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Other research product . 2014

Between Memory and Strategy: Media Discourse Analysis of an Industrial Shutdown

Ahonen, Pasi;
Closed Access
Published: 12 Dec 2014
Publisher: Lappeenranta University of Technology
Country: Finland

In 2006 UPM was able to gain a level of social legitimacy that allowed it to carry out one of the largest industrial restructuring programmes in Finnish industrial history, shut down major operations in Finland and still appear to be functioning in the interests of the nation as well as itself. This study considers and examines various contexts of this shutdown with the aim of demonstrating how profoundly mediated such organizational events are though they appear to be produced primarily through strategic company decisions. The study aims to examine the processes of mediation at two levels. At one level, through close analysis of press releases and newspaper reports in local and national newspapers, the study presents a discursive analysis of the Voikkaa case. The discursive analysis focuses on providing historical contexts for understanding why this organizational event was also an occasion for reimagining the past and future of the Finnish nation; spatial contexts for understanding the differing struggles over the meaning of the event nationally and regionally; and the temporal dynamics of the media reports. At another level, the study considers and refines methods for reading and analyzing mediation in organization studies. Bringing together recent research of media text–based legitimation studies, emerging research on organizational memory and organizational death and a Foucaultian analytics of power, this work suggests that organizational research needs to be less concerned with particular typologies and narratives of shutdowns, and more curious about the processes of mediation through which organizational events are imagined and remembered.


media discourse analysis, mediation, temporality, legitimation, history, organizational memory, organizational restructuring, industrial shutdowns, organizational death, pulp and paper industry, Finland

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