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The polyphony of values and the value of polyphony

La polyphonie des valueurs et la valeur de la polyphonie

Christensen, Lars Thøger; Morsing, Mette; Thyssen, Ole


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Abstract While human communication is inherently symbolic and thus potentially vague, ambiguous and polyphonic, there is a growing emphasis on certainty, accuracy and consistency in everything contemporary organizations say and do. Organizational messages about corporate values, in particular, are expected to accurately and unambiguously depict the organizational sender “behind” the words. Current communication principles, in other words, seek to reduce or eliminate the polyphonic potential of symbolic communication. In this paper we challenge this trend, arguing that the polyphony of corporate values is valuable because it facilitates change by inviting alternative interpretations and stimulating participation and critique. Lack of accuracy in organizational messages – including inconsistencies between what organizations say and what they do – may be an important driver of organizational and social change, because such differences have potential to raise expectations and apply pressure on organizational actors to improve their practices.
Thesaurusschlagwörter symbol; communication requirements; communication; enterprise; value; value-orientation; organizational culture; organizational change; social change
Klassifikation Allgemeines, spezielle Theorien und Schulen, Methoden, Entwicklung und Geschichte der Kommunikationswissenschaften
Freie Schlagwörter Polyphony; aspirations
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2015
Seitenangabe S. 9-25
Zeitschriftentitel ESSACHESS - Journal for Communication Studies, 8 (2015) 1
Heftthema Symbolic Communication
ISSN 1775-352X
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz Creative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht-kommerz.