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 3: Social Constructionism
To study processes of organizing, communication scholars increasingly rely on social constructionism, a theoretical orientation to sociocultural processes that affect humans' basic understandings of the world. Scholars who take a social constructionist stance claim that anything that has meaning in our lives originates within “the matrix of relationships in which we are engaged” (Gergen & Gergen, 2000, “The Social Construction of Value and the Aging Self,” ¶1). Social constructionists assert that meaning arises from social systems rather than from individual members of society. They contend that humans derive knowledge of the world from larger social discourses, which can vary across time and place, and which often represent and reinforce dominant belief systems. Social constructionists also stress the significance of language to ...