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Working and Organizing as Social Problems: Reconceptualizing Organizational Communication's Domain

Working and Organizing as Social Problems: Reconceptualizing Organizational Communication's Domain
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Author(s): Timothy Kuhn (University of Colorado – Boulder, USA)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 13
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.ch002

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Abstract

Typical renderings of the domain of organizational communication focus on topics, perspectives, and persons. These perspectives encourage an attention to the boundaries surrounding the field, but have little to offer questions about the relevance of the field's work to pressing social problems. Consequently, I explore how we might enhance our scholarship's capability to engage with important social problems. I start with a discussion of problems encountered in working and organizing under contemporary capitalism, and then consider how novel conceptions of organization and communication can generate novel questions into, and insights about, these problems. Specifically, I argue for the relevance of attending to the “gig economy” and the precarity associated with it, and highlight the value of a relational ontology of communication as a vehicle for heurism and engagement with social problems.

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