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Basics in Internal Organizational Communications  (link broken)

This document is geared to provide practical suggestions for nonprofit leaders and managers to ensure sufficient communications within their nonprofits and with external stakeholders. Public relations and media relations are outside the range of this document.

McNamara, Carter. Free Management Library (2010). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication


Beyond Power and Resistance: New Approaches to Organizational Politics   (members only)

In this introduction to the special issue, the editors question the still-prevalent dichotomy of power and resistance when studying organizational politics. They begin by tracing the evolution of power and resistance in critical scholarship. Then, they propose that because of changing workplace dynamics, power and resistance are increasingly intertwined. More nuanced concepts are required to describe this. Finally, they argue that power and resistance should be considered as a singular dynamic called struggle.

Fleming, Peter and André Spicer. Management Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Management>Organizational Communication>Business Communication


Beyond Taxonomies of Influence: "Doing" Influence and Making Decisions in Management Team Meetings   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Studies of influence in organizational settings have tended to concentrate on defining categories of influence based on self-reports and questionnaires. This has tended to decontextualize and generalize the findings and therefore overlooks the inevitably temporally and locally situated nature of all social activity. Using conversation analysis as a methodology and videotaped data of naturally occurring talk, this article seeks to go beyond such taxonomies of influence. More specifically, this article seeks to provide a fine-grained analysis of how subordinates, as well as superiors, can influence decision-making episodes of talk. It is also argued that the results of such research can be fed back into practice and ultimately can be of help in allowing better decision-making practices.

Clifton, Jonathan. JBC (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Management>Organizational Communication


The Current State and Success of Corporate Blogging

The positive impact of blogs on corporate communication and the benefits of implementing both external and internal blogs, justifies blogs place in the corporate world. While blogs may have been developed for a social function and initially used and developed to assist amateurs publish their emotions and everyday experiences, the evolution of the blogosphere to include corporations, both internationally and domestically, guarantees there survival and utilization for many years.

Rutt, Alyssa. Orange Journal, The (2010). Articles>Blogging>Business Communication>Organizational Communication


The Effect of the Organization’s Culture on Conversational Technical Writing

Lately, when I’m writing for training, I’m thinking of actually having a conversation, of talking to a real person. When I write other documents, for some reason I’m not thinking this way. It’s a problem because my user assistance content probably comes out dry as a desert in summer. In addition to not being as conscious of users as I should, perhaps there are a couple of organizational factors affecting my mindset.

Minson, Benjamin. Gryphon Mountain (2010). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Technical Writing


Effective Organizational Communication: A Competitive Advantage  (link broken)   (members only)

Effective organizational communication, from an HR viewpoint, focuses on openness in communication between senior management and employees, resulting in improved employee engagement and productivity. In a cross-cultural environment, building and maintaining rapport for business relationships depends on the effective use of language and understanding differing communication styles. These and other aspects are discussed to bring awareness to opportunities to foster better communication at all levels of the organization.

HR Magazine (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication


The Effects of Supervisors' Verbal Aggressiveness and Mentoring on Their Subordinates   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This study examined the association between supervisors' mentoring and verbal aggression and their subordinates' perceived communication satisfaction, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment. The findings of the 200 full-time working adults who participated in the study supported prior research indicating positive relationships between mentoring behaviors by supervisors and their subordinates' communication satisfaction, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction, and negative relationships between supervisors' verbal aggression and their subordinates' communication satisfaction, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction. Results of a regression analysis indicated that supervisors' verbal aggression was a greater negative predictor of subordinates' outcomes than was mentoring a positive predictor, supporting the presence of a negativity bias in the supervisor-subordinate relationship. Additionally, path analysis indicated that communication satisfaction fully mediated the relationship between supervisor mentoring and subordinate organizational commitment, whereas communication satisfaction served as a suppressor between mentoring and subordinate job satisfaction.

Madlock, Paul E. and Carrie Kennedy-Lightsey. JBC (2010). Articles>Business Communication>Management>Organizational Communication


Emotions in Organizations: Joint Laughter in Workplace Meetings    (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Humor and laughter are emotion-involving activities that can be jointly constructed in interaction. This article analyzes instances of joint laughter in leader-member meetings where laughter may or may not be associated with humor. The method applied is conversation analysis in which the focus lies on laughter's role in the microlevel organization of interaction. The results show that the instances of laughter do not occur in accidental locations but are clearly connected to specific activities. First, humor and laughter can be strategically used by team leaders to create collegiality and a good working atmosphere in their teams. Second, laughing together is connected to closing down a topic or a phase in a meeting in a way that displays mutual understanding. Third, shared laughter initiated by team members appears to be a resource that can be used to reduce tension in challenging situations such as the accomplishment of difficult tasks or the treatment of delicate topics. Finally, laughing together can be used to do remedial work in problematic or conflicting situations. Ultimately, joint laughter appears to be a resource that can be used to improve the task performance and, through this, the achievement of the goals of the organization.

Kangasharju, Helena and Tuija Nikko. JBC (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Emotions


Enterprise Networking Web Sites and Organizational Communication in Australia   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article aims to report initial findings about networking in organizational settings in Australia through the use of enterprise social software.

Zhang, Allee M., Ynxia Zhu and Herbert Hildebrandt. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Social Networking>Organizational Communication


Guide to Communication and Corporate Culture

This guide explains one way of classifying corporate cultures and how to recognize different cultures as a job-seeker or adapt to them as a new employee.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication


Inspiring Change Through Research

Organizational communication is centered on inspiring and managing change, so it makes sense that communication professionals are seeing a more critical role for research in understanding and reaching their most important stakeholder relationships (employees, customers, suppliers, dealers, etc.). When a company is undergoing significant changes (i.e., a merger, acquisition, slumping sales, a product launch), research can pinpoint exactly where the issues and communication needs are. Oftentimes, such information is considered and then only used in limited ways. So how does a company proceed in bringing research results to life? It’s important to review how the research and tactical elements of communication vehicles are matched up.

Powell, Nancy. Communication World Bulletin (2004). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Research


The Intermingling of Aesthetic Sensibilities and Instrumental Rationalities in a Collaborative Arts Studio   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article argues for the theoretical and practical incorporation of aesthetic sensibilities into the communicative management of hybrid organizing. Using Dewey's Art as Experience as a conceptual framework, it explores imaginative and aesthetic practices as knowledge-producing resources for organizing and social change. The analysis centers on the complex and contradictory ways that artful capacities and instrumental rationalities interweave to achieve the organizational order of a collaborative art studio. Using discourses from multiple stakeholders, this article examines in detail three themes: art as creation and vocation, art as ephemeral integration, and art as survival and social change. Findings are discussed in the context of other scholarship committed to recovering and fostering alternative logics for organizing.

Harter, Lynn M., Mark Leeman, Stephanie Norander, Stephanie L. Young and William K. Rawlins. Management Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Collaboration


Interpretative Management in Business Meetings   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Middle managers interpret experiences and observations of employees and relate them to organizational contexts, practices, and strategies. By analyzing authentic verbal communication between middle managers and employees, this article will draw five conclusions about how interpretational work support organizational goals and values: 1. Middle managers and employees collaborate in interpreting tasks in relation to organizational context; 2. This interpretative work is based on language acquisition: learning the vocabulary of the organization; 3. The managers articulate the process, explicitly defining reality and influencing language use; 4. Employees show expectation of having their experiences interpreted by managers; 5. Employees may challenge managers with competing interpretations. This article will contribute to the study of leadership communication by combining organization communication theory and conversation analytic methodology. The article shows important ways in which middle managers "do leadership": by contextualizing employee actions and bringing employee perceptions in accordance with executive-level perceptions of organizational practices.

Nielsen, Mie Femø. JBC (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Collaboration


Introduction to the Forum on Meaning/ful Work Studies in Organizational Communication   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

On the first day of Nikki's undergraduate seminar, Organizing Work, she Oasks students to list the idioms and phrases commonly used to make sense of the 'work' experience. She shares the example of her father repeat- edly using the phrase 'daily grind' when she was growing up (important to note, he was not referring to the ubiquitous Starbucks of today). Slowly but surely, the chalkboard fills with an array of idiomatic expressions: 'on the clock,' 'work like a dog,' 'all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,' 'work your fingers to the bone,' 'all in a day's work,' and a host of others, including the Marxian favorite, 'a fair day's pay for a fair day's work.' Students are asked to reflect on the meanings embedded within the list and how language constitutes cultural meanings and values of work. As such an exercise should make abundantly clear, work and meaning would seem to be central to our study of organizational communication. Our talk about work both embodies and structures individual and social under- standings, attitudes, and actions. Yet, the meanings associated with work and the notion of work as meaningful have not been foci of study within our dis- cipline. Indeed, the term work is not even indexed in the New Handbook of Organizational Communication (Jablin and Putnam, 2001), and a search of the EBSCO database found not a single article with work and either meaning or meaningful in the title in a communication journal. Given contemporary devel- opments that make work more central to people's lives as well as less secure, the question of what work means to people and how such meanings contribute to or detract from a sense of purpose or dignity in people's lives is important to consider.

Zorn, Theodore E. and Nikki Townsley. Management Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Rhetoric


On a Growing Dualism in Organizational Discourse Research   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Duality arguments are now a common perspective employed in organizational discourse research to avoid the problematic dualism of necessarily prioritizing structure or agency. Despite this considerable philosophical maturity, not all duality approaches are created equal. In fact, duality theorizing in current organizational discourse research has developed into two perspectives— structured in action or acted in structure. This article outlines the characteristics of each research program and provides an illustration of how similar organizational phenomena may be interpreted differently depending on paradigmatic orientation. Then, methodological recommendations and two emerging theoretical myopias—duality and organizing biases—are described to challenge scholars to employ dialectically these seemingly incommensurate perspectives in their theorizing of 21st-century organizational discourse.

Bisel, Ryan S. Management Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Theory


(Re)disciplining Organizational Communication Studies: A Response to Broadfoot and Munshi   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

If one of the principal goals of critical organization studies writ large is the increased democratization of organizing processes, and if communication is key to that democratization, how does postcolonial theory enable us to rethink the relationship between communication and democracy?

Mumby, Dennis K. and Cynthia Stohl. Management Communication Quarterly (2007). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Ethnographies


Shotgun Communication

After new product releases or service updates, a torrent of disparate corporate information follows based on the perceived requirements for each team to show their worth. Sales collateral, Marketing webcasts, Support knowledgebase articles, Engineering release notes, and internal reference guides from formal Documentation teams stagger out like drunken sailors looking for their ship after a Cinderella liberty. Add to this meandering information all of the informal input from bloggers, social sites, forums, and independent Web sites, and you have a fog of information to stumble through to find real knowledge and employ best practices for purchased products and services.

Hiatt, Michael. Mashstream (2007). Articles>Content Management>Organizational Communication>Business Communication


The Social, Political, and Economic Context in the Development of Organizational Communication in Brazil   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

As a professional practice and an academic subfield, organizational communication is a relatively recent addition in Brazil, dating primarily from the 1980s. In both arenas, organizational communication developed from the theory and practice of public relations. Much of its design, however, grows out of the particularities and consequences of the Brazilian social, political, and economic context. This article presents a brief profile of the history of public relations and organizational communication in this country.

do Carmo Reis, Maria. Management Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Brazil


Understanding the Effects of Nonstraightforward Communication in Organizational Discourse: The Case of Equivocal Messages and Corporate Identity   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Two experiments (n = 605) utilize equivocal communication theory to understand the effects of nonstraightforward communication in organizational discourse, specifically in initial spokesperson responses to organizational crises. In a first experiment, young adults rated equivocal and nonequivocal spokesperson responses to corporate crisis situations that either contained or did not contain an avoidance-avoidance goal conflict. As predicted, equivocal messages were both viewed as appropriate messages to use and associated with two measures of corporate reputation in avoidance-avoidance situations. By contrast, nonequivocal messages were viewed as more appropriate to use and associated with corporate reputation in non-avoidance-avoidance situations. Experiment 2 essentially replicated these findings and showed that the effect of nonequivocal and equivocal messages on perceived corporate reputation is partially mediated by how well the messages are perceived to handle goal conflicts in crisis situations.

Kline, Susan L., Bethany Simunich and Heath Weber. Communication Research (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Minimalism


Why You Should Hire Professional Writers to do the Writing

Who is writing all the documents that organizations produce? The typical answer: Anyone who has a keyboard. But not everyone with a keyboard has the skills required to create the quality documents that ultimately fall into the hands of customers and regulators. Nor does everyone who is asked to write these important documents have the desire—or time—to perform such tasks.

Wieland, Diane. TechCom Manager (2006). Articles>Management>Business Communication>Organizational Communication


You Cannot do Social Without the Support of the Organization

Hiring an experienced professional or team of professionals and allocating resources to them is step one in providing support for social. To make social truly operational, you need to take the red pill and step up your social media efforts.

Maltoni, Valeria. Conversation Agent (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Social Networking

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