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ERIC Number: EJ777099
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 24
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 66
ISSN: ISSN-0090-9882
The Discourse of Crisis in Public Meetings: Case Study of a School District's Multimillion Dollar Error
Tracy, Karen
Journal of Applied Communication Research, v35 n4 p418-441 Nov 2007
School districts are both big businesses and a form of local governance that is part of American democracy. When a crisis makes a district's democratic face relevant, the organization will experience a dilemma that does not occur in business-only organizations. This study examines the public meetings of a school board in the western United States as it confronted a multimillion dollar error. After reviewing the organizational crisis literature, background is provided on the district, the crisis, and the method - action-implicative discourse analysis. The district's crisis, the paper shows, was constructed through six discursive practices. Each is identified and illustrated. Because school boards are democratic bodies, they depend on having citizens willing to attend and speak out in public meetings, and they depend on a smaller set of citizens willing to run for and serve in these elected, unpaid school board positions. In crises, these two groups of citizens will have partially competing needs. As a result, local governance organizations will experience a dilemma regarding how to design their public participation. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research on organizational crisis and public meetings, and practical implications for citizens and elected officials. (Contains 11 notes and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States