Research

Authoritative sensemaking in a public inquiry report


Reference:

Brown, A. D., 2004. Authoritative sensemaking in a public inquiry report. Organization Studies, 25 (1), pp. 95-112.

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    Official URL:

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0170840604038182

    Abstract

    This paper attempts a discourse analysis of the Cullen Report into the Piper Alpha disaster in order to research how public inquiries seek to represent their efforts to make sense of events as authoritative. It is argued that inquiry reports are highly convention-governed sensemaking narratives that employ various forms of verisimilitude in order to bolster their authority. They are also monological storytelling performances that function hegemonically to impose a particular version of reality on their readers. The investigation of the means by which inquiry reports attempt to accomplish verisimilitude and hegemony are important as they may shed light on how this form of public discourse seeks to depoliticise disaster events, legitimate social institutions, and lessen anxieties by concocting myths that emphasize our omnipotence and capacity to control.

    Details

    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsBrown, A. D.
    DOI10.1177/0170840604038182
    DepartmentsSchool of Management
    Publisher StatementPiper_Alpha_Paper_Submitted_Version.pdf: ©Sage. 'Version 2' - author's accepted version.
    RefereedYes
    StatusPublished
    ID Code11647

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