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Can CCO theory tell us how organizing is distinct from markets, networking, belonging to a community, or supporting a social movement?

Sillince, J. (2010) Can CCO theory tell us how organizing is distinct from markets, networking, belonging to a community, or supporting a social movement? Management Communication Quarterly, 24 (1). pp. 132-138. ISSN 0893-3189

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Abstract

McPhee and Zaug (2009) advanced a theory that organizations are constituted by the four communication processes of membership negotiation, organizational self-structuring, activity coordination, and institutional positioning. My argument here is that in order to say what organizational constitution entails, we must consider what is distinctive about an organization as compared with any other collective. Examples of other types of collectives include markets such as car sales, networks such as walking enthusiasts who communicate with each other, communities such as cities, and social movements such as gay rights. A theory of communication as constitutive of organizing (CCO; see Putnam & Nicotera, 2009, the subject of this forum) must, in my view, be able to show how organizations are formed and maintained rather than say markets or networks. I use and extend the same logic as McPhee and Zaug use when they argue how groups of friends are not an organization. My argument is that McPhee and Zaug's model can also apply to these other collective forms and thus that it is insufficiently organizational.