English Research Seminar 28.04.2022
Proposing a Model of Creative Workplace Discourse; Prof. Michael Handford (Cardiff University); Thursday 28th of April 2022, 16:00, room D2.2.228
Creativity is a complex concept, and multiply defined in various fields. In organisational studies, Amabile’s definition is highly influential: ‘the production of ideas or outcomes that are both novel and appropriate to some goal’ (Amabile, 2013: 2). In this talk I will propose a novel theoretical model for examining two types of language-related creativity used in workplaces: firstly, what Carter (2004) termed ‘linguistic creativity’, for instance metaphors, narratives and hypothetical reported speech. The second type, which parallel’s Amabile’s, is ‘creative discourse’ (Jones, 2016), that is discourse used to do creative things (potentially through mundane language). Creative discourse at the interactional level may involve interdiscursivity, for instance the combination of one genre or discourse with another (Bhatia, 2004). The proposed model critically combines these two aspects, and brings in a third, that of alignment (Goffman, 1981). Alignment accounts for moment-by-moment changes in stance towards the social actors and/or the topic in the interaction-in-question.
Once the model has been explained, some authentic workplace interactions will be analysed. I will also demonstrate how the model can be applied to what is termed ‘dark creativity’, that is creativity whose positive benefit may be queried or denied. I will conclude by arguing that the same creative social action may be evaluated differently, depending on the level of context we apply.