Ways of seeing organisational death: a critical semiotic analysis of organisational memorialisation

Bell, Emma (2012). Ways of seeing organisational death: a critical semiotic analysis of organisational memorialisation. Visual Studies, 27(1) pp. 4–17.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1472586X.2012.642954

Abstract

This article explores the role of the visual in the social construction of organisational memory. Using critical visual analysis I explore how employees of a large industrial organisation made sense of the impending closure of a productive site of symbolic significance. The power of images in this case arises from their role in enabling employees and community members to challenge the dominant visual narrative of the life of the organisation and construct an alternative narrative of death, to express the loss of an important site of organisational memory. This draws attention to the importance of sites of memorialisation and objects of remembrance in the social construction of organisational memory, and highlights the role of visual images in dramatising organisational death.

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