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Engaging Organizational Communication Theory and Research: Multiple Perspectives [Paperback]

Steven K. May , Dennis K. Mumby

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Book Description

22 Nov 2004 0761928499 978-0761928492
This edited textbook introduces upper-level undergraduate students and entry-level graduate students to the major theoretical developments that have occurred within organizational communication during the past 20 years. The text presents theory emergence and development as an engaged process that occurs through the work of real scholars who are grappling with particular organizational problems and issues. Each chapter is written by a key academic who has been `engaged' with one of the featured theoretical perspectives. Each chapter highlights the history, assumptions, development, propositions, research and application of the theoretical perspectives that have influenced research, teaching, and practice in organizational communication-providing students with a thorough, and contemporary, view of the field.

Key Features :

- First book on organizational communication theories aimed solely at students (to date, all other works have been for colleagues/scholars)

The consistent chapter content allows instructors and students greater opportunity to compare and contrast theories, on comparable terms.

- Book chapters are written by authors most familiar with, and committed, to research, teaching, and service from their theoretical perspective. The authors selected are prominent in their area of research and are, ultimately, best suited to explain the theories included in the book. As a result, the authors provide both a more comprehensive and a more personal understanding of their theory that will invigorate and motivate students.

- The structure of the chapters provides students with a better understanding of the historical evolution of organizational communication as a field of study. This approach allows students to recognize how each theory developed within a specific cultural context, including unique political, economic, and social conditions.

- The book includes several emerging, yet significant, theoretical perspectives (feminist theory, postmodern theory, race theory, and globalization theory) that have increasingly influenced organizational communication. In other organizational communication books, these emerging theories have been either included as sub-sets of other theories or they have been covered with less attention or detail. The structured chapter format in this book provides them ample and comparable coverage to other important theories.


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About the Author

Steve May (Ph.D., University of Utah, 1993) is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Leadership Fellow at the Institute for the Arts and the Humanities, an Ethics Fellow at the Parr Center for Ethics, and a researcher and ethics consultant for the Ethics at Work program at the Kenan Institute for Ethics He is co-editor, with George Cheney and Debashish Munshi, of The Handbook of Communication Ethics and, with Oyvind Ihlen and Jennifer Bartlett, of The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility. His organizational communication research has been published in journals such as Management Communication Quarterly, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Public Policy Yearbook, and Organizational Communication: Emerging Perspectives. He is a past Forum Editor of Management Communication Quarterly and Associate Editor of The Journal of Applied Communication Research and The Journal of Business Communication.

Dennis K. Mumby (Ph.D., M.A., Southern Illinois University; BA, Sheffield Hallam University) is Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Fellow of UNC’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities. His research focuses on the relationships among discourse, power, gender, and organizing. A Fellow of the International Communication Association and a National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar, he has published six books and over 50 articles in the area of critical organization studies, and his work has appeared in journals such as Academy of Management Review, Management Communication Quarterly, Communication Monographs, Discourse & Society, and Human Relations. He is past chair of the Organizational Communication Division of NCA, a six-time winner of the division’s annual research award, and a recipient of the division’s Fredric M. Jablin Award for contributions to the field of organizational communication.


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When we first discussed this project, one of the things we both agreed upon was that we didn't want to end up with a typical, "run-of-the-mill" reader. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars decent theory book 11 Feb 2013
By Kyle Heuett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book offers an overview of current org. theory. Takes a strong interpretive stance, but good for getting theory down and being able to critique the theory.
5.0 out of 5 stars Always good to get back to 25 Oct 2012
By Ricardo Munoz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This review is biased for two reasons.
1. This was the very first Communication theory book I encountered in comm grad studies. I'm sentimental that way.
2. It so happens I've met some of the contributors.

Having said that, this is an eminently readable (at least for most grad students) introduction to various theories in Organizational Communication. Especially useful to me were Taylor's essay on postmodernism, Deetz's on critical theory, and Ashcraft's on Feminism. I'm somewhat more critical of Poole's version of structuration theory, but in fairness that is one difficult theory and it takes several rolls of paper to wrap your head with. What's even more interesting is that the authors don't stick to theory (a very good editorial decision) but explore their personal stories surrounding their research interests.

So I tend to keep it handy, and not just for sentimental reasons either.
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