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Keeping a dream alive: Multimodal study of the construction sector’s industrialization 1945-1970

Abstract : Rational myths provide idealized cultural accounts that specify the appropriate means that organizations should adopt to rationally pursue socially valuable ends. Being taken for granted, rational myths eschew demonstrations that they actually hold true. Our empirical study uses visual and verbal data to examine how proponents of the rational myth of industrialization introduced and sustained this myth within the French construction industry after WWII. We identify three consecutive steps through which proponents introduced and sustained this rational myth, and specify the powerful suggestive role of visual representations. At the beginning of the process, the equivocal interpretation of visuals allows early associations between means and ends that precede verbal couplings. In the last phase, visual representation reinforces the couplings between means and substantive ends, enabling the myth of industrialization to draw on both formal rationality and substantive rationality, and transcending any potential incompatibility between them. We theorize the complementarities of the verbal mode and the visual mode in the process of introducing and sustaining a rational myth within a field.
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Contributor : Eva Boxenbaum Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, March 13, 2017 - 3:15:04 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:34:23 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01488314, version 1


Thibault Daudigeous, Eva Boxenbaum, Sylvain Colombero, Pillet Jean-Charles. Keeping a dream alive: Multimodal study of the construction sector’s industrialization 1945-1970. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Academy of Management, Aug 2017, Atlanta, United States. ⟨hal-01488314⟩



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