The Emergent Organization
Communication As Its Site and Surface
Routledge – 1999 – 368 pages
Series: Routledge Communication Series
Today's organizations face a wide variety of challenges, including such contradictions as maintaining unity of action while becoming increasingly diverse. Even the definition of organization is changing and evolving. In this monograph, the authors apply their academic and professional experience to address the notion of "organization," setting forth communication as the essential modality for the constitution of organization--explaining how an organization can at the same time be both local and global, and how these properties which give organization continuity over time and across geographically dispersed situations also come to be manifested in the day-to-day of human interpersonal exchange.
As a radical rethinking of the traditional discourse approaches in communication theory, this book develops a conceptual framework based on the idea that "organization" emerges in the mix of conversational and textual communicative activities that together construct organizational identity. Applying concepts from the philosophy of language, linguistics, semiotics, system design, sociology and management theory, the authors put forth a convincing argument demonstrating the materiality of language and its constructive role in organization and society.
"…one of the most important books about organizations to be published in the past 20 years."
"It is, to my knowledge, the first book that succeeds in establishing, in a systematic way, strong parallels between language or conversation structures and social organization….This book is essential reading for communication scholars in several respects….Taylor and Van Every's book deserves special attention from organizational communication scholars."
"…an important integrative work."
—Discourse & Society
Winner of the International Communication Association's 2013 Book Fellows Award
Contents: Preface. Part I: Theory of Communication. Organizational Communication: A New Look. Communication as Coorientation. How the A Priori Forms of Text Reveal the Organization. Language as Technology and Agent. Part II: Theory of Organization. Reinterpreting Organizational Literature. From Symbol Processing to Subsymbolic Socially Distributed Cognition. Conversation Transformed: Organization. Reenacting Enactment. Why "In"? of Maps, Territories, and Governance.