Meaningful work and organizational communication: Questioning boundaries, positionalities and engagements

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David Carlone, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: As organizational communication scholars, we routinely orient ourselves to organizations as places of work while often ignoring the diverse forms of communicative work and communication about our working lives that underpin such locales. In this essay, we consider how the study of meaningful work problematizes the boundaries of organizational communication. Specifically, we reflect on how definitions of meaningful work are very much caught up in our contemporary milieu. Organizational communication scholars, then, must be willing and able to work within and across traditional boundaries, perhaps redefining them in the process. We illustrate these claims in three parts. In the first part, we consider the rise of communication work and how it calls into question common notions of meaningful work. In our second section, we argue that what counts as meaningful work often stems from the raced, classed, and gendered assumptions guiding our practice. Finally, in part three, and with these elements of our milieu in mind, we describe ways in which scholars can begin to investigate meaningful work by examining tensions between description and prescription and microlevels and macrolevels of discourse and experience to uncover the strategies and tactics available to individuals as they craft meaningful working lives.

Additional Information

Management Communication Quarterly 22, 152-161
Language: English
Date: 2008
Organizational communication, Meaningful work, Boundaries, Positionalities, Engagements

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