Sub-theme 03: Bringing space back in to the communicative constitution of organization and disorganization


Alex Wright, The Open University Business School, United Kingdom
François Cooren, University of Montreal, Canada
Paul Spee, University of Queensland Business School, Australia

Call for Papers

This stream seeks to build on recent Special Issues (e.g. Organization Studies, 2011), field reviews (e.g. Ashcraft, Kuhn & Cooren, 2009), and conference tracks (e.g. EGOS 2012 & 2013) that bear witness to the increasing attention given to what has become known as the Communicative Constitution of Organization (CCO) perspective on management and organization studies. The importance of CCO to ongoing organization studies has been recognized recently with EGOS announcing that organization as communication has been awarded with Standing Working Group status.

CCO holds that organization and the means by which it is produced and sustained are most effectively pursued through foregrounding communication, in its broadest possible understanding. Communication in this perspective is seen as the interplay of conversation and text, also understood in their broadest senses. CCO offers an approach to communication that is applicable to a multiplicity of settings, and thus has the opportunity to re-conceptualize how we think of organization and organizing.

Our purpose is to investigate how space is communicatively produced and to explore how spaces matter in organization and disorganization. Such a stream will contribute lively debate and intellectual stimulation to the APROS/EGOS aim of furthering knowledge of how communication constitutes spaces and trajectories, impacting and shaping organization. The stream’s objective is to speak to diverse academic interests in all areas of organization studies.

The aim of the stream is to “bring space back” (Vásquez & Cooren, 2013) into our study of how organization, organizing and the organized are communicatively constituted. We invite papers, both empirical and conceptual, that explore the inter-relationships of space and communication. We welcome diverse ontological positions, and mainstream and non-traditional epistemological methodologies.

Potential topics to address could include but are not limited to:

  • How distanciating communication processes both bound and extend organization through and across space and time;
  • How communication contributes to the constitution of imbricated spaces that link and inter-relate to form structures and configurations;
  • How spacing, understood as a communicative achievement, contributes to organization and/or disorganization;
  • How space is inscribed into conversation and text and how this influences how organization is constituted;
  • How space is embodied and how the body constitutes space;
  • How, drawing from post-modern geography, spacing practices enable organization to be understood and described in nuanced detail, foregrounding communicative processes;
  • How conceptualizing space as text, in a conversation and textual dialectic framing of organization, reveals the constitutive power of space;
  • How virtual space communication, such as social media and other online materiality, constitutes new forms of organizing;
  • How power is communicatively inscribed in and exercised through controlling space and spatial boundaries;
  • How investigations into the politics of spacing reveal unequal relations of power;
  • How creative, performative, liminal and other forms of space are constituted by and shape communication;
  • How spatial relations of power communicatively constitute identities and subject positions;
  • How space is communicatively produced, maintained and consumed.



Ashcraft, K. L., Kuhn, T. R. & Cooren, F. (2009). Constitutional amendments: “Materializing” organizational communication. Academy of Management Annals, 3, 1-64.

Cooren, F., Kuhn, T. R., Cornelissen, J. P. & Clark, T. (2011). Communication, organizing and organization. Organization Studies Special Issue 32.

Vásquez, C. & Cooren, F. (2013). Spacing practices: The communicative configuration of organizing through space-times. Communication Theory, 23, 25-47.


Alex Wright is lecturer in strategy at The Open University Business School, UK. His research interests are centered on exploring how communication constitutes realities, space and place, authoring and de-authoring, performativity and strategy as a practice.

François Cooren is a professor and chair of the Department of Communication at the Université de Montréal, Canada. His research inquires into the communicative constitution of creativity and organisation. He is past president of the International Communication Association (ICA, 2010-2011) and an ICA fellow.

Paul Spee is senior lecturer at the University of Queensland Business School, Australia. His research revolves around strategic planning as communicative process; and approaches attuned to exploring time and space.


Posted On: June 8, 2014
Posted In:
Comments: No Responses