Picture map of Europe with pins indicating European capital cities

Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

Explore research outputs by the European Policies Research Centre...

Beneath the radar : a critical realist analysis of ‘the knowledge economy’ and ‘shareholder value’ as competing discourses

Thompson, Paul and Harley, B. (2012) Beneath the radar : a critical realist analysis of ‘the knowledge economy’ and ‘shareholder value’ as competing discourses. Organization Studies, 33 (10). pp. 1363-1381. ISSN 0170-8406

Full text not available in this repository. Request a copy from the Strathclyde author

Abstract

This paper seeks to apply a critical realist lens to the analysis of discourse. Our central argument is that the most fruitful way to make sense of discourse is to treat it as an empirical object of inquiry alongside extra-discursive phenomena. In making this argument, we consider two recent discourses, the ‘knowledge-based economy’ (KBE) and ‘shareholder value’ (SV) and demonstrate that while the KBE discourse gained much more attention, SV discourse had much more significant material outcomes. We suggest that research on the potential causal powers of discourse should move away from an exclusive focus on the discursive and pay attention to actors and institutions and to extra-discursive conditions and constraints.