Case Studies in Organizational Communication 2 : Perspectives on Contemporary Work Life book cover
1st Edition

Case Studies in Organizational Communication 2
Perspectives on Contemporary Work Life

  • This format cannot be shipped to your selected country.
ISBN 9781572302082
Published July 29, 1997 by Guilford Press
403 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

An up-to-date collection of new case studies spotlighting the integral role of communication in today's workplace, this volume will succeed its highly acclaimed predecessor as a valued reference and teaching text. Based on first-hand observation, in-depth interviews, and survey research, some of the studies highlight creative and positive uses of different communication practices; others demonstrate how communication can hinder organizational functioning.

Bringing complex situations to life, the book explores key questions about how and why people work as they do today in large manufacturing companies and in small businesses, in high-tech industries, government, education, and the human services. Timely topics addressed include new communication technologies; the dynamics of teamwork; cross-cultural communication; sexual harassment; stress and burnout; and more.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Sypher
1. Making Sense out of Creativity and Constraints, Sypher, Shuler, and Whitten
2. Conflict and Communication in a Research and Development Unit, O'Keefe, Lambert and Lambert
3. Vocabularies of Motives in a Crisis of Academic Leadership, Allen and Tompkins
4. The Negotiation of Values in the Mondragón Worker-Cooperative Complex under Pressure, Cheney
5. The Trials and Tribulations of Human Service Work, Miller
6. Disciplining a Teammate, Barker
7. The Utilization of Employee Assistance Programs at the Harding Company, Maxloff
8. Reengineering at LAC, Krikorian, Seibold and Goode
9. Negotiating a Japanese Buyout of a U.S. Company, Kleinberg
10. A Conflict in Mission in a Human Service Organization, Ray
11. The Business Concept and Managerial Control in Knowledge-Intensive Work, Deetz
12. The Politics of Information Systems, Contractor and O'Keefe
13. Information and Organizational Development, Kreps
14. Dealing with Office Rumors, Politics, and Total Quality Management, Wilhelm and Fairhurst
15. The Public Electronic Network, Rogers and Allbritton
16. Interorganizational Diffusion, Dearing
17. Integrating Electronic Communication at Texaco, DeSanctis, Jackson, Poole, and Dickson
18. Using Technology to Bring Healthcare to Rural Areas, Whitten
19. Attempting to Improve Employee Morale at Weaver Street Market, Zorn
20. The Case of the U.S. Navy's Tailhook Scandal, Violanti
21. Sexual Harassment on the Menu, Bingham
22. Case Studies in Reconstructing Identities at the End of the Organizational Age, Goodall and Eisenberg

View More



Beverly Davenport Sypher, PhD, is Professor of Communication Studies and Divisional Dean for Social Sciences at the University of Kansas. This is the second volume of case studies that she has edited for Guilford. Her work has appeared in a variety of communication, psychology, and management journals, and she continues to focus on the kind of organizations created by the communication practices of employees. Most often she studies large-scale manufacturing organizations, but she has also helped employees of small nonprofit groups; local, state, and federal agencies, and various corporations sort out the consequences of communication choices and the possibilities of person-centered messages. Dr. Sypher is a recipient of the Speech Communication Association's Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education and a Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence at the University of Kansas.


Case Studies in Organizational Communication 2 is a superb volume with a wealth of resources for organizational communication classes. The volume contains 22 original and provocative cases with lists of key terms, definitions, discussion questions, and references for each case. The cases cover a wide-array of topics including exemplars of passionate leadership, leadership showdowns, worker cooperatives, job stressors, discursive power and concertive control, emergent networks, negotiation of intercultural buyouts, overt and covert conflicts, group decision support systems, design of information management systems, self-managed work teams, and sexual harassment. The stellar cast of case scholars provide well-written, insightful scenarios of contemporary work life as viewed from a communicative lens. Their detailed descriptions of scenes, plots, and dialogue form narrative texts that will enhance the analytical skills of students and provide them with significant and memorable tales of communication practices in organizational life. This text is an essential tool for organizational communication students, teachers, and scholars! --Linda Putnam, PhD, Professor and Head, Department of Speech Communication, Texas A&M University.

This is not an ordinary collection of organizational case studies. These cases are rich in detail and dialogue, offering a depth of contextual information that makes them ideal for teaching organizational behavior, industrial psychology, communication, or organizational sociology. The range of institutions represented in the collection--from the Mondragon collective, to human service agencies and high technology corporations--guarantees appeal and relevance to a wide range of audiences.--Joanne Martin, PhD, Merrill Professor of Organizational Behavior, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University; by Courtesy, Professor of Sociology, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University

At long last, a yawning gap in our literature is being filled....These cases are consistently fascinating and always provocative. By exhibiting the enormous complexity of human communication events in the organizational setting, they invite the reader to abandon simplistic notions and to engage in some mind-bending analysis. Now that this book is available, I can hardly conceive of offering a basic course in which it is not required reading. --W. Charles Redding, PhD, Purdue University