Engaging Organizational Communication Theory and Research: Multiple Perspectives is a book unlike any in the field. Each chapter is written by a prominent scholar who presents a theoretical perspective and discusses how he or she “engages” with it, personally examining what it means to study organizations. Rejecting the traditional model of a “reader,“ this volume demonstrates the intimate connections among theory, research, and personal experience. Engaging Organizational Communication Theory and Research is an indispensable resource for anyone wishing to be familiar with current trends in the field of organizational communication.
Chapter 2: Postpositivism
Shortly after receiving the invitation to write this chapter, I attended a meeting at the University of Tübingen in Germany. This university (founded in 1477) is almost 200 years older than the oldest in the United States (Harvard). Accordingly, many of its buildings have an impressive, historic feel. The conference I attended was held in the Auditorium Maximum, so named, I was told, because it is (or was) the largest auditorium on campus. To the American professor who has taught in a few 500-seat auditoriums, it seemed surprisingly small, holding perhaps 200 people. Even more striking was how antique this auditorium looked. Each row was one continuous desk, its top made of a long plank that spanned the width of the auditorium. The ...