CCO: A Framework for Explanation by McPhee & Zaug

Presenting the core ideas of the four flows framework by McPhee and Zaug (2000) allowed me to get a deeper understanding of the CCO discourse. Given the comparatively broad diffusion of this framework (e.g. Putnam & Nicotera 2009), I was intrigued to see the various theoretical links emerging from this framework to other theoretical approaches, not only structuration theory as set forth by Anthony Giddens, but also neo-institutionalism. With respect to the scope of our interdisciplinary project network, I was wondering if it wouldn’t be better to speak of communicating as constitutive of organizing, not the least because of the diverse referrals to the language game of structuration theory.

What is more, the articles stimulates inquiry into the nature of CCO as a fruitful conception. For me, this stems primarily from the observation that the authors offer first insights into the USPs of a CCO perspective, but – and you have to excuse my ignorance at this point due to being a novice to the CCO field – they are rather silent about the exact criteria or themes that differentiate this theoretical approach from other lenses.

  • McPhee, R. D., & Zaug, P. (2000). The Communicative Constitution of Organizations: A Framework for Explanation. The Electronic Journal of Communication, 10(1/2).
  • Putnam, L. L., & Nicotera, A. M. (Eds.) (2008). Building Theories of Organization: The Constitutive Role of Communication. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Video of the presentation (in German)


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