Organizations as Networks of Communications: A Methodological Proposal

Institute of Organization and Administrative Science, University of Zurich, Working Paper No. 102

34 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2009

See all articles by Steffen Blaschke

Steffen Blaschke

Copenhagen Business School

Dennis Schoeneborn

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology; Copenhagen Business School - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management

David Seidl

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Date Written: November 24, 2009

Abstract

Organization studies increasingly draw on the idea that organizations are constituted by communications. The theoretical assumptions and empirical implications are well in development at both the Montréal School of Organizational Communication and Social Systems Theory. However, we notice that the corresponding methodologies limit themselves to the analysis of local communications. While this micro-level research pays tribute to the inherent complexity of communication, it fails to depict organizations at the macro-level of global communications. We propose to broaden the methodological range with the help of network analysis. In particular, we suggest turning organization studies inside out by using communications - not individuals - as nodes in networks. Studying organizations as networks of communications allows us to analyze the emergence of themes that drive the business of organizations. We illustrate our proposal with an empirical network analysis of two organizations.

Keywords: Organizational Communication, Social Network Analysis, Montréal School, Social Systems Theory, Communication as Constitutive of Organizations

Suggested Citation

Blaschke, Steffen and Schoeneborn, Dennis and Seidl, David, Organizations as Networks of Communications: A Methodological Proposal (November 24, 2009). Institute of Organization and Administrative Science, University of Zurich, Working Paper No. 102. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1512471 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1512471

Steffen Blaschke (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Dalgas Have 15
Frederiksberg, DK - 2000
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.orgcom.org

Dennis Schoeneborn

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zürich, 8032
Switzerland

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management ( email )

Porcelænshaven 18A
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

David Seidl

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW) ( email )

Hottingerstrasse 10
Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.om.uzh.ch

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