Dis/organization as Communication: Studying Tensions, Ambiguities and Disordering, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Dis/organization as Communication

Studying Tensions, Ambiguities and Disordering, 1st Edition

Edited by Consuelo Vásquez, Timothy Kuhn


328 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138588387
pub: 2019-04-05
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This book accounts for the transformation of organizations in a post-bureaucratic era by bringing a communicational lens to the ontological discussion on organization/disorganization, offering a conceptual and methodological toolbox for studying dis/organization as communication.

 Increasingly, scholars acknowledge that communication is constitutive of organization; because meaning is always indeterminate, communication also (and simultaneously) generates disorganization. 

The book synthesizes the major theoretical trends and empirical studies in communication that engage with dis/organization. Drawing on dialectics, relational ontologies, critical theory, systems theory, and affect thinking, the first part of the book offers communicational explanations of how dis/organization unfolds. The second part of the book grounds this theoretical reflection, providing empirical studies that mobilize diverse methodological and analytical frameworks (e.g., ethnography, situational, interactional and genre analysis) for studying the practices of dis/organization. Overall, the book exposes organizations (and organizing processes) as significantly messier, irrational (or a-rational), and paradoxical than scholars of organization typically think. It also offers readers the conceptual and methodological tools to understand these complex processes as communication.

This book will be essential reading for scholars in organizational communication or management and organization studies, together with senior undergraduate and graduate students studying  organizational communication, organizational discourse, discourse analysis (including rhetoric, semiotics, pragmatism, narratology) and courses in management studies. It will also be richly rewarding for organizational consultants, managers and executives.

Table of Contents

Introduction (Consuelo Vásquez and Timothy Kuhn)

Part 1: Communicational Explanations of Dis/Organization: Conceptual Frameworks

1. Constituting the interplay of order and disorder: A dialectical perspective (Linda Putnam)

2. Communication as Dis/Organization: A Relational Perspective (François Cooren)

3. The Cemetery of Temporary Organizations: Organizational Existence as Communicative Oscillation Between Ordering and Disordering (Michael GrotheHammer and Dennis Schoeneborn)

4. Hoarding Affect: Communicating a Family of Things (Karen Lee Ashcraft)

5. Communication Constitutes Capital: Branding and the Politics of Neoliberal Dis/Organization (Dennis Mumby)

Part 2: How to Study Practices of Dis/Organization Starting from Communication: Empirical Studies

6. The Dis (Ordering) Role of Information and Communication Technologies for Civil Society Organizations (Oana Albu)

7. The paradox of ICTs for citizen participation (Amanda Porter)

8. Normalizing the eventful as a way of getting organized: a kidnapping simulation in South Sudan (Frédérik Matte)

9. Disorganizing through texts: A K Rice¹s account of Sociotechnical Systems Theory (Anindita Banerjee and Brian Bloomfield)

10. Organizing from Disorder: Online Memes as Subversive Style (Peter Winkler

and Jens Seiffert-Brockmann)

11. Exploring disequilibrium in paradox: Power and context in the case of school shooting threats in New York and Los Angeles (Gail Fairhurst and Mathew Sheep)

About the Editors

Consuelo Vásquez is an Associate Professor in the Département de Communication Sociale et Publique at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. Her research interests include ethnography, project organizing, volunteering and the communicative constitution of organizations. Her work appears in such venues as Communication Theory, Human Relations and Qualitative Research in Organizational and Management.

Timothy R. Kuhn is Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA. His research addresses the constitution of authority and agency in organizational action, with particular attention to how knowledge, identities, and conceptions of value emerge in sociomaterial, power-laden communication practices. His research has been published in Organization Studies, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Annals, Organization, Management Communication Quarterly, and Communication Monographs, among others.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Communication, Organization, and Organizing

The goal of this series is to publish original research in the field of organizational communication, with a particular—but not exclusive—focus on the constitutive or performative aspects of communication. In doing so, this series aims to be an outlet for cutting-edge research monographs, edited books, and handbooks that will redefine, refresh and redirect scholarship in this field.

The volumes published in this series address topics as varied as branding, spiritual organizing, collaboration, employee communication, corporate authority, organizational timing and spacing, organizational change, organizational sense making, organization membership, and disorganization. What unifies this diversity of themes is the authors’ focus on communication, especially in its constitutive and performative dimensions. In other words, authors are encouraged to highlight the key role communication plays in all these processes.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Development
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies