Edited by Stanca Măda and Răzvan Săftoiu
[Dialogue Studies 17] 2012
► pp. 61–82
Managing the director’s views
Decision making in a small firm context
Decision making (DM) is at the heart of human activity and has attracted a lot of interest over the years. Especially in the workplace, negotiating alternatives, revisiting and making new decisions, constitute a daily reality for most employees. Despite its importance, decision making is still under researched from a linguistic perspective. Even though one can find a range of ‘decision making’ models in business literature, these models often reduce the complexity of ‘how things are getting done’ at work. Against this backdrop the aim of this paper is to discuss decision making talk in the context of a small firm and focuses on the ways in which two senior managers, and long time collaborators, draw on the complex matrix of personal and professional identities in putting forward their agendas and in reaching decisions. Special attention is paid to the ways in which the director’s suggestions are contested in this context. Research on Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and family businesses has only recently started to grow, despite their importance for all EU economies and this paper attempts to address this gap. Our findings show that the personal histories of employees cannot be disentangled from other facets of their identity and that status plays a key role in the small firm decision making context.
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