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Ethics, Agency, and Non-Human Agency in the Study of the Communicative Constitution of Organizations

Ethics, Agency, and Non-Human Agency in the Study of the Communicative Constitution of Organizations
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Author(s): Rebecca J. Meisenbach (University of Missouri, USA)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 19
Source title: Transformative Practice and Research in Organizational Communication
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Philip J. Salem (Texas State University, USA) and Erik Timmerman (University of Wisconsin, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2823-4.ch015

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Abstract

This chapter interrogates how recent CCO (communication constitutes organizing) theorizing impacts the study of organizational ethics. Beginning with existing approaches, the chapter addresses how the complexity of analyzing choice and agency (typically tied to ethics) at an organizational level helps explain the relative lack of organizational ethics research. Ethics research in areas connected to organizational communication (public relations, crisis communication, corporate social responsibility, and organizational rhetoric) are also specifically examined. Next, the chapter considers the two distinct definitions of agency, from to the Montreal School's CCO approach and the Four Flows approach respectively, delves into a theoretical discussion of each definition's implications, and concludes that the Montreal School's CCO approach is more suited to investigating and questioning organizational ethics. The chapter concludes by noting paths for organizational research on ethics and responsibility, including challenging assumptions that moral thinking prioritizes rational choice.

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