1st Edition

Organization and Organizing Materiality, Agency and Discourse

Edited By Daniel Robichaud, Francois Cooren Copyright 2013
    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    Recipient of the '2013 Top Edited Book Award', by the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association (USA)

    This timely collection addresses central issues in organizational communication theory on the nature of organizing and organization. The unique strength of this volume is its contribution to the conception of materiality, agency, and discourse in current theorizing and research on the constitution of organizations. It addresses such questions as:

    • To what extent should the materiality of texts and artifacts be accounted for in a process view of organization?
    • What part does materiality play in the process by which organizations achieve continuity in time and space?
    • In what sense do artifacts perform a role in human communication and interaction and in the constitution of organization?
    • What are the voices and entities participating in the emergence and stabilization of organizational reality?

    The work represents scholarship going on in various parts of the world, and features contributions that overcome traditional conceptions of the nature of organizing by addressing in specific ways the difficult issues of the performative character of agency; materiality as the basis of the iterability of communication and continuity of organizations; and discourse as both textuality and interaction. The contributions laid out in this book also pay tribute to the work of the organizational communication theorist James R. Taylor, who developed a view of organization as deeply rooted in communication and language. Contributors extend and challenge Taylor’s communicative view by tackling issues and assumptions left implicit in his work.

    INTRODUCTION : Materiality, Agency and Discourse in the Constitution of Organization

    Daniel Robichaud and François Cooren


    1 : Organizations as Obstacles to Organizing -- Barbara Czarniawska

    2 : What’s organizing? A meditation on the bust of Emilio Bootme in praise of Jim Taylor -- Bruno Latour

    3 : Dialectics, Contradictions, and the Question of Agency -- Linda L. Putnam

    4 : Organizations as Entitative Beings: Some Ontological Implications of Communicative Constitution -- Anne M. Nicotera

    5 : Activity Coordination and the Montreal School  -- Robert McPhee and Joel Iverson

    6: What Is an Organization? Or: Is James Taylor a Buddhist? -- Boris H.J.M. Brummans

    7 : Organization as Chaosmos -- Haridimos Tsoukas


    8 : Spacing Organization (or How to Be Here and There at the Same Time) -- Consuelo Vásquez

    9 : Restructuring identity through sectorial narratives -- Isabelle Piette

    10 : Organization by Debate: Exploring the Connections Between Rhetorical Argument and Organizing through the Case of Québec Solidaire -- Mathieu Chaput

    11 : Constituting the temporary organization: Documents in the context of projects -- Viviane Sergi

    12 : Organizational communication at the crossroads -- James R. Taylor


    Daniel ROBICHAUD is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Université de Montréal, Canada.

    François COOREN is Full Professor in the Department of Communication, Université de Montréal, Canada. He is past president of the International Communication Association.

    Tim Kuhn, U of Colorado, USA: "On the whole, I came away very impressed with the breadth and depth of the work. The editors have clearly done a terrific job lining up the contributors; of course, they all revolve around Jim Taylor’s work to some extent, but they all take it as a point of inspiration in building upon it to create something novel, even where they disagree with The Montreal School’s assumptions. This is a mark of a productive theory--and an interesting book."

    Hans Weigand, Tilburg University, the Netherlands: "Summarizing, I consider the book to be unique in the way it brings together highly esteemed scholars from the field and the high level of discussion. I do not see major problems to be addressed. Clearly, the project was very well prepared."

    Stijn Hoppenbrouwers, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands: "only advanced courses [would adopt it], where students are to be able to compare and discuss different, possibly incompatible approaches and ideas. But since being able to do this is in fact the hallmark of good higher level academic education, it is excellent for those higher levels"

    Alison Henderson, University of Waikato, New Zealand: "One of the delights of this edited collection is the diverse styles of writing that emerge in each chapter. This makes it impossible to comment on them collectively other than to say that this very diversity of styles is representative of the multiplicity of directions in which each chapter takes us. And this richness is one of the strengths of the overall text."

    Marlene Marchiori, Londrina State University, Brazil: "The book is outstanding. First because of the renowned authors that presents different approaches about the relationships between organization and organizing. Second because the way the authors present the content. They address new contents and we can reflect upon it and construct new ideas. The work inspires new research in the area of organizational communication and may also contribute to the reflection and new knowledge on the Communication and Management Schools."