Organizational Communication

Mission:

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Organizational Communication members seek to expand our understanding of the processes, prospects, and challenges of communicating and organizing in a global society. Our scholarship articulates concepts and theories to better understand these processes, develop the tools needed to investigate them, and helps to implement the social practices to improve them.

We examine how communication shapes and is shaped by organizing across a range of contexts, including health care, community cooperatives, government and non-government agencies, global corporations, profit and not-for-profit organizations, and virtual and geographically co-located work.

We study a variety of multi-level phenomena including: discourse and discursive practices, communication of emotions, leader-follower communication, democratic communicative practices, negotiation and bargaining, group processes and decision making, socialization, power and influence, organizational culture, organizational language and symbolism, communication and conflict, identity and identification, adoption and appropriation of communication technologies, emergence of organizational and inter-organizational networks, and new organizational forms.

We explore these processes from a multiplicity of theoretical perspectives including structuration, feminism, interpretation, performance, cultural theory, postmodernism, post positivism, complexity and self-organizing systems. We utilize eclectic methods including ethnography, discourse analysis, survey methods, network analysis, computational modeling, experiments, content analysis, rhetorical and feminist methods.

We honor Division members' achievements through a variety of awards designed to recognize achievements such as: top paper, top student paper, dissertation, outstanding member, and best interactive display awards. We advance scholarship in our division through doctoral consortia, preconferences focused on specific issues, and spotlight panels on scholars. We advance scholar-practitioner dialogue through panels sponsored by our Academic-Industry Task Force.

Announcements:

Management: Research on Framework of Risk Management of Uncertain Innovation The uncertainty of innovation determines its characteristic of high risks. The management of innovation risks is significant. The high risks of innovation activities require managers to implement scientific and effective innovation risk management. On the basis of a general review of the risk management of uncertain innovation, by combining the case of innovation project, this paper discussed the framework of uncertain innovation risk management which combination the qualitative and quantitative management methods, in the hope of providing scientific references for managers making innovation risk management decisions. Click Here to View Full Article

 


The European Group of Organizational Studies (EGOS) has approved to launch a new Standing Working Group (SWG) “Organization as Communication”. The SWG will be coordinated by Dennis Schoeneborn (Copenhagen Business School), Consuelo Vasquez (UQAM Montréal), Timothy Kuhn (University of Colorado at Boulder), and François Cooren (Université de Montréal). The SWG will feature EGOS sub-themes from 2015-2018 that each will address the formative and constitutive role of communication for organizations and organizing.

Worth noting, the SWG will provide “Egosians” with a new home for anybody interested in organizational communication, discourse, narratives, rhetoric, or tropes. For more information on the new SWG – see here: http://www.egosnet.org/swgs/current_swgs/swg_16.

At the EGOS 2015 Colloquium in Athens, Greece (July 1-4, 2015), the new SWG will start its activities by hosting a sub-theme entitled “Organization as Communication: The Performative Power of Talk”

(convenors: François Cooren, Lars Thøger Christensen, and Dennis Schoeneborn). While the this sub-theme places a special focus on talk, we also invite conceptual or empirical papers that, more generally, apply a communication-centered lens to study organizational phenomena (for more details, see the Call for Papers below or on the EGOS website:

http://www.egosnet.org/jart/prj3/egos/main.jart?rel=de&reserve-mode=active&content-id=1392376003637&subtheme_id=1368705980214).

EGOS 2015
Athens (Greece), July 1-4, 2015

Sub-theme 16: (SWG) Organization as Communication: The Performative Power of Talk

Convenors

·         François Cooren, Université de Montréal, Canada, f.cooren@umontreal.ca

·         Lars Thøger Christensen, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, ltc.ikl@cbs.dk

·         Dennis Schoeneborn, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, dsc.ikl@cbs.dk

 

Please submit your short papers (3,000 words max.) by January 12, 2015 via: www.egosnet.org

Call for Papers

This sub-theme is concerned with the fundamental, constitutive, and formative role of communication for organizations. One way to reflect on this constitutive role is to focus on the relation between talk and action. In organization and management studies scholars traditionally tend to clearly distinguish between "talk" and "action" (e.g., Brunsson, 1989) – a distinction that is found in colloquial use, too (Grant et al., 1998). The basic assumption is that "talk is cheap" and easy to do, since it oftentimes lacks alignment with action, i.e. the "real" and hands-on accomplishments.

Regarded as a source of hypocrisy, the decoupling or misalignment of talk and action (inc. the mere ceremonial compliance with stakeholder expectations) is seen as a threat to both an organization's efficiency and legitimacy. However, as recent works from organizational communication studies remind us, a clear-cut distinction between "talk" and "action" is problematic, given that talk is an action in its own right (e.g., Ashcraft et al., 2009). This is because language and communication not only reflect, but also reflexively participate in the constitution of reality (Robichaud & Cooren, 2013). Proponents of this perspective argue that language use always has a "performative character", i.e. by talking a reality into being that would not exist if the interaction had not taken place. For instance, in a recent paper, Christensen, Morsing, & Thyssen (2013) apply the idea of the performative nature of language use to the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The authors argue that although differences between "talk" and "action" in the CSR arena are usually seen as hypocritical, such differences can be part of an organization's "aspirational talk", which represents an important resource for organizational and social change (see also Haack et al., 2012).

In this sub-theme, we invite papers that help reflect upon and go beyond oversimplified distinctions between talk and action, that seek to further explore the performative dimension of language use in organizational contexts, or that aim to address the relations between communication and organization more generally.

Below is a list of indicative, but not exhaustive, topics and questions related to the sub-theme:

     * What are the implications for organization theory if the distinction between talk and action is problematized?

     * What role does talk (or other forms of communication, e.g., textual, architectural, technological, etc.) play in the constitution of organizations?

     * What forms of talk do we find in organizational practice – and how do they differ in shaping and constituting organizational phenomena?

     * How does talk get “materialized” in organizational practice (e.g., through texts) and can gain more stable character?

     * Under which boundary conditions is it likely that "aspirational talk" (Christensen et al., 2013) paves the way for its own fulfillment?

     * What methodologies are best suited to study the formative role of communication for organizations?

References

     * Ashcraft, K.L., Kuhn, T.R., & Cooren, F. (2009): "Constitutional amendments: 'Materializing' organizational communication." Academy of Management Annals, 3 (1), 1–64.

     * Brunsson, N. (1989): The Organization of Hypocrisy: Talk, Decisions, and Actions in Organizations. New York, NY: Wiley.

     * Christensen, L.T., Morsing, M., & Thyssen, O. (2013): "CSR as aspirational talk." Organization, 20 (3), 372–393.

     * Grant, D., Keenoy, T.W., & Oswick, C. (eds.) (1998): Discourse and Organization. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

     * Haack, P., Schoeneborn, D., & Wickert, C. (2012): "Talking the talk, moral entrapment, creeping commitment? Exploring narrative dynamics in corporate responsibility standardization." Organization Studies, 33 (5-6), 813–845.

     * Robichaud, D., & Cooren, F. (eds.) (2013): Organization and Organizing: Materiality, Agency and Discourse. Mahwah, NJ: Routledge.

François Cooren is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at the Université de Montréal, Canada. His work has been published in the 'Academy of Management Annals', 'Communication Theory', 'Human Relations', 'Management Communication Quarterly', 'Organization', and 'Organization Studies', amongst others. His research interests lie in the study of organizational communication, language and social interaction, and communication theory.

Lars Thøger Christensen is Professor at the Department of Intercultural Communication and Management at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. His work has been published in 'Organization Studies', 'Human Relations', 'Management Communication Quarterly', and 'Organization', amongst others. His research interests circle around the question of how organizations deliberately (or otherwise) construct significant realities for themselves and others through communication, in areas such as CSR, transparency and organizational identity.

Dennis Schoeneborn is Professor (MSO) at the Department of Intercultural Communication and Management at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. His work has been published in 'Organization Studies', 'Management Communication Quarterly', and the 'Journal of Management Inquiry', amongst others. His current research concerns the question how communication constitutes rudimentary and partial organizational phenomena.

Members:

  • Craig R. Scott, Chair
  • Bart J. van den Hooff, Vice-Chair
  • Keri Keilberg Stephens, Secretary
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