Visualizing punctuated equilibria in discursive change

exploring a new text analysis possibility for management research

Daniel Angus, David Rooney, Bernard McKenna, Janet Wiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present a new method of visualizing textual data that brings an evolutionary perspective to management research. The method uses two text analysis software applications, Leximancer and Discursis to provide visualizations of the semantic content and temporal structure of time series data. We use the method to map discursive change in the history of ideas in a journal. Data used in this analysis is comprised of abstracts of empirical articles published in the journal, Management Communication Quarterly, over twenty years. Findings demonstrate the turbulent nature of discursive change, and show how it is structured into punctuated equilibria with phase transitions separating successive discursive regimes. In particular, our findings identify the period of scholarship based on a discursive and critical orientation and the transition point when it began.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of business and management landscapes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • discourse
  • discursive change
  • punctuated equilibrium
  • turbulence
  • research methods
  • data visualization

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