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Power, Politics and Organizational Communication: An Ethnomethodological Perspective

Whittle, A.; Housley, W.; Gilchrist, A.; Lenney, P.; Mueller, F.

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Authors

A. Whittle

W. Housley

A. Gilchrist

P. Lenney



Contributors

François Cooren
Editor

Eero Vaara
Editor

Ann Langley
Editor

Haridimos Tsoukas
Editor

Abstract

Power and politics have long been recognized as central aspects of organizational life. This chapter seeks to explore how power and politics are used by organizational members as a key component of their category-bound reasoning within strategic interaction. Drawing on tape-recorded interactional data from an action research study of strategic change in a multinational corporation, the chapter develops an ethnomethodological analysis of the key categories and category predicates used to make sense of, and constitute, the organization and its environment. The chapter’s analysis reveals three key insights: (a) power and politics were associated with the category-bound reasoning about the firm’s external key account customers and the internal company hierarchy, (b) communication, or more precisely talk-in-interaction, constituted the customer and the company as a particular type of actor, with particular category-bound predicates (e.g. attributes, agendas, activities, etc.), and (c) this stock of knowledge and associated reasoning procedures influenced key strategic decisions. The chapter concludes by proposing that an ethnomethodological perspective can enable the member’s methods to be elucidated through which organizational ‘facts’ and ‘forces’ are made intersubjectively available and used for practical organizational tasks, such as making strategic decisions.

Citation

Whittle, A., Housley, W., Gilchrist, A., Lenney, P., & Mueller, F. (2014). Power, Politics and Organizational Communication: An Ethnomethodological Perspective. In F. Cooren, E. Vaara, A. Langley, & H. Tsoukas (Eds.), Language and communication at work : discourse, narrativity, and organizing (71-94). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof%3Aoso/9780198703082.001.0001

Publication Date 2014
Deposit Date Jun 22, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 23, 2020
Publisher Oxford University Press
Pages 71-94
Book Title Language and communication at work : discourse, narrativity, and organizing.
ISBN 9780198703082
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof%3Aoso/9780198703082.001.0001
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1628275
Related Public URLs http://www.research.lancs.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/power-politics-and-organizational-communication(e6262b8d-347c-4d28-aa11-ca399bbf7f0a).html

Files

Accepted Book Chapter (741 Kb)
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Copyright Statement
Whittle, A. Housley, W. Gilchrist, A., Lenney, P. & Mueller, F. (2014). Power, Politics and Organizational Communication: An Ethnomethodological Perspective. In Language and Communication at Work: Discourse, Narrativity, and Organizing. Cooren, François, Vaara, Eero, Langley, Ann & Tsoukas, Haridimos Oxford: Oxford University Press. 71-94 reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703082.001.0001




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