Skip to Main Content

CBS PhD School logo

Perspectives on Communication and Organization - 5 ECTS

Date and time

Tuesday 11 October 2022 at 09:00 to Friday 14 October 2022 at 16:00

Registration Deadline

Tuesday 11 October 2022 at 09:00


Room TBA, Campus TBA, 2000 Frederiksberg Room TBA
Campus TBA
2000 Frederiksberg

Perspectives on Communication and Organization - 5 ECTS

Event Description

Professor Lars Thøger Christensen, CBS
Professor Joep Cornelissen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Professor Dennis Schoeneborn, CBS

Course Coordinator
Professor Lars Thøger Christensen & Professor Dennis Schoeneborn

The course is aimed at PhD students with a background from any discipline in 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 one or several texts from the course literature (further instructions will follow after acceptance to the course). 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 is “talked into existence”. This PhD course will foreground communication and explore some of these research traditions, examining the extent to which they meet the challenge of taking communication seriously as a key constitutive feature of organizations.

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. The course will address themes and concepts like agency/actorhood, performativity, transparency, identity, polyphony, ventriloquism, and organizationality. 

Students will learn how to analyze organization from a communication-centered perspective. Furthermore, the course will include introductions to communicative constitution of organization (CCO) as well as communicative institutionalism, two theoretical perspectives that have 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 will be asked to act as a discussant of one short paper (these discussant roles will be assigned prior to the course).

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

Tuesday Day 1
10.30 - 11.00 - Welcome & practical matters 
Dennis Schoeneborn & Lars Thøger Christensen

11.00 - 13.00 - Introduction to Communication Perspectives on Organization and Organizing
Lars Thøger Christensen 

13.00 - 14.00 Lunch break 

14.00 - 16.00 Introduction to the 'Communicative Constitution of Organizations' (CCO) Perspective
Dennis Schoeneborn 

16.00 - 16.30 Coffee break 

16.30 - 18.00 Student project discussions
Lars Thøger Christensen & Dennis Schoeneborn 

Wednesday Day 2 

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

12.00 - 13.00 Lunch break 

13.00 - 15.00 Collective Actorhood and Organizationality
Dennis Schoeneborn 

15.00 - 15.30 Coffee break 

15.30 - 18.00 Student project discussions
Lars Thøger Christensen & Dennis Schoeneborn 

Thursday Day 3

9.00 - 12.00  Revisiting the Question of Organizational Voice:
Identity, Interpellation, Ventriloquism, and Polyphony
Lars Thøger Christensen & Dennis Schoeneborn

12.00 - 13.00 Lunch break 

13.00 - 15.00  Introduction to Communicative Institutionalism
Joep Cornelissen 

15.00 - 15.30 Coffee break 

15.30 - 18.00  Student project discussions
Lars Thøger Christensen & Joep Cornelissen

Friday Day 4

9.00 - 12.00 How to Develop Theory at the Intersection of Communication and Organization (Part I)
Joep Cornelissen

12.00 - 13.00 Lunch break 

13.00 - 15.00 How to Develop Theory at the Intersection of Communication and Organization (Part II/Exercises)
Joep Cornelissen 

15.00 - 15.30 Coffee break 

15.30 - 17.30 Student project discussion
Joep Cornelissen & Dennis Schoeneborn 

17.30 - 18.00  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 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.



Start date

End date




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.

Christensen, E. & Christensen, L.T. (2022). The interpellated voice: The social discipline of member communication. Management Communication Quarterly.

Cornelissen, J. P., Durand, R., Fiss, P. C., Lammers, J., & Vaara, E. (2015). Putting communication front and center in institutional theory and analysis. Academy of Management Review, 40(1), 10-27.

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

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]

Event Location

Click to view the event location on Google Maps >

Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475

Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475