Communication & Language at Work 2019-09-26T11:05:29+02:00 Klarissa Lueg Open Journal Systems <p><em>Communication and Language at Work</em> is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal focusing on communicative and discursive practices relating to organizations. With a view to disciplines, the journal invites contributions navigating sociological and philosophical considerations of communication, knowledge, agency, and organization.</p> Communication management under the spotlight 2019-09-26T10:56:10+02:00 Marianne Grove Ditlevsen Trine Susanne Johansen <p><strong>Purpose:&nbsp;</strong>Although communication management is a widely used term, little emphasis is given to understanding it as a concept in its own right. The paper aims to establish a foundation for acknowledging communication management as a distinct concept through charting its multiple understandings in order to identify its defining features.</p> <p><strong>Design/methodology/approach:&nbsp;</strong>A systematic review of understandings of communication management in public relations, corporate communication, strategic communication, and integrated communication literature was performed. Out of a total of 113 sources 40 were reviewed through a narrative synthesis.</p> <p><strong>Findings:&nbsp;</strong>There is widespread and ambiguous use of the term rooted in two main strands of literature and a third, less coherent, strand. In addition, the different understandings point to central features linking communication, management, and strategy.</p> <p><strong>Theoretical and practical implications:&nbsp;</strong>To make fully use of the potential of communication management as a unifying concept within and across different communication fields, it is suggested to view it at the intersection of, and through the lenses of, the features identified as central to existing understandings of communication management, i.e. communication, management, and strategy. Such conceptualization would lay the foundation for developing communication management as a concept that is useful for empirically exploring the social phenomenon to which it refers.</p> 2019-09-26T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Community, network or both? 2019-09-23T14:04:10+02:00 Kostiantyn Yanchenko <p>This paper overviews scientific narratives surrounding communities and networks both off- and online and criticizes the dichotomous approach to the topic, according to which each social structure can be classified as either a community or a network. It is argued that such a division does not facilitate comprehension of the contemporary online social structures with their complexity and dynamism. The study provides an alternative view on the issue assuming that community and network are not mutually exclusive concepts and can be studied holistically. The proposed theoretical statement is operationalized and piloted on the example of ‘Aarhus Internationals’ Facebook group – an online venue for international expats in Denmark. A content analysis of the group`s posts showed how exactly community and network aspects of social structures may coexist and interact online.</p> 2019-09-23T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Neoliberalism in the North American University 2019-09-26T11:02:20+02:00 R. Duncan M. Pelly David Boje <p>This paper uses observations from empirical articles and personal experiences of the authors to explore issues associated with the rise of neoliberalism and academic capitalism in the contemporary public university. It frames these issues as stemming from conflicting ontologies between academicians who adhere to the differentiated individual ontology and university administrators who favor the undifferentiated individual ontology. To overcome the disconnect, a differentiated relational ontology that adheres to principles of Mary Parker Follett and Alfred North Whitehead is proposed. The driving force behind this ontology can be highlighted through a communicated crisis, and a specific application of Follett’s differentiated relational ontology is Ensemble Learning Theory (ELT). A potential limitation of this study is generalizability, because the focus is centered on North American public universities and anecdotes are used to characterize a broader educational problem. This evolution is pertinent to academicians and administrators because the ontological impasse experienced in North American public universities threatens their existence as institutions, and has a broader and potentially negative impact on the quality of educational focus and output.</p> 2019-09-26T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Designing the Organizational Future 2019-09-26T10:23:42+02:00 Angela Graf Klarissa Lueg <p><strong>Purpose:</strong> Over the last decades, universities in general have seen an increase in managerial top-down policies, often pertaining to strategic organizational communication. This paper, in addressing such managerial policies, does focus on German universities as they provide an interesting context to explore the rise of strategic organizational communication as a managerial practice. German universities grant full legal autonomy to their chairholders, and thus, faculty compliance with top management policies cannot be exacted. From there, it seems worthwhile exploring how university management tries to initiate compliance by communicative means. One prominent communication strategy pertains to Corporate Design (CD): university administrations disseminate guidelines as to the use of all forms of planned, visual communication. With this managerial practice in view, we explore arguments employed in exemplary CD guidelines. The overall aim is to show how management attempts to initiate faculty compliance via rational and persuasive communication.</p> <p><strong>Frame:</strong> This case study combines Bourdieusian field theory with neo-institutionalist and narratological approaches. In order to explore how university leadership tries to assert governance claims, we refer, in particular, to the concepts of field struggles, isomorphic change, and legitimacy.</p> <p><strong>Approach:</strong> Our case study concentrates on the attempted implementation of CD in German universities. Our sample comprises 40 CD manuals, most of them with official prefaces by university presidents. In order to detect dominant themes in these manuals we employ thematic analysis.</p> <p><strong>Findings:</strong> We find that CD policies are being used, by management, as a strategic marketing instrument for external communication, as well as a soft, internal governance instrument. We identify two dominant themes: First, university leadership argues in favor of CD by referring to external and internal stakeholders (legitimation). With a view to external stakeholders, management argues that CD is an important communication instrument of differentiation in a perceived university ‘market’. As to internal stakeholders, CD is intended to integrate both individual scholars, as well as scholarly sub-units into an overarching organizational structure. In this case, we consider CD to be a specific symbolic mode of communication aiming to have impact on the university’s perception externally and internally. Second, we find different persuasive management strategies supposed to actually make faculty employ the new CD (governance). Here, we identify highly different communication strategies, ranging from direct orders to appeals. The variety in strategic communication reveals the organizational paradox of restricted legal governance options, and the new managerial claim to governance.</p> <p><strong>Implications:</strong> We contribute to higher education and organizational communication research by revealing homogeneic rationales for an isomorphic change process that are being described as differentiation. We alert that legal professorial autonomy may slowly be eroded by means of consistent strategic communication.</p> 2019-09-26T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##