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Printer-friendly PDF version Abstract Traditional notions of organizational communication have framed ethical questions as largely frivolous and placed them at the fringe of the field. Three factors contribute to this placement: More recently, several research traditions and initiatives have converged around ethical questions, including organizational culture and efforts to develop and examine codes and guidelines for ethical practice.
These value based views of organizations and communication have the potential to serve as unifying frameworks for understanding questions of communication and ethics in organizational contexts. This lack of attention had occurred despite the fact that "The preponderance of everyday problems that plague all organizations are either problems that are patently ethical or moral in nature or they are problems in which deeply embedded ethical issues can be identified" Redding, Charles perrow critical essay, p.
These included articles focusing on strategic use of communication, issues of information Charles perrow critical essay and access, and decision-making. This essay seeks to explore the traditional dearth of ethical inquiry in organizational communication, and the emergence of ethical questions and issues as more central areas for theory and investigation.
Three factors have complicated ethical inquiry into organizational communication. Additionally, two models for focusing and furthering communication-based inquiry into the ethical dimensions of organizational communication are proposed and described.
Finally, research questions regarding ethical aspects of communication and organization still in need of attention are presented.
This dearth of inquiry exists despite the fact that value questions are inherent to organizational contexts and that communication is inherently a value based construct and process Seeger, ; Johannesen, Cheney and Christensen argue that the external organizational communication designed to create and maintain organizational identity includes several ethical and moral issues.
Unfortunately, these issues as questions of values and ethics have traditionally been at the fringe of organizational communication inquiry.
One reason is that examinations of value questions within organizational communication has been fraught with conceptual and procedural difficulty.
This includes confusion over questions of responsibility and accountability, limitations on discussions regarding ethical questions in organizations, and the view that ethics are not relevant when compared to larger issues of efficiency and profitability.
Responsibility denotes a moral obligation to some larger groups or social structure such as family, community, and organization. Accountability, offering accounts of decisions or actions, is a critical social process that insures that individuals bear the consequences for their own actions Johannesen, Questions of accountability and responsibility have dogged organizations since the early days of management theory.
Henri Fayol in his defining treatise on administrative management, for example, argued that unity of authority and responsibility was a hallmark of responsible management.
Since that time, the idea of clear and unified lines of responsibility and authority has been management dogma. This view persists despite the fact that responsibility and accountability in organizations is necessarily compartmentalized, shared and dispersed.
Organizational ethicists have wrestled with the problems of responsibility and accountability in two primary ways. Some, such as Velasquez and DeGeorge have suggested that responsibility must be an individualized construct.
This traditional view of responsibility locates accountability on individual managers and decision-makers. Other critics, such as French tend to reject these essentialist views in favor of at least some level of collectivist notion regarding organizational responsibility. He notes, for example, that legal systems increasing treat organizations as persons, extending to them rights usually associated with individuals.
In this sense, he argues, organizations have taken on the status of a moral person. Werhane argues for a middle ground suggesting that while organizations cannot be viewed as moral personals, that for practical reasons, there are at least some instances where responsibility must be accepted by both the corporate body and by individual managers.
Without some collectivist notion of responsibility, she argues, organizations may simply scapegoat individual members and avoid bearing the consequences of actions. These views, like the legal system, therefore, accept a more personified notion of organization, one that allows for corporate or collective accountability Deetz, ; Werhane, The reality concerning lines of authority and responsibility in organizational life, however, is almost always unclear, particularly as organizations have become larger and more complex Perrow, As work is divided and compartmentalized and as employees become increasingly specialized, and even remote, a clear and unequivocal understanding regarding who is accountable for what is reduced.
As Jackall notes, the segmented work patterns of modern, bureaucratic organizations have served to cut off action from responsibility p. Responsibility is, therefore communicatively and retrospectively constructed as participants argue that they are more or less responsible for particular outcomes.
The complex nature of organizational responsibility and accountability makes determination of responsibility and accountability a significant impediment for researcher and critic alike.
Causality is often diffused such that investigators are frustrated in their attempt to understand basic questions regarding how ethical choices are made. However, the communicative processes whereby participants seek to portray themselves as more or less responsible for outcomes are important areas for inquiry.
This research, however, does not typically ground the examination of apologia in large questions of ethics and values. None-the-less, apologia represents a fruitful line of inquiry for understanding that responsibility is rhetorically and retrospectively constructed in organizations and for sorting out how such arguments are made.
A second factor accounting for the general dearth of research in organizational communication ethics is that organizations often do not explicitly discuss ethical issues and do not make these discussions part of the ongoing discourse of the organization.
A number of scholars have documented the fact that ethical issues are rarely discussed in most organizations. Toffler for example, concluded that managers avoid engaging employees in discussions of ethics so as to maintain ethical ambivalence.
This ambivalence, then, translates into plausible deniability in case something goes wrong. Deetz, Tracy and Simpson describe an ethics code of silence in organizations that drives ethical issues underground until they become significant problems p.
Seeger offers a somewhat less jaundice explanation as to why ethics are not part of the discourse of organizations.Charles perrow complex organizations a critical essay; Charles perrow complex organizations a critical essay. 21 de novembro de Leave a Comment Written by. Utilitarianism on liberty and other essays on love joseph addison essays spectator hotel, ubc sauder mba essays embarrassing moments narrative essay three essays on the mahabharata.
Charles Perrow is professor emeritus of sociology at Yale University.
Of all published articles, the following were the most read within the past 12 months. Book Review on: Complex Organizations—a Critical Essay (by Charles Perrow, , 3rd edition) By: Ling Zhou. I will first briefly summarize the content of the book by chapters, and then try to discuss several interesting points in the book that may be of interest for accounting studies. Charles Perrow is professor emeritus of sociology at Yale University. He has worked as a consultant for the U.S. military, the White House, and the nuclear-power industry. Bibliographic information.
He has worked as a consultant for the U.S. military, the White House, and the nuclear-power industry. Bibliographic information.
This classic in organizational theory provides a succinct overview of the principal schools of thought as it presents a critical, sociopsychological, and historical orientation to the field of organizational analysis.
Vividly written, with theories made concrete by specific, student-oriented examples, it takes a critical view toward organizations, analyzing their impact on individuals, groups. Charles Perrow (). “ Organizations and Global Warming,” Constance Lever-Tracy, ed., Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society.
, New York: Routledge. ashio-midori.com: Complex Organizations: A Critical Essay () by Charles Perrow and a great selection of similar New, Used and Collectible Books available now at great prices/5(50). Charles Perrow is professor emeritus of sociology at Yale University and visiting professor at Stanford University.
His interests include the development of bureaucracy in the 19th century, protecting the nation's critical infrastructure, the prospects for democratic work organizations, and the origins of American capitalism.