The Agency of Organizing

Extra! Extra! Hear all about it.

Agency is certainly a central concept in all of organization theory. The idea of a communicative constitution of organization (CCO, you know) has here and there given agency some thought, but no coherent treatment of the concept has existed until today.

Boris Brummans has taken on the editorship of the latest Routledge volume on The Agency of Organizing. Here’s the backcover story:

The Agency of Organizing explains why the notion of agency is central to understanding what organizations are, how they come into existence, continue to exist, or fade away, and how they function. Written by leading organizational communication scholars, the chapters in this edited volume present seven different theoretical perspectives on agency in the dynamics of organizing. Authors discuss how they conceptualize agency from their own perspective and how they propose to investigate agency empirically in processes of organizing by using specific methods. Through insightful case studies, they demonstrate the value of these perspectives for organizational research and practice.

Boris brings together a great number of scholars from or at least sympathetic to the CCO perspective. The table of contents almost reads like a who-is-who in organizational communication. Of course, there are notable exceptions, but the volume already has 240 pages.

  • Foreword: Theorizing Agency by Making the Implicit Explicit (Linda L. Putnam)
  • Introduction: Perspectives on the Agency of Organizing (Boris H. J. M. Brummans)
  • The Distribution of Decision Rights at ICANN: A Luhmannian Perspective on Agency (Steffen Blaschke)
  • Being Able to Act Otherwise: The Role of Agency in the Four Flows at 2-1-1 and Beyond (Joel O. Iverson, Robert D. McPhee, and Cade W. Spaulding)
  • Agency in Structurational Divergence and Convergence: Insights from Nursing (Anne M. Nicotera)
  • Targeting Alex: Brand as Agent in Communicative Capitalism (Dennis K. Mumby)
  • Releasing/Translating Agency: A Postcolonial Disruption of the Master’s Voice among Liberian Market Women (Kirsten J. Broadfoot,Debashish Munshi, and Joëlle Cruz)
  • Acting for, with, and through: A Relational Perspective on Agency in MSF’s Organizing (François Cooren)
  • Agential Encounters: Performativity and Affect Meet Communication in the Bathroom (Karen Lee Ashcraft and Timothy R. Kuhn)
  • Conclusion: Further Theoretical and Practical Reflections on Agency (George Cheney and Dean Ritz)

I already have master students in my class on Organizational Communication at the Copenhagen Business School read the introduction. Be sure to check out the entire volume while it’s fresh.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it.


The EGOS Standing Working Group (SWG) No. 05 “Organization as Communication” is happy to announce the sub-theme for the EGOS 2018 Colloquium in Tallinn, Estonia (July 5-7, 2017).

The sub-theme No. 05 entitled “Organization as Communication: The Enduring and Fading Away of Organizations” will be facilitated by Consuelo Vásquez (UQAM), François Cooren (U. de Montréal) and Jeanne Mengis (Universita della Svizzera Italiana).

As you will see in the Call for Papers, the sub-theme places a special focus on the formative and constitutive role of communication in making organization “go on mattering,” which also brings forth the precariousness and vulnerability of these collective
accomplishments. That said, we also invite conceptual or empirical papers that more generally apply a communication-centered or discursive lens to study organizational phenomena of various kinds.

We are looking forward to receiving your short paper submissions (max. 3,000 words) by Jan. 8th, 2018 via the EGOS website: www.egosnet.org !

In case of any questions, please contact Consuelo via email: vasquez.consuelo@uqam.ca


French translation of “What is organizational communication?” on youtube

The french translation of Matt Koshmann’s animated video “What is organizational communication?” is now available for the francophones and francophiles of the CCO community : Qu’est-ce que la communication organisationnelle?

Bon visionnement!

 

 


Brief report from the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium 2017

By (guest contributor) Christoph Haug

On 23-24 May 2017, 50 scholars from 13 countries met for the first interdisciplinary gathering of meeting researchers (more info: https://kunsido.net/gmss). Sociologists, psychologists, linguists, social anthropologists, political scientists, organization and management scholars, and even some consultants with their practice oriented perspective mixed and met with much curiosity and willingness to transcend the disciplinary blinders that have isolated them from each other during the past 10-20 years of growing research on meetings.

The symposium was organized by Christoph Haug, currently as Marie-Curie Fellow at the Gothenburg Research Institute, after having come across so many different research groups and individuals who shared an interest in face-to-face meetings but who were often unaware of each other. Initially, the event was planned for 20-30 people, but turned out to attract a much larger community of scholars that were interested in participation.

The most manifest indicator for the symposium’s success is probably that participants started to discuss possibilities for follow-up events already the first evening. Two European universities are likely to host follow-up events in the coming years and CCO scholars with an interest in meetings as a specific type of communicative event are welcome to join this growing community. To be informed about upcoming events and to join the discussion already now, join the Kunsido online forum at https://forum.kunsido.net/signup.


Communication Constitutes Organization: The Practical and Social Relevance of Communication-Centered Organizational Research

Academia-Meets-Practice Development Workshop, Copenhagen Business School, 5 July 2017
Hosted by the Standing Working Group “Organization as Communication” of the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) and sponsored by the “Governing Responsible Business” (GRB) Research Cluster at Copenhagen Business School.
Convened by Nicolas Bencherki (University at Albany, SUNY), Steffen Blaschke (Copenhagen Business School), and Mark Van Vuuren (University of Twente)
Practitioners and academics, especially those in the early career stage and graduate students, are invited to submit 800 to 1000-word abstracts of a presentation or case studies by 2017.4.15

This workshop  aims to tackle the problem posed by Kuhn and Schoeneborn (2015, p. 300) and explore the ways in which we can “open up fruitful pathways for a stronger collaboration between CCO scholars and practitioners.”

Prior to the conference of the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) in Rotterdam in 2014, a group of researchers and consultants gathered for a two-day event to encourage the cross-breeding of ideas and concerns. This year, we wish to expand the scope of practitioners for whom communication-centered perspectives may be relevant. Indeed, besides management consultants, we invite representatives of community-based groups, social movements, cooperatives, public agencies, schools, and other forms of collectives, to join academics in a one-day event to discuss the way communication may help drive the creation, continuation, and change of their organizations and their joint action.

To contribute to this workshop, graduate students, early career academics, but also more experienced scholars, are invited to submit papers that offer original perspectives on the practical and social relevance of CCO and communication-centered perspectives. Without being limited to these example, those contributions could take the form of original methodologies to better involve non-academic partners, theoretical reflections on the social role of CCO research, or empirical studies on the transfer of organizational communication knowledge from academia to practice.Practitioners, for their part, are invited to submit case studies that address challenges to the creation, maintenance, or change of their organization. These case studies can either propose potential solutions based on communication perspectives, or leave the question open for discussion during the workshop.

To participate in the workshop, please submit an extended abstract of your presentation or a case study (between 800 and 1,000 words, including text, references, figures, and tables) to Nicolas Bencherki (nbencherki@albany.edu). Please also include a brief biographical statement for all authors and background information about your organization (in the case of practitioners). The deadline for submission of abstracts is 2017.4.15. Notice of acceptance to the workshop will be sent out by 2017.5.1. Meanwhile if you have any questions, please contact Nicolas Bencherki (nbencherki@albany.edu), Steffen Blaschke (sbl.msc@cbs.dk) or Mark Van Vuuren (h.a.vanvuuren@utwente.nl).

For complete call for papers click here


Organization as Communication: Perspectives in Dialogue

We’re proud to see our latest collaboration between European and North American scholars take the final form of a book. It’s available for pre-order at Amazon or your favorite local retailer. Thanks to all the contributors!

Organization as Communication - Perspectives in Dialogue

Organization as Communication – Perspectives in Dialogue


EGOS 2017 Sub-Theme No. 05 “The Communicative Constitution of Organizing”

The EGOS Standing Working Group (SWG) No. 05 Organization as Communication (formerly SWG No. 16) is happy to announce the sub-theme for the EGOS 2017 Colloquium in Copenhagen, Denmark (July 6-8, 2017).

The sub-theme No. 05 entitled “The Communicative Constitution of Organizing: Toward and Beyond (Formal) Organization” will be facilitated by Dennis Schoeneborn, Timothy R. Kuhn, and James R. Barker.

As you will see in the Call for Papers, the sub-theme places a special focus on the formative and constitutive role of communication for practices of organizing that occur toward and beyond formal organization. That said, we also invite conceptual or empirical papers that more generally apply a communication-centered or discursive lens to study organizational phenomena of various kinds.

We are looking forward to receiving your short paper submissions (max. 3,000 words) by Jan. 9th, 2017 via the EGOS website!

See you in Copenhagen!