Sub-plenary 3:

Multimodality in Organizational Communication and Discourse


Theo van Leeuwen

Professor of Multimodality
University of Southern Denmark



Professor Theo Van Leeuwen


Theo van Leeuwen is Professor of Multimodality in the Department of Language and Communication at the University of Southern Denmark.
Theo is one of the leading scholars in discourse analysis, and he has in particular worked on topics such as legitimation and multimodality. He has published a number of highly influential books and articles that have inspired scholars in linguistics as well as other social science and humanities disciplines.


Joep Cornelissen

Professor of Corporate Commu-
nication & Organization Theory
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL



Joep Cornelissen is a Professor Corporate Communication and Organization Theory and the author of  Corporate Communication: A Guide to Theory and Practice.


His current research focuses on narratives and processes of framing in the context of entrepreneurship, sensemaking, and organizational change.




Eero Vaara

Professor of Management and Organization
Hanken School of Economics, Finland



Eero Vaara is Professor of Management and Organization at Hanken School of Economics, Finland, a permanent Visiting Professor at EMLYON Business School, France, and a distinguished visiting scholar at Lancaster University, UK. His research focuses on organizational change, discourse and communication in strategy and strategizing, critical perspectives on MNCs and globalization, and methodological and epistemological issues in management and organization research.


The sub-plenary focuses on multimodality in organizational communication and discourse. It will be organized in a dialogical manner so that Theo van Leeuwen, Joep Cornelissen and Eero Vaara will provide three brief presentations and together make sense of the potential of multimodal approaches to organization studies.

The sub-plenary will start with an introduction to and overview of recent advances in studying multimodality in discourse analysis. This overview will also provide examples in which this approach has been successfully applied. It will in particular highlight the importance of studying technologically mediated multimodal discourses that play a role in the interaction between managers and employees in organizations and the interactions between organizations and their clients.

This will be followed by reflections on how multimodality may benefit specific areas in organization studies; these include sensemaking, communicative construction of organizations (CCO), institutional theory, and socio-materiality (in particular in strategy research).