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Perspectives on Communication and Organization - 5 ECTS

Date and time

Monday 26 August 2024 at 13:00 to Friday 30 August 2024 at 15:30

Registration Deadline

Monday 1 July 2024 at 23:55


Dalgas Have - room DHV 2.69, 2.70 & 2.71 (second floor), Dalgas Have 15, 2000 Frederiksberg Dalgas Have - room DHV 2.69, 2.70 & 2.71 (second floor)
Dalgas Have 15
2000 Frederiksberg

Perspectives on Communication and Organization - 5 ECTS

Course Coordinators: Lars Thøger Christensen & Dennis Schoeneborn, Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)

Professor Lars Thøger Christensen
Department of Management, Society and Communication, CBS

Professor Dennis Schoeneborn
Department of Management, Society and Communication, CBS

Professor Timothy R. Kuhn
University of Colorado at Boulder

The course is aimed at PhD students with a background in any discipline within the social sciences or humanities. Participation does not require prior training in communication studies. Only PhD students are accepted for the course.

As part of the course registration, participants are required to hand in:

(1) a short motivational statement of about 500 words on why you are applying for the course

After being accepted to the course and two weeks prior to the course start at the latest, participants are required to hand in: 

(2) a short paper of 2,500 – 3,000 words max. (plus references) in which his/her PhD project (or one of the papers of a cumulative dissertation) is presented and explicitly related to the course curricu¬lum. The paper must include specific links to texts from the course literature (further instructions will follow in a separate email). In addition, participants should briefly present their short papers in the workshop. 

Furthermore, it is expected that participants have carefully read the re¬commend¬ed key literatures prior to the course (plus, ideally, also some of the optional readings).

It is a precondition for receiving the course diploma that PhD students hand in the required paper in advance and attend the entire course.

Across the social and political sciences and beyond, communication is often understood as a simple sender-receiver model, i.e. something that merely conveys, mirrors, or represents social and physical phenomena. Over the last 25 years, however, developments in several fields have demonstrated that communication takes center stage in processes of perception, sensemaking, and world-construction. 

The “linguistic turn”, thus, has resulted in a rich body of research exploring how communicative practices constitute organizations, indeed how organizations “emerge” in communication. Studies of organizations as voices, sites of identity formation, or systems of power struggles, for example, have focused on the discursive and communicative processes through which organizing occurs and through which organizations are “talked into existence”. This PhD course will foreground communication and explore some of these research traditions, examining the extent to which they can help us understand how organizations are constituted, maintained and changed.

Course content
The PhD course will allow students to discuss and experiment with the applicability of a communication-centered perspective for conceptual and/or empirical inquiries into organization and organizing. Students will learn how to analyze organization from a communication-centered perspective using themes and concepts such as agency/actorhood, authority, performativity, transparency, identity, narrative, polyphony, ventriloquism, and organizationality. Specifically, the course will include introduction to the communicative constitution of organization (CCO) perspective that has gained increasing attention in management and organization studies over the past years. Finally, students will be trained in the craft of writing for scholarly publication at the interdisciplinary intersections of communication and organization.

Teaching style
The teaching style is a mixture of lectures, short presentations, and discussion sessions in which students are expected to actively participate. Each student will need to read the short papers of the other course participants before the workshop and act as a discussant of one of these short papers (these discussant roles will be assigned prior to the course).

Lecture plan
The lecture plan is preliminary and subject to further adjustments. 

Monday, Aug. 26 (Day 1)

13.00-13.30 - Welcome & practical matters 
Dennis Schoeneborn & Lars Thøger Christensen

13.30-15.30 - Introduction to Communication Perspectives on Organization and Organizing
Lars Thøger Christensen 

15.30 - 16.00 Lunch break 

16.00 - 18.00 Introduction to the 'Communicative Constitution of Organizations' (CCO) Perspective
Dennis Schoeneborn 

Tuesday, Aug. 27 (Day 2) 

9.00 - 12.00 Performativity and Talk-Action Dynamics
Lars Thøger Christensen

12.00 - 13.00 Lunch break 

13.00 - 15.00 Student project discussions
Lars Thøger Christensen, Dennis Schoeneborn & Tim Kuhn

Wednesday, Aug. 28 (Day 3)

9.00 - 12.00  Collective Actorhood & Organizationality 
Dennis Schoeneborn

12.00 - 13.00 Lunch break 

13.00 - 15.00  Student project discussions
Lars Thøger Christensen, Dennis Schoeneborn & Tim Kuhn

Thursday, Aug. 29 (Day 4)

9.00 - 12.00  Identity, Authority, and Narrative in/through Organizations
Tim Kuhn

12.00 - 13.00 Lunch break 

13.00 - 15.00  Student project discussions
Lars Thøger Christensen, Dennis Schoeneborn & Tim Kuhn

Friday, Aug. 30 (Day 5)

9.00 - 12.00 How to Develop Theory at the Intersection of Communication and Organization (Part I)
Lars Thøger Christensen, Dennis Schoeneborn & Tim Kuhn

12.00 - 13.00 Lunch break 

13.00 - 15.00 How to Develop Theory at the Intersection of Communication and Organization (Part II/Exercises)
Lars Thøger Christensen, Dennis Schoeneborn & Tim Kuhn

15.00 - 15.30 Course Evaluation and Farewell
Lars Thøger Christensen & Dennis Schoeneborn

Learning objectives
•    To sharpen students’ sensitivity to important nuances between different theoretical approaches to communication and organization, including their ontological, epistemological, and axiological implications.
•    To enable students to detect and question simplistic assumptions about communication and its possible effects on organizations and their members. 
•    To become familiar with elaborate understandings of communication and to account for the formative and constitutive role in the contexts of organizations and wider society.
•    To aid students in understanding organization as an ongoing communicative accomplishment, along with examining the consequences of assuming such a perspective.
•    To develop skills in crafting (incl. framing, positioning, and scoping) research papers that draws on insights from the field of communication studies and enable them to apply these insights to the study of organization in an interdisciplinary way.


Course Literature
(Preliminary – a detailed reading list will be provided after acceptance to the course)

Axley, S. (1984). Managerial communication in terms of the conduit metaphor. Academy of Management Review, 9(3), 428-437. 

Christensen, L. T., Morsing, M., & Thyssen, O. (2021). Talk–action dynamics: Modalities of aspirational talk. Organization Studies, 42(3), 407-427.

Dobusch, L., & Schoeneborn, D. (2015). Fluidity, identity, and organizationality: The communicative constitution of Anonymous. Journal of Management Studies, 52(8), 1005-1035. 

Kuhn, T. (2008). A communicative theory of the firm: Developing an alternative perspective on intra-organizational power and stakeholder relationships. Organization Studies, 29(8-9), 1227-1254.

Locke K. & Golden-Biddle K. (1997). Constructing opportunities for contribution: Structuring intertextual coherence and “problematizing” in organizational studies. Academy of Management Journal, (40)5, 1023-1062.

Schoeneborn, D. & Vásquez, C. (2017). Communication as constitutive of organization. In: C. R. Scott & L. K. Lewis (Eds.). International encyclopedia of organizational communication. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 

Taylor, J. R., & Cooren, F. (1997). What makes communication ‘organizational’? How the many voices of a collectivity become the one voice of an organization. Journal of Pragmatics, 27, 409-438.

Thyssen, O. (2005). The invisibility of the organization. Ephemera, 5(3), 519-536.

Windahl, S., Signitzer, B. & Olsen, J. T. (2009): Using communication theory – an introduction to planned communication. London: Sage. [Excerpt: chapter 2]

Note: In case we receive more registrations for the course than we have seats, CBS PhD students will have first priority. Remaining seats will be filled on a first come first serve.

Registration deadline and conditions
The registration deadline is 01 July 2024. If you want to cancel your registration on the course it should be done prior to this mentioned date. By this date we determine whether we have enough registrations to run the course, or who should be offered a seat if we have received too many registrations.

If there are more seats available on the course we leave the registration open by setting a new regsitration deadline in order to fill remaining seats. Once you have received our acceptance/welcome letter to join the course, your registration is binding and we do not refund your course fee. The binding registration date will be the registration deadline mentioned above.

Payment methods
Make sure you choose the correct method of payment upon finalizing your registration:
CBS students:
Choose payment method CBS PhD students and the course fee will be deducted from your PhD course budget.
Students from other Danish universities: 
Choose payment method Danish Electronic Invoice (EAN). Fill in your EAN number, attention and possible purchase (project) order number.
Do you not pay by EAN number please choose Invoice to pay via electronic bank payment (+71). 
Students from foreign universities:
Choose payment method Payment Card. Are you not able to pay by credit card please choose Invoice International to pay via bank transfer. 

Event Location

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Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475

Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475