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Governing safe operations at a distance: Enacting responsible risk communication at work
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. (Discourse & Communication)
2016 (English)In: Studies of Discourse and Governmentality: New Perspectives and Methods / [ed] P. McIlvenny, J. Zhukova Klausen & L. Bang Lindegaard, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2016, 179-207 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter argues that today's organizational risk management, where employees are to adopt routines for proper self-control, is fruitfully approached as what Rose and Miller (1992) term governing-at-a-distance. Governing that relies on internal control and the self-governing capacity of citizens requires people to be involved in communication that signifies responsible behaviour. If there is hierarchical monitoring, then it is communication that is supervised which makes the signifying practices all the more important. While previous research has demonstrated that an increasing burden of responsibility is placed on citizens for the risks and health problems they face or envisage, less attention has been paid to the increased communication requirements this development involves. Bridging this gap, this chapter investigates how social interaction in meetings works to facilitate employees to become responsible risk communication subjects. An intensive discourse analysis of five safety meeting episodes demonstrates how the responsibilization of employees’ risk communication extends questions of a) form – such as the duration of talk, b) paper work, c) genuineness, d) contributing on-topic, e) economization, and f) reliability regardless of illness and place. The study takes inspiration from positioning analysis (e.g. Bamberg, 2005), allowing for a detailed account of the moment-to-moment process of responsibilization, something that previous research on risk management tends to skim over.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2016. 179-207 p.
, Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture., ISSN 1569-9463 ; 66
National Category
Communication Studies
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-52005DOI: 10.1075/dapsac.66.06rasISBN: 9789027206572ISBN: 9789027267146OAI: diva2:958185
Available from: 2016-09-06 Created: 2016-09-06 Last updated: 2016-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Rasmussen, Joel
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