Communication Constitutes Organization: The Practical and Social Relevance of Communication-Centered Organizational ResearchPosted: March 3, 2017
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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 (email@example.com), Steffen Blaschke (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mark Van Vuuren (email@example.com).
For complete call for papers click here
From the 7th to the 9th of July, around 40 scholars coming from diverse countries and disciplines gathered at the EGOS 2016 colloquium in the sub-theme #16 “Organization as communication” to discuss issues, theories and practical implications related to the constitutive force of communication and materiality in processes of (dis)organization. Many different approaches to materiality where discussed (STS, CCO, sociomateriality, to name a few), many were the materials studied through these approaches (objects, bodies, technologies, social media, discourses, talk, text, workspace, etc.), as well as the topics (identity, sensemaking, paradoxes and tensions, decision making, CSR, etc.) that were addressed during these three days. Questions related to agency (whose agency? for what?) were raised but not completely resolved, as well as methodological interrogations concerning the study of (im)materiality (e.g. how to interview an object? how to make a workspace talk?). Some of the traces of these discussions were posted on a wall (see picture bellow).
In this diversity, some common trends emerged in our final session, which was animated by Tim Kuhn, with the collaboration of three special guests: Viviane Sergi, Dennis Schoeneborn and Peter Monge. Some of these trends included the focus on (a) mundane and daily work interactions, (b) the disruptive, disorganizing, transforming and even destructive role of organizational communication, (c) the embodiment, materialization, in-formation (e.g. taking form) of discourse in many different ways. Special attention was given to bridging the CCO community with other scholarly communities in both organization communication and organization studies, as well as developing the social relevance of our scholarly work to political and practical issues.
Thanks to all that made this great reunion possible! Looking forward to see you next year in Copenhagen. More to come about the colloquium on the EGOS website. For now you can take a look at the video announcing the venue (you will recognize some of the scholars ‘starring’ in it!)
Round Table Discussion of the Paper Development Workshop (PDW) Investigating the Constitutive Role of Communication for Organization and OrganizingPosted: October 3, 2015
As mentioned in a previous post the new EGOS Standing Working Group had a happy launching at the 2015 colloquium. This started, on July 1, with the pre-colloquium Paper Development Workshop (PDW) Investigating the Constitutive Role of Communication for Organization and Organizing organized by Michael Etter, Nicolas Bencherki, and Consuelo Vasquez. The PDW brought together a total of 36 junior and senior scholars for vivid conversations on how to further advance their research projects and papers. During the PDW Linda Putnam (University of California Santa Barbara), Cliff Oswick (Cass Business School) and Dan Kärreman (Copenhagen Business School) shared their thoughts and reflection on the challenges and new avenues of communicative and/or discursive approach to study organization and organizing. The video of this round table discussion and the Q&R that followed is now available.
CfP EGOS 2016 – Sub-theme (no.16) Organization as Communication: (Dis)organizing through Texts, Artifacts and Other MaterialitiesPosted: October 3, 2015
Following the official launching in 2015 of our Standing Working Group (SWG) “Organization as Communication”*, we are very happy to announce the sub-theme for the 2016 Colloquium of the European Group of Organizational Studies (EGOS) that will take place in Naples (July 7-9, 2016).
The sub-theme (no. 16) entitled “Organization as Communication: (Dis)organizing through Texts, Artifacts and Other Materialities” will be convened by Paul Leonardi, Tim Kuhn and Consuelo Vasquez. As you will see from the Call for Papers this sub-theme places a special focus on materiality and (dis)organizing. This said, we also invite conceptual or empirical papers that more generally apply a communication-centered or discursive lens to study organizational phenomena.
We are very much looking forward to your submission (short paper, 3000 words) by January 11, 2016.
Please find the full Call for Papers below – and via this website
In case of any questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
With kind regards,
Paul, Tim and Consuelo
*PS: For more information about our SWG click here.
Sub-theme 16: (SWG) Organization as Communication: (Dis)organizing through Texts, Artifacts and Other Materialities
This sub-theme is concerned with the fundamental, constitutive, and formative role of communication for organizing and organizations (including works that follow the “Communication Constitutes Organization” or “CCO” perspective). One way to reflect on this constitutive role of communication is to focus on the material dimension of communication, as communicative practices become inscribed in texts, artifacts, bodies, and sites (see Ashcraft et al., 2009). Since the linguistic turn, scholars in organization studies who foreground discourse and communication have been accused of ignoring the physically-embodied bases of organizational reality. The issue is not simply to reassert the importance of the non-discursive, but to transcend the long-standing dualism between the symbolic and the material dimension through novel perspectives on communication (ibid.). This means treating communication and discourse as a constellation of both intersubjectivity and interobjectivity (Latour, 1996; Orlikowski, 2007) and to focus on the co-constitutive entanglement between materiality and social action (Barad, 2003; Leonardi et al., 2012).
In line with these considerations, this sub-theme proposes questioning the (socio)material dimension of communication and its implications for organizing and disorganizing: How is communication or discourse materialized and thus contributes to the stabilization, transformation, and dislocation of organizational phenomena? What particular types/forms of materiality (e.g., texts, bodies, objects, or sites) are constitutive of organization, and how do they take part in organizing? What are the implications of (socio)material perspectives on communication for organization and management studies and practices?
While questions regarding the entanglement of the symbolic and the material are not new (see, e.g., Trist & Bamforth, 1951), extant investigations have typically emphasized either the symbolic or the material character of phenomena, thus (re)creating ontological dualisms that limit their explanatory value. A focus on the constitutive role of (socio) material communicative practices promises two benefits to these bodies of work. First, by highlighting both the material and symbolic dimensions of communication and discourse, analysts can trace the ‘imbrication’ that generates particular organizational forms and processes (Leonardi, 2011). Second, by examining how bodies, texts, artifacts, and sites (among others) contribute to complex and contingent organizing practices – and not merely as drawn upon by human actors – we can gain insight into the accomplishment of both ordering and disordering (Vasquez et al., forthcoming). Taking such a perspective allows us to open the notions of discourse and communication to account for organization as a heterogeneous site of conflicted (socio)material practices (Kuhn, 2012).
We invite papers that question the symbolic-material dualism by drawing on a communicational, narrative, and/or discursive lens on organization and organizing. Papers should seek to explore the (dis)organizing features of (socio)material practices of communication in particular, and/or should aim to address the constitutive relations between communication and organization more generally.
Below is a list of indicative, but not exhaustive, topics and questions related to the sub-theme:
How does (socio)materiality participate in processes of organizing and/or disorganizing? How does sociomateriality constitute, maintain or change work routines and communication patterns? How does it disrupt and/or stabilize organization?
How can we study bodies, technology, artifacts, texts from communication-centered perspectives? What further categories of ‘the material’ (e.g., economic) need to be considered from this perspective?
What can be gained by switching from a focus on the ordering capacities to the disordering capacities of communication? How can (socio)material approaches help reveal disorder, tensions, contradictions, and paradoxes of communication and the constitutive role of these tensions for the communicative constitution of organizations and organizing?
What are the implications of a (socio)material approach to organizational communication and discourse for core topics of organization studies, such as , strategy, leadership, structure, change, or corporate responsibility?
Ashcraft, K.L., Kuhn, T.R., & Cooren, F. (2009): “Constitutional Amendments: ‘Materializing’ Organizational Communication.” Academy of Management Annals, 3 (1), 1–64.
Barad, K. (2003): “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.” Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 28 (3), 801–831.
Kuhn, T. (2012): “Negotiating the Micro–Macro Divide. Thought Leadership from Organizational Communication for Theorizing Organization.” Management Communication Quarterly, 26 (4), 543–584.
Latour, B. (1996): “On Interobjectivity.” Mind, Culture, and Activity, 3 (4), 228–245.
Leonardi, P.M. (2011): “When Flexible Routines Meet Flexible Technologies: Affordance, Constraint, and the Imbrication of Human and Material Agencies.” MIS Quarterly, 35 (1), 147–167.
Leonardi, P.M., Nardi, B.A., & Kallinikos, J. (eds.) (2012): Materiality and Organizing: Social Interaction in a Technological World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Orlikowski, W. (2007): “Sociomaterial Practices: Exploring Technology at Work.” Organization Studies, 28 (9), 1435–1448.
Trist, E., & Bamforth, K. (1951): “Some Social and Psychological Consequences of the Longwall Method of Coal-Getting.” Human Relations, 4 (1), 3–38.
Vásquez, C., Schoeneborn, D., & Sergi, V. (2015): “Summoning the spirits: Exploring the (dis)ordering properties of organizational texts.” Human Relations.
CfP special issue of M@n@gement « Interconnecting the practice turn and communicative approach to organizing: A new challenge for collective action? »Posted: July 27, 2015
A year ago, a group of scholars (including some of the CCO community) met at the Écoles des Mines, in Paris, for a Diplomatic writing workshop. This workshop was intended to close the 2 years inquiry of the AIME project, led by Bruno Latour and his team (for more details on this workshop and its final conference, see previous posts on 21/07/2014 and 08/08/2014). One of the purposes of the workshop was the writing of a text, called a Specbook (i.e. a specification manual), that would be used to present the “Moderns” to Gaia and to the non-moderns. This Specbook was structured around 4 major “institutions” that the “Moderns”, represented by the participants of this workshop, proposed to re-institute in order to establish a ‘common ground’ for diplomatic negotiation. These ‘re-institutions’ are: ‘Our nature’, ‘Our Politics’, ‘Our Religion’, and ‘Our Economy’. The Specbook was presented and discussed by the “Chargés d’affaires” (B. Cassin, E. Viveiros de Castro, A. Mol, D. Chakrabarty, D. Danowski, P. Weibel, and S. Schaffer ) during the final conference of the AIME project.
The Specbook is now publicly available in English on the AIME platform.
For us interested in organization, I recommend reading primary ‘Our Politics’ and ‘Our Economy’. The first one proposes to ‘deflate’ politics by redefining it in terms of ‘“I can live with that…”; “we can live with that…”, which foregrounds a new ontology for how we negotiate the constitution of the ‘we’. The second one proposes to ‘slow down the economy’ by reconsidering the ‘price’ of attachement and care and by inscribing the possibility of disorder in organizational scripts.
The last activity related to the AIME project is scheduled for April 2016 and will consist of and exposition at the ZKM Karlsruhe entitled ‘Reset Modernity‘.
As mentioned in a previous post, Michael Etter (CBS), Nicolas Bencherki (U at Albany) and Consuelo Vasquez (UQAM) are organizing a Pre-Colloquium Development Workshop (PDW) as part of the activities held by the new EGOS Standing Working Group (SWG 16) on “Organization as Communication”.
The submission period (via the EGOS website: http://goo.gl/8CwF0j) will end on March 31, 2015
Please submit a single document of application that includes:
On the first page: a short letter of application containing full details of name, address (postal address, phone and email), affiliation (date of PhD completion for early career scholars), and a statement of why you consider it valuable to attend the workshop.
A draft/working paper (between 8,000 and 1,000 words, incl. text, references, figures & tables).