How Issues Become (Re)constructed in the Media: Discursive Practices in the AstraZeneca Merger

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Title: How Issues Become (Re)constructed in the Media: Discursive Practices in the AstraZeneca Merger
Author: Hellgren, B; Puttonen, L; Lowstedt, J; Tienari, J; Vaara, E; Werr, A
Publisher: Hanken School of Economics
Date: 2012-11-08
Language: en
Abstract: In this article, we put forward a novel way of exploring difference and contradiction in merging organizations. We examine how the media (re)constructs meanings in a major cross-border merger. Based on an analysis of press coverage, we attempt to specify and illustrate how particular issues are (re)constructed in media texts through interpretations of ‘winning’ and ‘losing’. We also show how specific discourses are drawn on in this (re)construction. In the merger studied, discourse based on economic and financial rationale dominated the media coverage. Discourse promoting nationalistic sentiments, however, provided an alternative discursive frame to the dominant rationalistic discourse. We argue that the two basic discourses are enacted in three analytically distinct discursive practices in the media: factualizing, rationalizing and emotionalizing. We suggest that the ability of different actors such as top managers to make use of different discursive strategies and resources in promoting their ‘versions of reality’ in the media (or public discussion) is a crucial avenue for research in this area.

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