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Dissent in Organizations

ISBN: 978-0-7456-5139-2
200 pages
July 2011, Polity
Dissent in Organizations (0745651399) cover image
Employees often disagree with workplace policies and practices, leaving few workplaces unaffected by organizational dissent. While disagreement persists in most contemporary organizations, how employees express dissent at work and how their respective organizations respond to it vary widely.

Through the use of case studies, first-person accounts, current examples, conceptual models, and scholarly findings this work offers a comprehensive treatment of organizational dissent. Readers will find a sensible balance between theoretical considerations and practical applications.

Theoretical considerations include:

  • how dissent fits within classical and contemporary organizational communication approaches
  • dissent's relationship to, yet distinctiveness from, related organizational concepts like conflict, resistance, and voice
  • explanations for why employees express dissent and how they make sense of it
  • the relationship between organizational dissent and ethics

Practical applications encompass:

  • recommendations for employees expressing dissent and managers responding to it
  • consideration of the range of events that trigger dissent
  • strategies employees use to express dissent and tools organizations can apply to solicit it effectively
  • the unique challenges and benefits associated with expressing dissent to management

The book's specific focus and engaged voice provide students, scholars, and practitioners with a deeper understanding of dissent as an important aspect of workplace communication.

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Detailed Table of Contents
List of Tables and Figures
Preface
Chapter 1: Why is Organizational Dissent Relevant?
Chapter 2: What is Organizational Dissent?
Chapter 3: How Do We Make Sense of Organizational Dissent?
Chapter 4: What Triggers Organizational Dissent
Chapter 5: How Do Employees Express Dissent?
Chapter 6: Upward Dissent Anyone?
Chapter 7: Can Organizational Dissent Be Managed Well?
References

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Jeffrey Kassing is Associate Professor of Communication at Arizona State University.
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• Second volume in Polity's new organizational communication series
• Introduces the key topic of dissent in the workplace for undergraduate students
• Shows the links between research on dissent and broader topics in organizational communication such as conflict, organizational change, and leadership
• Is designed to work as a supplementary textbook, complementing broader overviews
• Written by a scholar who is noted for cutting edge research in this area
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"This scholarly acknowledgement of the vital role of dissent is refreshing and long overdue."
Choice

"Kassing convinces the reader that the question of organizational dissent is of singular importance in the study of organizational communication. The book provides an interesting synthesis of the attitude research designed to tease out the intricacies of dissent, and it is replete with the stories of some of our most important dissenters."
Tim Hegstrom, San Jose State University

"Dissent in Organizations is an important book for students, scholars, and indeed citizens in general. Kassing widens and deepens our understanding of why and how dissent occurs in organizations. Above all, this book helps to build an important bridge between our understanding of what we do during a huge proportion of the hours of our lives - that is, work - and our common commitment to democratic practices."
George Cheney, University of Texas at Austin

"Dissent in Organizations is a ‘must read' if you have ever made suggestions for change and been surprised at others' reactions. The book provides an insightful and interesting integration of research on dissent across multiple disciplines. It is full of excellent examples that have immediate relevance to managers and employees across all types of organizations."
Linn Van Dyne, Michigan State University

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