When Organization Fails: Why Authority Matters, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

When Organization Fails

Why Authority Matters, 1st Edition

By James R. Taylor, Elizabeth J. Van Every


220 pages

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When Organization Fails: Why Authority Matters develops the study of authority as an area of investigation in organizational communication and management. As a research topic, authority has rarely been addressed in depth in the management and organizational communication literature. It is critical, however, to maintaining unity of purpose and action of the organization, and it is frequently cited by organizational members themselves.

Utilizing two case studies, examined in depth and based on the accounts of the individuals involved, authors James R. Taylor and Elizabeth J. van Every explore the pathology of authority when it fails. They develop a theoretical foundation that aims to illuminate authority by positioning it in communication theory.

This volume sets the stage for a new generation of scholars who can make their reputations as experts on authority, and is intended for scholars and graduate students in organizational communication, leadership, and discourse analysis. It also offers practical insights to consultants and management experts worldwide.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Organizational Adaptation to a Changing Social and Technological Environment: The Hazard of Dissonant Practitioner and Managerial Responses Chapter 1. Thirdness as the Basis of Authority Chapter 2. Entanglements of Authority Chapter 3. “Paper Wraps Stones” (Network Management Kills Its Most Popular TV Program) Chapter 4. “Scissors Cut Paper” (The Producers Shred Management’s Position) Chapter 5. “Stones Break Scissors” (The President Has the Last Word) Part 2: One Horse, Many Drivers: The Complexity of Inter-Organizational Collaboration. Chapter 6. Integrated National Crime Information System (INCIS) Chapter 7. Writing the “Law” (The Contract: Multiple Agendas) Chapter 8. Position versus Practice: Contests of Authority Chapter 9. The Project: A Different Kind of Authoring Chapter 10. Why Authority Matters

About the Authors

James R. Taylor is an Emeritus Professor of Communication at the Université de Montréal, and is the founder of the Communication program there. Author of some 100 published papers, he has also authored or coauthored eight books. The Emergent Organization (Routledge), coauthored with Elizabeth J. van Every, received the 2013 ICA Fellows Book Award.

Elizabeth J. van Every, a sociologist by training, has coauthored five books, including The Situated Organization (Routledge). She is also an active member of the research group Language, Organization, and Governance at the Université de Montréal.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies