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Strategic Organizational Communication: In a Global Economy, 7th Edition

February 2012, ©2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Strategic Organizational Communication: In a Global Economy, 7th Edition (EHEP002254) cover image
Surveying a wide variety of disciplines, this fully-revised 7th edition offers a sophisticated and engaging treatment of the rapidly expanding field of organizational communication
  • Places organizations and organizational communication within a broader social, economic, and cultural context
  • Applies a global perspective throughout, including thoughtful consideration of non-Western forms of leadership, as well as global economic contexts
  • Offers a level of sophistication and integration of ideas from a variety of disciplines that makes this treatment definitive

Updated in the seventh edition:

  • Coverage of recent events and their ethical dimensions, including the bank crisis and bailouts in the US and UK
  • Offers a nuanced, in-depth discussion of technology, and a new chapter on organizational change
  • Includes new and revised case studies for a fresh view on perennial topics, incorporating a global focus throughout
  • Online Instructors' Manual, including sample syllabi, tips for using the case studies, test questions, and supplemental case studies
See More

PREFACE xi

UNIT I UNDERLYING CONCEPTS 1

CHAPTER 1 STRATEGIC ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION 3

Organizational Communication as Strategic Discourse 5

Case Study 1.1. How to Handle the Scarlet Email 7

The Fundamental Paradox 10

Thinking Strategically About Organizing and Communicating 12

Case Study 1.2. Can You Trust Anyone Under Thirty? 14

Creating Socio-Economic Spaces 18

Making Organizations Look Alike 20

Strategies of Organizing 23

Strategic Communication for Individual Members of Organizations 24

Summary: The Complexities of Organizational Communication 26

CHAPTER 2 KEYS TO STRATEGIC ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION 30

Seeing Connections: The Importance of Systems Thinking 32

Case Study 2.1. There Go the Lights, Here Come the Babies? 40

Uncovering Assumptions: The Importance of Critical Thinking 43

Valuing Differences: The Advantages of Diversity 47

Thinking Globally: The Challenges of Globalization 49

Understanding Technology: A Radical Force for Change 52

Case Study 2.2. Working in the Virtual Future: An Optimistic View (Looking Back) 58

Summary 66

UNIT II STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZING 71

CHAPTER 3 TRADITIONAL STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZING 73

Traditional Strategies of Organizational Design 75

Case Study 3.1. Feel Safer Now? 83

Traditional Strategies of Motivation, Control, and Surveillance 89

Case Study 3.2. The Power of Rewards at Industry International 92

Traditional Strategies of Leadership 98

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Traditional Strategies of Organizing 99

Case Study 3.3. Scenes From the Electronic Sweatshop 104

Conclusion: Communication and Traditional Strategies of Organizing 107

CHAPTER 4 RELATIONAL STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZING 113

Relational Strategies of Organizational Design 114

Case Study 4.1. Going South? 118

Relational Strategies of Motivation, Control, and Surveillance 127

Case Study 4.2. Empowerment or Iron Cage? 133

Relational Strategies of Leadership 136

Information and Communication Technology and the Relational Strategy 139

Assessing Relational Strategies 142

Thinking Critically About Relational Strategies 146

CHAPTER 5 CULTURAL STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZING 155

Defining Key Terms: Cultures and Organizational Cultures 157

Cultural Strategies of Organizational Design 159

Cultural Strategies of Motivation, Control, and Surveillance 161

Organizational Symbolism and Cultural Strategies of Motivation and Control 166

Case Study 5.1. It’s My Party and I’ll Do What I Want To 171

Case Study 5.2. Resistance and Control in Three Service Organizations 175

Cultural Strategies of Leadership 178

Technology and Cultural Strategies of Organizing 181

Thinking Critically About Cultural Strategies 183

CHAPTER 6 NETWORK STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZING 191

Network Strategies of Organizational Design 193

Box 6.1. Choosing Communication Media 202

Box 6.2. What Might Have Been 208

Case Study 6.1. al-Qaeda: A Network Organization? 209

Case Study 6.2. Evolving Into a Network Organization 213

Network Strategies of Motivation, Control, and Surveillance 215

Challenges for Control Systems in Network Organizations 218

Leadership in Network Organizations 219

Challenges and Problems for Network Organizations 221

Beyond Networks: Alternative Strategies of Organizing 222

Box 6.3. Postmodern Organizations? 225

Conclusion 227

POSTSCRIPT TO UNIT II CONTINGENCY PERSPECTIVE ON ORGANIZING STRATEGIES 231

Task 232

Case Study P.1. Steeling Away Into a Different Structure 236

Interrelationships Among the Contingency Variables 237

Conclusion and Transition 238

UNIT III CHALLENGES IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY 241

CHAPTER 7 COMMUNICATION, POWER, AND POLITICS IN ORGANIZATIONS 243

A Perspective on Organizational Power 245

Case Study 7.1. On Death and Dying 247

Societal Assumptions and the Bases of Organizational Power 251

Case Study 7.2. The Playground Never Ends 263

Organizational Politics:Overt Power in the Communicative Process 266

Box 7.1. An Exploration of Life in Systems of Power 274

Conclusion 278

CHAPTER 8 COMMUNICATION, DECISION MAKING, AND CONFLICT IN ORGANIZATIONS 284

Communication and Organizational Decision Making 286

Box 8.1. Making a Green Decision 291

Case Study 8.1. Managing the Ambiguity 304

Case Study 8.2. Koalas and Roos Flying Through Chaos 313

Communication and the Management of Organizational Conflict 316

Case Study 8.3. The Bargaining Case 327

Conclusion 335

CHAPTER 9 ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE 339

Innovation 343

Box 9.1 Organizing for Creativity 344

Adoption 348

Implementation 355

Case Study 9.1. Implementing a Moving Target: Quality Improvement at TopHill Hospital System 356

Case Study 9.2. Storytelling Journeys into Change 368

Conclusion 376

CHAPTER 10 COMMUNICATION AND DIVERSE WORKPLACES 380

Resisting "Others" 382

Case Study 10.1. Sequestering Sexual Harassment 387

Confronting the Dominant Perspective 398

Box 10.1. Feminist Strategies for Organizing 399

Case Study 10.2. Trying to Stay Balanced 402

Case Study 10.3. Is That Term “Childless” or “Childfree”? 406

Taking a Holistic Perspective 409

Conclusion 412

CHAPTER 11 COMMUNICATION, ORGANIZATIONS, AND GLOBALIZATION 418

Culture, Difference, and Organizational Communication 421

Increasing Cultural Understanding 426

Case Study 11.1. Can You Trust Anyone Under Thirty, Part 2? 427

Economics, Globalization, and Organizational Communication 431

Case Study 11.2. Small Companies, Global Approaches 438

CHAPTER 12 COMMUNICATION, ETHICS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL RHETORIC 447

Ethics, Organizations, and Social Control 450

Societal Assumptions and Organizational Rhetoric 452

Rhetoric and Organizational Crisis and Image Management 455

Case Study 12.1. Lanxess Cleans Up Its Act 461

Public Policy making and Organizational Rhetoric 463

Case Study 12.2. Ike the Prophet 467

Systems, Actions, and Ethics 469

Conclusions and Implications for Ethics 480

POSTSCRIPT TO UNIT III EPILOGUE 489

INDEX 491

PREFACE xi

UNIT I UNDERLYING CONCEPTS 1

CHAPTER 1 STRATEGIC ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION 3

Organizational Communication as Strategic Discourse 5

Case Study 1.1. How to Handle the Scarlet Email 7

The Fundamental Paradox 10

Thinking Strategically About Organizing and Communicating 12

Case Study 1.2. Can You Trust Anyone Under Thirty? 14

Creating Socio-Economic Spaces 18

Making Organizations Look Alike 20

Strategies of Organizing 23

Strategic Communication for Individual Members of Organizations 24

Summary: The Complexities of Organizational Communication 26

CHAPTER 2 KEYS TO STRATEGIC ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION 30

Seeing Connections: The Importance of Systems Thinking 32

Case Study 2.1. There Go the Lights, Here Come the Babies? 40

Uncovering Assumptions: The Importance of Critical Thinking 43

Valuing Differences: The Advantages of Diversity 47

Thinking Globally: The Challenges of Globalization 49

Understanding Technology: A Radical Force for Change 52

Case Study 2.2. Working in the Virtual Future: An Optimistic View (Looking Back) 58

Summary 66

UNIT II STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZING 71

CHAPTER 3 TRADITIONAL STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZING 73

Traditional Strategies of Organizational Design 75

Case Study 3.1. Feel Safer Now? 83

Traditional Strategies of Motivation, Control, and Surveillance 89

Case Study 3.2. The Power of Rewards at Industry International 92

Traditional Strategies of Leadership 98

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Traditional Strategies of Organizing 99

Case Study 3.3. Scenes From the Electronic Sweatshop 104

Conclusion: Communication and Traditional Strategies of Organizing 107

CHAPTER 4 RELATIONAL STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZING 113

Relational Strategies of Organizational Design 114

Case Study 4.1. Going South? 118

Relational Strategies of Motivation, Control, and Surveillance 127

Case Study 4.2. Empowerment or Iron Cage? 133

Relational Strategies of Leadership 136

Information and Communication Technology and the Relational Strategy 139

Assessing Relational Strategies 142

Thinking Critically About Relational Strategies 146

CHAPTER 5 CULTURAL STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZING 155

Defining Key Terms: Cultures and Organizational Cultures 157

Cultural Strategies of Organizational Design 159

Cultural Strategies of Motivation, Control, and Surveillance 161

Organizational Symbolism and Cultural Strategies of Motivation and Control 166

Case Study 5.1. It’s My Party and I’ll Do What I Want To 171

Case Study 5.2. Resistance and Control in Three Service Organizations 175

Cultural Strategies of Leadership 178

Technology and Cultural Strategies of Organizing 181

Thinking Critically About Cultural Strategies 183

CHAPTER 6 NETWORK STRATEGIES OF ORGANIZING 191

Network Strategies of Organizational Design 193

Box 6.1. Choosing Communication Media 202

Box 6.2. What Might Have Been 208

Case Study 6.1. al-Qaeda: A Network Organization? 209

Case Study 6.2. Evolving Into a Network Organization 213

Network Strategies of Motivation, Control, and Surveillance 215

Challenges for Control Systems in Network Organizations 218

Leadership in Network Organizations 219

Challenges and Problems for Network Organizations 221

Beyond Networks: Alternative Strategies of Organizing 222

Box 6.3. Postmodern Organizations? 225

Conclusion 227

POSTSCRIPT TO UNIT II CONTINGENCY PERSPECTIVE ON ORGANIZING STRATEGIES 231

Task 232

Case Study P.1. Steeling Away Into a Different Structure 236

Interrelationships Among the Contingency Variables 237

Conclusion and Transition 238

UNIT III CHALLENGES IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY 241

CHAPTER 7 COMMUNICATION, POWER, AND POLITICS IN ORGANIZATIONS 243

A Perspective on Organizational Power 245

Case Study 7.1. On Death and Dying 247

Societal Assumptions and the Bases of Organizational Power 251

Case Study 7.2. The Playground Never Ends 263

Organizational Politics:Overt Power in the Communicative Process 266

Box 7.1. An Exploration of Life in Systems of Power 274

Conclusion 278

CHAPTER 8 COMMUNICATION, DECISION MAKING, AND CONFLICT IN ORGANIZATIONS 284

Communication and Organizational Decision Making 286

Box 8.1. Making a Green Decision 291

Case Study 8.1. Managing the Ambiguity 304

Case Study 8.2. Koalas and Roos Flying Through Chaos 313

Communication and the Management of Organizational Conflict 316

Case Study 8.3. The Bargaining Case 327

Conclusion 335

CHAPTER 9 ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE 339

Innovation 343

Box 9.1 Organizing for Creativity 344

Adoption 348

Implementation 355

Case Study 9.1. Implementing a Moving Target: Quality Improvement at TopHill Hospital System 356

Case Study 9.2. Storytelling Journeys into Change 368

Conclusion 376

CHAPTER 10 COMMUNICATION AND DIVERSE WORKPLACES 380

Resisting "Others" 382

Case Study 10.1. Sequestering Sexual Harassment 387

Confronting the Dominant Perspective 398

Box 10.1. Feminist Strategies for Organizing 399

Case Study 10.2. Trying to Stay Balanced 402

Case Study 10.3. Is That Term “Childless” or “Childfree”? 406

Taking a Holistic Perspective 409

Conclusion 412

CHAPTER 11 COMMUNICATION, ORGANIZATIONS, AND GLOBALIZATION 418

Culture, Difference, and Organizational Communication 421

Increasing Cultural Understanding 426

Case Study 11.1. Can You Trust Anyone Under Thirty, Part 2? 427

Economics, Globalization, and Organizational Communication 431

Case Study 11.2. Small Companies, Global Approaches 438

CHAPTER 12 COMMUNICATION, ETHICS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL RHETORIC 447

Ethics, Organizations, and Social Control 450

Societal Assumptions and Organizational Rhetoric 452

Rhetoric and Organizational Crisis and Image Management 455

Case Study 12.1. Lanxess Cleans Up Its Act 461

Public Policy making and Organizational Rhetoric 463

Case Study 12.2. Ike the Prophet 467

Systems, Actions, and Ethics 469

Conclusions and Implications for Ethics 480

POSTSCRIPT TO UNIT III EPILOGUE 489

INDEX 491

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Charles Conrad is a Professor of Organizational Communication at Texas A&M University. He has received more than a dozen college and university-level teaching awards, including the National Communication Association’s Donald Ecroyd Award. He is the author or editor of nine books, the most recent of which are Organizational Rhetoric (2011) and Global Engineering (2010). His research focuses on the relationship among communication, power, and politics, especially the communicative strategies used by organizations to influence public policies and popular attitudes.

Marshall Scott Poole is a Professor of Communication and Director of the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  He has received several teaching awards and multiple research awards, including the Steven Chaffee Lifetime Productivity Award from the International Communication Association.  He is the author or editor of eleven books, including Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation (2004) and Working Through Conflict (2008).

See More
  • Updated to include recent events and their ethical dimensions, including the bank crisis and bailouts in the US and UK
  • Offers a nuanced, in-depth discussion of technology, and a new chapter on organizational change
  • Includes new and revised case studies for a fresh view on perennial topics, incorporating a global focus throughout
  • Online Instructors' Manual, including sample syllabi, tips for using the case studies, test questions, and supplemental case studies
See More
  • Places organizations and organizational communication within a broader social, economic, and cultural context
  • Applies a global perspective throughout, including thoughtful consideration of non-Western forms of leadership, as well as global economic contexts
  • Offers a level of sophistication and integration of ideas from a variety of disciplines that makes this treatment definitive

Updated seventh edition:

  • Updated to include recent events and their ethical dimensions, including the bank crisis and bailouts in the US and UK
  • Offers a nuanced, in-depth discussion of technology, and a new chapter on organizational change
  • Includes new and revised case studies for a fresh view on perennial topics, incorporating a global focus throughout
See More
“Strategic Organizational Communication has been truly revitalized with its comprehensive coverage of organizational issues within the communication community. Enhanced with new material on such issues as globalization, ethics, and change, the combination of in-depth reporting and pointed cases will provide students with useful, relevant insight into the complexities of organizational life.”
- Cynthia Hardy, University of Melbourne

“Professors Conrad and Poole have maintained the solid core of critical analysis that has been the hallmark of this book, while thoroughly updating the cases and issues in the 7th edition.  Bravo!”
- James A. Anderson, University of Utah

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Instructors Resources
Wiley Instructor Companion Site
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Strategic Organizational Communication: In a Global Economy, 7th Edition
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