Category: LANGUAGE

New Publication, April 2017

Using systemic functional linguistic metafunction as a tool in identifying Agency in organizational change in cross-cultural management contexts


This contribution addresses the echoing sentiment that the function of language is not enough focused on in management as an academic discipline even as it is acknowledged that language lies at the heart of international business (IB) activities that take place in cross-cultural management (CCM) contexts. Organizations operate in contexts of uncertainty and change, finding themselves increasingly having to navigate in cross-cultural environments in the context of globalization and international management. Yet, few studies outside the field of applied linguistics (especially discourse analysis) have used language as an instrumental tool in uncovering the subtle workings of influence in organizational change. Scholastic literature in CCM suggests that language in IB is generally studied in two broad dimensions of inquiry – language as (i) object/phenomenon (nature of language) and as (ii) process/function (nature of meaning from language). Because organizational change can be difficult to define when looking at it as a broad process over time, this article addresses the latter nature of language in CCM and IB studies in illustrating how language metafunctions can be used as a methodological tool in analysing qualitative data in order to uncover Agency or actors of influence in processes of organization change in a cross-cultural working context.

cross-cultural management, international business, systemic functional linguistics, language as research method

Cordeiro, C. M. (2017). Using systemic functional linguistic metafunction as a tool in identifying Agency in organizational change in cross-cultural management contexts. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 17(1): 125 – 135. doi: 10.1177/1470595817694914

Connecting ideas in theoretical physics and the language of education

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Mid-Sweden 2016

Autumn in mid-Sweden 2016.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

The reflections in this post stem as part of a theme I’m currently reading on the democratisation of education, based on literature reads Biesta [1], Leathwood [2], Martinsson [3] and Kalonaityté [4], followed by Lekebjer et al. [5]. Amongst the reads, I and was immediately drawn back to Biesta’s life’s work in academia that revolved around education philosophy, only after he began a decade’s work into teaching physics [6]. Continue reading “Connecting ideas in theoretical physics and the language of education”

Neue Pinakothek, München, Germany 2016, in semiosis

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Neue Pinakothek, München, Germany 2016

In semiosis at the Neue Pinakothek, München, Germany 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

Museums are to me, the language of space that affords you to cross time and geographical boundaries, continuing conversations with individuals who once were, picking up subjects where you last left off as if on another coffee break. It is space defined both in its Euclidean sense, and in its Minowskian sense [1]. The former defines an architectural closure and the latter as an interwoven fabric of a spacetime continuum.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Neue Pinakothek, München, Germany 2016

hunsinger in der Neuen Pinakothek.

Stepping into the Neue Pinakothek felt as if I was once again in close proximity to artists whose works I am familiar with, last seen when I left the Musée d’Orsay in Paris in March 2016. Continue reading “Neue Pinakothek, München, Germany 2016, in semiosis”

A village of Walden huts

In a recent round-table session, the concept of ‘ideas’ was discussed and the question of whether ideas could in fact be stolen, and if so – is that a bad thing – was debated.

Two related thoughts were put forth. The first was from Henry D. Thoreau’s book Walden (1854).

“Be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.” (p. 343)

The other was Matt Ridley’s, The Rational Optimist and “The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge”:

“Innovation is about the combining and re-combining of ideas. That virtually every technology that we can think of is a combination of other technologies. …That is the fuel of innovation and that’s why innovation happens where people can meet and exchange ideas.” [1]

Thoreau’s Walden bravely postulated that we should not be afraid of being open to whole continents of new thoughts. More than a century later, we find that current information technologies make possible the creation of entire villages of Walden huts. I am here not quite using the concept of Thoreau’s cabin as it was meant by Thoreau himself, but rather in metaphor of a network of connecting ideas. In such a case of an evolution of perspective and technologies over time, one could conclude that the more open the environment for the sharing of information and ideas, the greater the mutual benefit for the people.

Continue reading “A village of Walden huts”

Introduction to quantum physics 5th century: Dionysius the Areopagite

atlas CERN 2012

Candidate Higgs boson event from collisions in 2012 between protons in the ATLAS detector on the LHC. Image: ATLAS/CERN [1]

Dionysius the Areopagite

Mystical Theology

Chapter I

These things thou must not disclose to any of the uninitiated, by whom I mean those who cling to the objects of human thought, and imagine there is no super-essential reality beyond; and fancy that they know by human understanding Him that has made Darkness His secret place. And, if the Divine Initiation is beyond such men as these, what can be said of others yet more incapable thereof, who describe the Transcendent Cause of all things by qualities drawn from the lowest order of being, while they deny that it is in any way superior to the various ungodly delusions which they fondly invent in ignorance of this truth? [2,3,4]

[1] CERN 2015. ATLAS and CMS experiments shed light on Higgs properties. Internet resource at, retrieved 27 March 2016.
[2] Stanford University, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, First published Mon Sep 6, 2004; substantive revision Wed Dec 31, 2014. “Ch. 1: Introduction, and allegory of Moses’ ascent up Mt. Sinai.” Internet resource Continue reading “Introduction to quantum physics 5th century: Dionysius the Areopagite”

The buggy ski: an Emerson connect

“There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has felt, he may feel; what at any time has be-fallen any man, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent.” [1]

I find it rare that the outerscape connects with my own innerscape of what, how and where to. This multimodal buggy ski that made me smile is for me, an Emerson moment. A connect.

But perhaps this connect (generic) today is getting much more concrete than Plato himself could have ever conceived, as shown in Michael A. Persinger’s research on cognitive neuroscience:

Michael A. Persinger on Human Brains, Shared Geomagnetic Field, Quantitative Solutions & Implications, Future Adaptations:

“Most of the biological time the human species is continuously exposed to the more or less “steady-state” or static component of the earth’s surface magnetic field. This simultaneous immersion of about 6 to 7 billion human brains, that are effectively very similar semiconducting microstructures within this magnetic field, may be sufficient to produce a secondary field that may have biological implications for survival and adaptation. This secondary field could display emergent properties with qualitatively different characteristics. In previous approaches [8] metaphoric references to the secondary field generated by exposing large numbers of conductors (such as functionally adjacent copper wires) to an applied magnetic field Continue reading “The buggy ski: an Emerson connect”

Quest for semantic consistency in relativity

Fractals in sunset, Swedish west coast, Sweden.

Quantum reality. Fractals that appear and disappear as probabilities, when the observer is standing teetering from left to right to peek at the sunset between. “Classical systems are supposed not to be disturbed by measurement, for the state of a quantum system measurement is crucial” [1:1174]. By ‘measurement’ it is also understood that what is being measured depends upon the position from where the measurement takes place, as when Heisenberg suggests “I believe that one can fruitfully formulate the origin of the classical ‘orbit’ in this way. The ‘orbit’ comes into being only when we observe it. [13:73 in [1]]
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

As the field of quantum physics advanced in theory and discoveries in the past century, what scholars have noticed was just how inadequate language is to frame what Robbert Dijkgraaf calls ‘the study of nothing’ [2]. It is this very topic of language and reality that was addressed in Brigitte Falkenburg’s [1] paper on Peter Mittelstaedt’s contributions to the philosophy of physics. His works addressed a constant quest for semantic self-consistency in the field of quantum mechanics.

Mittelstaedt’s quest for semantic consistency has to do with how relativity and quantum theory get into conflict with traditional philosophical assumptions about the structure of the physical world. Continue reading “Quest for semantic consistency in relativity”

Carl G. Jung on reductionism, and its implication on homo oeconomicus in the era of big data analytics

Carl Gustav Jung, on reductionism in science, with in my view, implications for the current dominant paradigm of theories of human cognitive development, and culture. Transcript from a 1990 documentary of Jung [1] based on his works [2, 3].

“Mythology is pronouncing of a series of images that formulate the life of archetypes. So the statements of every religion, of many poets and so on, are statements about the inner mythological process, which is a necessity because man is not complete if he is not conscious of that aspect of things. So you see, a man is not complete if he lives in a world of statistical truths, he must live in a world of his biological truth, that is his biological truth that is not merely statistics. Yet our natural science makes everything into an average, reduces everything into an average, and of course, all the individual qualities are wiped out. That of course is most unbecoming, it is unhygienic, it deprives people of their specific values where they are individuals. It deprives them of the most important experiences of their life where they experience their own value, the creative background of their personality and we think we are able to be born today with no history. That is a disease. That’s absolutely abnormal. Because man is not born everyday. He is once born in a specific historical setting, with its specific historical qualities and therefore he is only complete when he has a relation to these things. It is as if you were born without eyes and ears when you are growing up without connection to the past. From the standpoint of natural science, you need no connection to the past, you can wipe it out. And that is a mutilation of the human being.” [1: 45:43-49:25] Continue reading “Carl G. Jung on reductionism, and its implication on homo oeconomicus in the era of big data analytics”

Time, through and within

Leonids Over Monument Valley. NASA’s astronomy picture of the day. Photo by Sean M. Sabatini

Over the past years, I’ve been increasingly interested in the concept of Time, due to a singular observation that if nothing goes faster than the speed of light, then what happens in the non-void between the musical notes / frequencies from a grammarphone as the needle touches the record, to when you actually hear the music? Time would have passed in seeming linearity, and in that non-void, space would be created. The two are co-created, interdependent and interwoven, thus the concept of spacetime. And if you could play the record backwards and listen to it being played backwards, why was this spacetime still moving forwards?

A group discussion a few days ago ensued about the concept of Time. Ideas were shared on whether one felt that Time was linear or circular in nature, whether individuals shared the same time if they were sharing the same space, or if time was felt differently by different people. The ideas sharing led me to do some small further research on the topic [1-5], pulling up journal articles gathered from various disciplines. Continue reading “Time, through and within”

Transdiciplinary language: coloured by coloured metaphors

Travel Book Shop, Zürich, Switzerland

A travel bookshop in the heart of the old city of Zürich, Switzerland.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

I read with interest a 2006 research article by Grupo de Estudio de Sistemas Integrados [1] in Argentina on the topic of transdiciplinary unified theory that discussed the importance of establishing a common language of transdisciplinarian concepts, defined as a language of “interconnected significant isomorphies” [1:621] not just among systems but among our understanding of models of systems. The push towards this new practice of research methodology has been generally founded in the workings of Industry 4.0, where changes in the knowledge demography that comes with more dispersed and varied education systems contribute to a shift in the landscape of knowledge production in the era of the global knowledge economy [2].

A starting point for scholars could be establishing a common understanding and definition of the words interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdiciplinary in the context of academia, in order to facilitate more effective meaningful exchanges of ideas on systemic theories and complexity management. In general, transdisciplinarity foregrounds an integrated, holistic perspective [3-5] that recognises systemic behavioural patterns as organic and evolving. Continue reading “Transdiciplinary language: coloured by coloured metaphors”