James R. Taylor and The Montréal School of Organizational Communication: An Ego-Centric Coauthorship Study

Organization as communication is making its rounds. The newest addition to the program is a bachelor thesis on James R. Taylor and The Montréal School of Organizational Communication: An Ego-Centric Coauthorship Study, which I’ll supervise here at the University of Hamburg’s Chair of Organization and Management. Read on for the abstract.

The Montréal School of organizational communication has established itself as an original theory in organization studies. Founded in the early 1970s by James R. Taylor, it argues that communication—and only communication—constitutes organization. In the past ten years since the landmark publication of Taylor and van Every’s (2000) book on The Emergent Organization, this social constructivist argument has gained an impressive following among organization scholars. Indeed, the number of publications close to the Montréal School are still on the rise (cf. Ashcraft et al., 2009).

The Bachelor Thesis traces the ego-centric social network of James R. Taylor and his coauthors to illustrate the development of the Montréal School of organizational communication. In addition, it embeds the findings from the coauthorship analysis in a broader picture of complementing and rival theories within organization studies, for example, sensemaking (Weick, 1995).

The coauthorship analysis requires to build a body of literature (preferably with the help of a reference management software such as Mendeley) surrounding James R. Taylor (ego), all of his coauthors (first degree), and their coauthors (second degree; i.e., all scholars who have a Taylor number of 2, in analogy to the well-known Erdös number mathematicians brag about). It uses simple network descriptive statistics (e.g., degree of vertices) to supplement the overall illustration.

  • Ashcraft, K. L., Kuhn, T. R., & Cooren, F. (2009). Constitutional Amendments: “Materializing”™’ Organizational Communication. Academy of Management Annals, 3(1), 1-64.
  • Taylor, J. R., & Van Every, E. J. (2000). The Emergent Organization: Communication as its Site and Surface. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.


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