis:

(1) Basic Research:
identifying  theoretical and philosophical significance of a discoursal perspective in various areas within social sciences

To clarify the significance of the linguistic turn in social sciences, we study literature of discourse studies in various areas and hold a meeting for discussions on a monthly basis.

(2) Applied Research:

conducting research through discourse studies covering societal and organizational issues in diverse areas
At present, the following research projects are under way at ODSEI:

* Discourse of professionalism: Especially, organizational discourse in sports
* Discourse for inter-corporate collaboration in an effort to recover from the damage done by the Great East Japan Earthquake
* Social Construction of Risks and Crisis: Discourse of Risk Management
* Organizational discourse in architectural design offices
* Discourse of organizational accidents
* Organizational discourse of hospital organization and for management restructuring
* Discourse of narrative therapy and healing
* Discourse in multi-cultural organizations
* Others

 (3) Activities as a Research center embracing discourse perspectives and discourse analytical approaches

We strive to accomplish the following two objectives through our research:

1/ Development and diffusion of organizational discourse in practice research in organizational discourse
ODSEI intends to actively plan and organize lectures, open seminars and workshops to diffuse knowledge and promote education, develop research in organizational discourse, and achieve our ultimate purpose of contributing to sound development of society and organizations.

2/ Academic excellence through international networks
ODSEI participates in the International Centre for Research in Organizational Discourse, Strategy & Change, which conducts cutting-edge research at 11 research institutions at the University of London, the University of Sydney and others. Through this and other networks, ODSEI intends to promote international research collaboration. We plan to invite overseas researchers who have made outstanding achievements as lecturers and discussants in our events, to deepen our understanding of the discourse approach. We will invite researchers from overseas on a continual basis to improve our research quality.



      Department of Literature・Division of Foreign Languages English Course

      Research field name

      ・Communication Studies
      ・Business Administration

      Subject of research

      ・Study methodology
      ・Health Communication
      ・Cross-cultural management
      ・Organizational culture
      ・Management research critical
      ・Industrial education
      ・And corporate ethics scandals
      ・Risk management
      ・Industrial and organizational democracy
      ・Negotiation theory
      ・Organizational theory
      ・Organization Communication


      Department of Literature・Division of Foreign Languages French Course

      Subject of research

      ・Psychiatry and politics of the Third Republic France stage


      Department of Commerce・Division of Business Administration

      Research field name


      Subject of research

      ・Ethnographic study the history of the Tokai-mura criticality accident
      ・The relationship between rules and practice in the organization
      ・Management of high-risk tissue
      ・Organizational theory


      Department of Literature・Division of Foreign Languages English Course

      Research field name

      ・Communication Studies

      Subject of research

      ・Human rights principle
      ・Critical discourse research
      ・Critical race studies
      ・Cross-cultural communication


      Department of Human Sciences・Division of Psychology

      Subject of research

      ・Physical Education, Research on children's physical preparation of sports psychology


      Department of Commerce・Division of Commerce

      Research field name


      Subject of research

      ・Life cycle changes in the organization and management accounting
      ・Elucidation of the principles of management accounting behavior of Japanese companies


      Department of Commerce・Division of Business Administration

      Research field name

      ・Business Administration

      Subject of research

      ・Gap between strategy and organizational behavior of members ・Theoretical study of narrative approach
      ・Social constructionism in Strategy Research


6-2-92 Nishijin, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka 814-8511 Japan