The world is getting a VUCA place. A world that is more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Changing conditions can be seen at a global level, on the level of societies and organizations but also at a micro level of people. Dealing with differences requires awareness about our own world views, and an open mind to understand the viewpoint of others. For interaction to be productive, participants need to recognize the different voices that come into play. This ‘social complexity’ is a underlying aspect relevant for understanding how to cope with VUCA situations. The aim of this chapter is to describe the conversational processes that take place during interactions between different professionals in organizations. Applying the ‘ladder of complexity’ and discourse analysis in three cases reveal that different ‘voices’ can be distinguished in the process of organizational change. We promote incorporating sociolinguistics into the field of organizational change. Section 1 introduces the ‘playground’ we live in followed by different paradigms about communicating and change management. Section 3 introduces the ‘ladder of complexity’ aligning social complexity and dialogue. Section 4 describes 3 cases using discourse analysis to understand the interaction in conversations. Section 5 draws conclusions and give directions for future research.
Part of the book: Sociolinguistics