Discursive hierarchical patterning in Law and Management cases

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13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the differences in the discursive patterning of cases in Law and Management. It examines a corpus of 271 Law and Management cases and discusses the kind of information that these two disciplines call for and how discourses are constructed in discursive hierarchical patterns. A discursive hierarchical pattern is a model proposed to describe how individual discursive patterns are organized in a hierarchy. A discursive pattern is considered to consist of textual aspects, generic aspects and social aspects. The results illustrate that, although of the same genre, the discursive hierarchical patterns for constructing discourse in the two disciplines are significantly different. These differences may be attributed to the intrinsic nature of the disciplines. The discursive hierarchical models as proposed in this paper may become a supporting tool for teachers to help learners internalize the different discursive patterning of cases in the two disciplines. It is hoped that students and novices of a profession will make more extensive and systematic use of these discursive patterns when constructing discourse in Law and Management. This, in turn, will enable them to be better equipped to meet the challenge of attaining professionalism in their chosen careers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-441
Number of pages18
JournalEnglish for Specific Purposes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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