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Book Cover for: Organizational Pragmatics: Power in Workplace Communication, Helen Constantinides

Organizational Pragmatics: Power in Workplace Communication

Helen Constantinides

This thesis proposes a theory of organizational pragmatics, based on Austin's speech act theory and Habermas' universal pragmatics, in order to explore the effect of power on workplace communication. Power has largely been ignored in composition theory. Traditional methods of audience analysis rely on concepts of primary and secondary audiences and personal characteristics such as beliefs and attitudes. In addition, theorists address political constraints too briefly, if at all. Organizational pragmatics identifies three domains of reality in an organization: the organizational culture, the speaker's beliefs, and power relations, which provide a framework in which to discuss power at both an individual and an institutional level.

Two models are proposed that address workplace communication at an individual level. The first model illustrates power relations based on the control of resources and the writer/reader relationship. Using this model, a communicator can identify and describe the appropriate audience. The second model illustrates different workplace situations along two dimensions: status/solidarity and person-centered/group-centered. Using this model, a communicator can determine the type of collaborative situation and adjust his or her language accordingly. Power at an institutional level is explored with respect to organizational culture and ideology. By analyzing the organizational culture, a communicator can identify rhetorical topoi specific to the concerns and constraints of the organization.

The theory of organizational pragmatics builds on concepts of power and culture drawn from political science, sociolinguistics, social psychology, and sociology. The advantage of this diverse conceptual framework is that each field considers power from a different perspective-political science from the perspective of agency, sociolinguistics and social psychology from the perspective of communicative behavior, and sociology from the perspective of structural determination.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Publish Date: Dec 1st, 1997
  • Pages: 180
  • Language: English
  • Edition: undefined - undefined
  • Dimensions: 9.00in - 6.00in - 0.38in - 0.55lb
  • EAN: 9798326701541
  • Categories: Logic