The Definition Of Organizational Communication

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Over the years, the definition of organizational communication has been a highly-debated and complex facet of the scholarship. Researchers have placed a key importance on relationships between people within the organization and how the organization structures itself as a whole. Organizations are communicative, asserting the need of communication to help constitute the organization itself. Organizational communication has been defined as “the substance of organizing in the sense that through discursive practices organization members engage in the construction of a complex and diverse system of meanings” (Mumby & Stohl, 1996, p. 63). This definition allows for the consideration of the essential social institutions that help maintain the key structures of our society. There are many different layers to the definition of organizational communication. Engaged research, use of metaphors, and common problems characterize how one might approach the defining of organizational communication.
In order to gain insight into these discursive practices, some scholars have turned to practitioners in order to collaborate and expand theory into more relevant applications (e.g., Barge & Shockley-Zalabak, 2008). This method is known as engaged scholarship; utilizing a mutual engagement ensures that theoretical concepts such as a working definition are grounded in the reality of organizational processes and members. Working together, knowledge becomes co-produced and thus, the construction of
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