Disciplining Organizational Communication Studies

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Citation: Dennis K. Mumby, Cynthia Stohl (1996) Disciplining Organizational Communication Studies. Management Communication Quarterly (RSS)

doi: 10.1177/0893318996010001004 Wikidata: Q73305583

Tagged: Sociology (RSS)


This article offers a definition of organizational communication as a discipline, distinguishing it especially from the work done in business schools, and the way in which communication skills are taught in business courses from an instrumental perspective, versus the way in which the organization itself is problematized and examined within the field of organizational communication.

Theoretical and practical relevance:

The authors identify key "problematics" characterizing organizational communication. The problematic of "voice" addresses the notion that organizations are made up of many people, not just a dominant manager's perspective. The problematic of "rationality" invokes the notion that organizations are not composed of mathematically-optimized entities but rather people who assemble their own patterns of action driven by their own interests and preferences as well as responding to the structuring influence of managerial power. The problematic of "organizational/societal relationship" considers this circumstance on a macro level, as participating in a broader context of social forces.