Bringing together prominent scholars in the field of organizational communication to examine the relationship between difference and organizing, this book explores the concept in a comprehensive and systematic way. Part I explores numerous ways in which difference can be critically examined as a communicative phenomenon; Part II addresses how best to teach difference, including pragmatic recommendations for explaining the topic and making it relevant to students’ lives; and Part III broadly examines difference as a central construct in applied organizational communication research. Ultimately, the book serves to carve out a new agenda for studies of difference and organization, and it challenges instructors and students alike to think about and explore difference in a more complex and productive manner.
Chapter 7: Teaching Difference as Institutional and Making it Personal: Moving among Personal, Interpersonal, and Institutional Constructions of Difference
Teaching Difference as Institutional and Making it Personal: Moving among Personal, Interpersonal, and Institutional Constructions of Difference
Human differences aren't just interpersonal—they're institutional. As organizational scholars, we accept this as a significant truth. Differences are built into the very structures of organizations (Acker, 1990; Allen, 2004; Ashcraft & Mumby, 2004; Parker, 2002, 2003). We dedicate our time, thought, and many journal pages to exploring how this truth—and its corollary power imbalances—is created, maintained, and resisted through the daily practices and policies that construct organizations. We examine how texts, professions, leadership, interpersonal interaction, reward structures, and organizational norms can manifest a bias toward one group over another. And if that ...