SWG 05: Organization as Communication
François Cooren, Université de Montréal, Canada François Cooren
Timothy R. Kuhn, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA Timothy R. Kuhn
Dennis Schoeneborn, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark Dennis Schoeneborn
Consuelo Vásquez, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada Consuelo Vásquez
The field of organizational communication studies is located at the transdisciplinary intersection of organization studies
and communication studies (Taylor et al., 2001). Grounded in the linguistic turn in the social sciences (Putnam & Pacanowsky,
1983), scholars of this field suggest drawing on communication as a primary mode of explanation of organizational phenomena
(Deetz, 1994), thus fruitfully complementing other disciplinary accounts (e.g., from psychology or sociology) (Ashcraft et
In recent years, we perceive an increasing interest in organizational communication scholarship within management and organization
studies. This development is partly driven by the emergence of a theoretical perspective that focuses on communication as constitutive of organization (often abbreviated to "CCO"; for recent overviews, see Brummans et al., 2014, or Cooren et al., 2011). In line with a relational
epistemology (Cooren, 2012; Robichaud, 2006) and processual ontology (Schoeneborn, 2011), proponents of this view understand
organizations primarily as phenomena that are continuously recreated, sustained and changed through communication (Cooren
et al., 2011; Taylor & Van Every, 2000). This idea is based on the assumption that "communication does not merely express but also creates social realities" (Ashcraft et al., 2009: 4; see also Searle, 1995).
In turn, if organizations are understood first and foremost as communicative phenomena, insights from communication studies
are likely to advance the study of organizations, as well (Putnam et al., 1996). Accordingly, the CCO view has paved the way
for an increasing consideration of insights from communication studies in the neighboring field of organization studies in
recent years (Kuhn, 2012).
Given the momentum of organizational communication as a disciplinary field and of the CCO perspective as a theoretical endeavor,
we believe that the time is ripe for an EGOS Standing Working Group (SWG) 16 on "Organization as Communication". It is the
aim of the SWG to connect more closely scholars from organization studies with the neighboring field of communication studies.
Moreover, this SWG offers a natural home to scholars who are interested more broadly in concepts like organizational discourse,
narratives, rhetoric, or tropes. At the same time, the SWG allows to cover a timely topic area in management and organization
studies that originates in North America, but to add a European/international flavor to it.
SWG 05 will feature four sub-themes at the EGOS Colloquia 20152018 that all (in one way or another) deal with the constitutive
and formative role of communication for organization and organizing. For more information on "Organization as Communication",
please see also our weblog: http://www.orgcom.org.