6 Perspectives on Organizational Communication

(Mumby and Stohl 1996) Organizational communication as a discipline can be looked under the framework of 4 problematics.

The problematic of:

  1. voice: characterized by multiple voices, not only managerial.
    + organizational communication cultivates tensions between university and firms, rather than resolving it.
    + how voices can gain insight into marginalized groups.
  2. rationality
    + pluralist understandings + technical rationality: “knowledge that privileges a concern with prediction, control and teleological forms of behavior.”
    + Practical rationality: “knowledge grounded in the human interest in interpreting and experiencing the word as meaningful and intersubjectively constructed”
  3. organization
    + The question of organization is fundamental in organizational communication.
    + the complex structure of organizing, culture and larger social processes.
  4. organization-society relationship
    + organizational boundaries (separation between organization and society) cannot be clearly defined due to its fluid nature.
    + can study the dynamics nature of globalization.
    + communication is not just information exchange, but it is the core of organizing where organization structure is dynamically created.

(Broadfoot and Munshi 2007)
We might have been myopic when only interpret and look at organizational communication from the perspective of Euro-American intellectual tradition. hence, we need to have alternative, rationalities, and perspectives.

Due to (Mumby and Stohl 1996), there are four major problematics in organizational communication:

  • Voice: who gets to speak for whom
  • Rationality: 2 forms of rationalities: technical/instrumental and practical and the consequences.
  • Organization: members create meaning through communication.
  • Organization-society relationship: it’s hard to distinguish between the two, hence we should study in conjunction.

there is a new shift to the non-American voices: A Postcolonial awakening.

Postcolonial self-reflexivity: a resistance from Eurocentric perspective.

(Shome 1996) defines Discursive confinement as “a state where difference and individuality are eased or neutralized and scholars become confined to a narrow and marginalized discursive space constructed by dominant mainstream structures and ideologies.” Hence, we should break through the discipline and embed individuality through emotionality.

We can see the shift in areas such as gender, race, and globalization.

A postcolonial exploration: different perspective can contribute richly to the understanding organizational communication.

(Cheney 2007)

Identity: from business. flow of information between stakeholders.

Breaking boundaries: expand to other issues such as informal network, social movements, etc.

Opportunities from social problems: shift from basic research to focus on society and planet.

Ethos and Confidence: The discipline of organizational communication as well as communication are constantly in need to prove for its legitimacy.

Audiences: various outlets, but mostly focus on research publication due to the need for tenure.

To get beyond the pressure for tenure, the author suggests:

  • choose an issue that you care.
  • listen/read well from various perspectives
  • choose appropriate outlets.
  • set everyday goal.
  • practice what you preach
  • lead by example
  • do not give up
  • pause and reflect.

(DUrso, Fyke, and Torres 2014)

History (genealogy) of organizational communication with the method of network analysis.

Author posted several research questions that could use the network analysis method to probe into such as collaboration and coauthorship, and overall development of organizational communication.

(Leonardi 2016)

the strategy of subordination taken by organizational communication researchers are those that look at a phenomena from the perspective of organizational communication, which leads to small contribution to the literature.

To know if a one owns a phenomenon is when people know to turn to you when they wan to understand such phenomenon .

6.0.1 Strategy of Discovery

2 steps:

  1. Phenomenon is communication
  2. What communication does and why

6.0.2 Strategy of Reconceptualizatinon

2 steps:

  1. Contradictory evidence or poor explanation
  2. Communications leads to better fit (e.g., accuracy or novelty)