Emeritus Professor of Communication
Université of Montréal (Canada)

Presentation title
The Authoring of Organizations as the Source of Authority 

Joep Cornelissen 

19 March 2012

ABRI, together with UvA and the communication department of the Faculty of Social Sciences of VU University, will have the honour of having a visit from Jim Taylor this March. Join us for a unique opportunity to hear his thoughts! 

Over what is now some forty years of research into organizational communication we have repeatedly been struck by the importance people in organizations give to authority. It is therefore surely ironical that the academic literature on organizational communication has totally ignored the topic of authority, as we have confirmed empirically in library searches. My talk will argue that the common root of authority and author (the Latin auctor) is not accidental: organizations exist only in and by their continued authoring. Our current research, however, has been directed to identifying two modes of organizational authorship, both grounded in communication practice, but distinct in their conversational and textual origins. Because they are different in interesting ways that we have tried to document they also intersect and, as they do, they generate turbulence, in the extreme case so turbulent that they produce an organizational crisis.

James R. (Jim) Taylor is Emeritus Professor of Communication at the Université de Montréal where he was founder of the Département de Communication in the early 1970s. He has been a longstanding contributor and active participant in the field of Organizational Communication.

In his research and writing Jim has focused on deepening our understanding of the complexity of organization and people's capacity, through an interplay of text and and conversation, to configure whole networks of relationships. Elizabeth Van Every is a sociologist/historian and has been a co-author with Jim on several research projects and books, including The Emergent Organization.
Since Jim's retirement in 1998 he and Elizabeth have been privileged to enjoy extended visits to universities internationally to work alongside with students and colleagues. Writing continues to be a major occupation with latest results published in July, 2010 (see below).

For more information about Jim Taylor, click here.
For more information on the Research Group on Language, Organisation and Governance, click here.