Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


Authority is a much discussed topic in organizational literature, but its in situ enactment is little investigated. Using the notions of deontic and epistemic authority and using multimodal conversation analysis as a research methodology, the purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical study of authority-in-action. We particularly focus on both sequences of talk and the multimodal resources that are mobilised to ‘do’ authority. Furthermore, as research from non-Western contexts remains rare, we complement insights into authority enactment based on ‘Western’ data by using data that is drawn from a corpus of naturally-occurring video-recorded faculty meetings at an Indian University. Findings indicate that the doing of authority can be made visible by explicating participants’ orientation to their respective deontic and epistemic rights and their invocation of particular identities, which are accomplished by means of a complex intertwining of verbal and non-verbal resources.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): authority; conversation analysis; deontics; epistemics; India; meetings; multimodality
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