ERIC Number: ED238034
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
Rhetorical Epistemology and Critical Organizational Communication Research.
Koch, Susan E.
Rhetoricians have shown both that any description of reality is inherently incomplete and that the only way to cope with this incompleteness is to continually search for more encompassing perspectives. What this says to organizational theorists is that critical approaches to the study of organizational communication should take a rightful place alongside the more accepted normative and naturalistic studies. Through such inquiry, critical research could (1) provide a complete description of the current state of affairs in the organization, (2) examine the development of the described reality, (3) expose constraints in the process of reality definition, (4) determine in whose interest the constraints are being maintained, and (5) decide whether those interests are the interests that should be supported. Through the use of rhetorical theories, organizational consultants can offer members of an organization a conceptual framework for making sense of their experience. Such frameworks would not try to make changes in workers' beliefs as much as they would try to make sense out of what workers already implicitly know: that their organizations are run according to rules they either do not understand or find unfair. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Theory Practice Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Dallas, TX, May 26-30, 1983).