This article proposes a shift in how researchers study knowledge and knowing in organizations. Responding to a pronounced lack of methodological guidance from existing research, this work develops a framework for analyzing situated organizational problem solving. This framework, rooted in social practice theory, focuses on communicative knowledge-accomplishing activities, which frame and respond to various problematic situations. Vignettes drawn from a call center demonstrate the value of the framework, which can advance practice-oriented research on knowledge and knowing by helping it break with dubious assumptions about knowledge homogeneity within groups, examine knowing as instrumental action and involvement in a struggle over meaning, and display how patterns of knowledge-accomplishing activities can generate unintended organizational consequences.
The complex distribution and negotiation of authority in real time is a key issue for today's organizations. The authors investigate how the negotiations that sustain authority at work actually unfold by analyzing the ways of talking and acting through which organizational members establish their authority. They argue that authority is achieved through presentification—that is, by making sources of authority present in interaction. On the basis of an empirical analysis of a naturally occurring interaction between a medical coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières and technicians of a hospital supported by her organization, the authors identify key communicative practices involved in achieving authority and discuss their implications for scholars' understanding of what being in authority at work means.
Today's organizations are challenged with attracting, developing, and retaining high-quality employees; thus, many firms seek to improve their recruitment and selection processes. One approach involves using realistic job previews (RJPs) to communicate a balanced view of the organization. The authors explored the effects of organizational culture (hierarchy, market, clan, and adhocracy), recruitment strategy (RJP vs. traditional), and personality (horizontal and vertical individualism—collectivism) on attraction to Web-based organizational profiles using a sample of 234 undergraduate students in a mixed two-factor experimental design. Results indicate that the clan culture is viewed as the most attractive. Traditional versus RJP recruitment produced higher levels of organizational attraction. Finally, predicted relationships between the personality framework of horizontal and vertical individualism—collectivism and organizational attraction were supported.
Gardner, William L., Brian J. Reithel, Richard T. Foley, Claudia C. Cogliser and Fred O. Walumbwa . Management Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Management>Interviewing>Organizational Communication
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.
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.
In order to say what organizational constitution entails, we must consider what is distinctive about an organization as compared with any other collective. Examples of other types of collectives include markets such as car sales, networks such as walking enthusiasts who communicate with each other, communities such as cities, and social movements such as gay rights. A theory of communication as constitutive of organizing must, in my view, be able to show how organizations are formed and maintained rather than say markets or networks.
In his introduction, Bisel points out that a forum such as this is “true to the spirit of Management Communication Quarterly in that it is a scholarly discussion of research, theory, and practice from interdisciplinary and inter- national voices on the significance and meaning of organization.” This essay seeks to remain true to that spirit as well as clarify what communicative constitution of organization (CCO) is (and is not) and sort out the issues that we see as critical for building CCO theories. Our response begins by clarifying some concerns related to CCO perspectives, examining the various uses of the term organization, and focusing on Bisel’s point about the conditions under which communication creates organizations.
Writing as an organizational communication scholar, I provide a brief description and history of theories encapsulated by the phrase communication is constitutive of organizing (CCO). Then, I explain that CCO theory would benefit from an explicit differentiation between which conditions are prerequisite to and which conditions ensure the constitution of organization. Specifically, I argue that communication may be better thought of as a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for organizing.
The key to intranet success is to provide value to employees and give them a reason to visit the site repeatedly. One of the primary ways to achieve this is to connect employees with the people and groups with whom they need to collaborate. Workgroups, or communities of practice, provide the basis for a living, growing, vibrant space in which people can access the information they need, share best practices, and contribute to a shared knowledge base. This article discusses the role of communities of practice within organizations and provides a framework for planning research and design activities to maximize their effectiveness.
With the vast amounts of information, documents, and artifacts an employee must have access to in the workplace, a growing number of organizations are turning to content management systems to organize the chaos. In this paper, I will define a content management system and its need in organizational communication, analyze the benefits of implementing a content management system, and address the opposing view—that content management systems have several necessary improvements that should be implemented to be beneficial in the workplace.
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.
It is the task of the project manager to be aware of the larger environment in which a project is operating. One approach that helps achieve this insight is systems thinking.
This paper addresses the influence of two competing views of social identity on knowledge integration. One view sees social identity primarily as a coherent characteristic of organizations, which can leverage knowledge integration by unconditional cooperative behaviour, shared values, mindsets, trust, and loyalty. The opposing view considers social identity as multiple and fragmented. This fragmented view emphasizes the problematic nature of social identity for knowledge integration and states that social identity is an additional barrier to knowledge integration in organizations. The aim of this paper is to examine these competing accounts and to develop insight into the underlying mechanisms that lead to the different effects of social identity on knowledge integration. Two polar case studies illustrate the different effects of a coherent versus multiple identity on knowledge integration and the need for a coherent company-wide social identity, instead of a multiple community or group based social identity, to leverage knowledge integration in organizations.
This paper describes the initial results of a qualitative field study of the work required to review and approve the content on government agency web sites. The study analyzes content management work in terms of Strauss’s conceptualization of articulation. The analysis describes examples of high and low level articulation in content review and approval including using paper, personal contact, and surveillance. Study results suggest that the articulation work present in non-software based review and approval processes helps to balance conflicting agency goals of publishing content and achieving absolute oversight over published content. It also suggests that software based content management systems may prove helpful for the management of some types of content in some situations, but it hypothesizes that actors will choose paper and face to face communication mechanisms to review and approve large amounts of new content and sensitive content.
What is the role of contradiction in organizational rhetoric? This article argues that existing research tends to focus on contradiction at an institutional level and then develop a distinct but complementary perspective that views contradictory rhetoric at an interactional level and as a practical concern, especially when routine is disrupted and repair tactics are required. Drawing on data from a study of a quality improvement initiative in the United Kingdom, the authors examine the contradictions that were constructed when a 'change champion' attempted to deal with resistance to change. They conclude by depicting how contradiction can emerge when actors reflexively shift their identifications to portray themselves and their actions in a contextually appropriate manner.
An enormous amount of knowledge resides within international organizations. But how can the knowledge management (KM) team unlock this information and make it available to a large number of employees around the globe? How much knowledge should actually be shared and what kind of experience should not be passed on because it might hinder innovation and creative thinking? In an interview with tcworld KM expert Patrick Lambe answered these and many other questions.
To assert that communication is constitutive of organization (CCO) is a bold claim. Not only is this claim ontologically audacious but also is analytically ambitious. It purports to tell us what must be present for an organization (or organizing) to exist and endure. It also instructs us as to how those necessary or essential ontological prerequisites of organization and organizing are to be identified, understood, and explained. In short, the communication constitutes organizations ontological positioning that informs the various theoretical approaches developed in this book (see Putnam and Nicotera, 2009, the subject of this forum) has profound implications for the way in which the sociomaterial reality of organization and organizing is conceptualized and analyzed.
This paper challenges the popular notions of tacit and explicit organizational knowledge and argues that its philosophical underpinnings derived from Gilbert Ryle are problematic due to their logical behaviourist perspective. The paper articulates the philosophical problem as the neglect of any role for the mind in organizational activity and the representation of mental activity as purely a set of behaviours. An alternative realist philosophy is advanced taking into account the potential of adopting a number of competing philosophical perspectives. The paper forwards a realist theory of organizational knowledge that moves beyond the surface behaviours of tacit and explicit knowledge and argues that collective consciousness and organizational memory play primary and deeper roles as knowledge processes and structures. Consciousness is not a Hegelian world spirit but rather a real process embedded in people's brains and mental activity. Further, the paper argues that organizational routines provide the contingent condition or `spark' to activate organizational knowledge processes. The implications of this model are explored in relation to the measurement of intellectual capital. The theory developed in this paper represents the first attempt to provide a coherent philosophically grounded framework of organizational knowledge that moves organizational theory beyond neat conversion processes of tacit and explicit knowledge.
In an extension of organizational identity research, we draw on place identity theory (PIT) to argue that employees’ identification with their place of work influences their perceptions of large-scale organizational change. To determine how different types of employees respond to threats to their sense of place identity, we conducted 34 interviews with senior and middle managers, supervisory and nonsupervisory staff, and external stakeholders at a public hospital undergoing change. Groups of employees at lower levels of the organizational hierarchy experienced a stronger sense of place and belongingness and greater disruption to their place identity than those at higher levels. We discuss how place identity operates as a component of social identity as well as the responses managers can make to ways in which employees with different place identifications deal with change.
Change management is the subject of many books but what is it like to have to lead staff who are finding it difficult? Gina Lane has extensive experience of change in local government, and Non Departmental Public Body and a charity, and in this article provides insight and practical tips for how to support and lead your team as the organization undergoes change.
Encourages critical organization scholars to develop our stake in struggle in at least three ways: (a) by examining how the structure and practice of our own work enacts relations of power and resistance (i.e., reflexive, empirical study of organizational dynamics in higher education), (b) by considering how our experience of knowledge labor implicitly shapes our representations of organization (i.e., reflexive analyses of the relation between the process and products of scholarly production), and (c) by more explicitly accounting for our role as cultural agents in representing organizational life and inducting students into it (i.e., reflexive analyses of the relations among the labors of teaching, researching, and theorizing power and resistance).
As companies have their offices spread across more and more geographic locations and a large scale of employees working in different countries, it becomes even harder to represent a single organization as one unique entity. The key lies in raising awareness for the company’s vision and mission as well as equipping staff in all locations with the latest technologies. Advancements in communication technology have led to a deeper focus on knowledge management activities – benefiting both the organization and the individual.
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.
The intranet is often a depressingly static place even today in many organizations. But those applying Enterprise 2.0 (social, emergent, freeform approaches to business activities) can soon find that the opposite is often the case. The information captured and the knowledge shared in a social business environment is usually globally visible and lasts long after the collaboration ends.
I think the idea of providing a site template from WordPress is ingenious. It made me think about exactly what a chapter WordPress template would look like. I wish I could say our Intermountain-STC site is a perfect example, but it’s not (not yet anyway). I spent a good chunk of time this weekend tweaking a few things. Here are several elements that I think a chapter WordPress template would have.