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Reflective Communication Management, a Public View on Public Relations
Unformatted Document Text:  4 space, defined by organization and management approaches as well as communication approaches, we identify four models of communication management: informational, persuasive, relational, and discursive. 2.1. Approaches to organization and management Management can be characterized as the process by which organizational work is done (Stoner & Freeman, 1992). Examination of the various schools of organizational and managerial thought uncovers implications for communication management thinking. It is, therefore, important to define what is meant by organization and management before viewing definitions of communication in the context of organization and management. In accordance with Scott (1987), we can organize theories of organization in four clusters arranged around two dimensions: the amount of openness in the management processes (closed/open) and the focus on human nature in organizational decision making (rational/natural). Scott shows that the closed/rational dimension reveals the field of classical theories such as Fayol and Weber. While Taylor concentrated on scientific management, Weber focused on authority structures. The closed/natural dimension is consonant with the field of the human relations school of Mayo and other psychological schools like Lewin and Likert, who focused on individual and group interaction and relations. They considered people (= employees) primarily as emotional creatures rather than rational ones. The open/rational dimension illustrates the field of contingency theories, of which Katz and Kahn and Lawrence and Lorsch are typical exponents. The open/natural dimension covers the entire field of modern network or learning theories on organization such as Morgan, Moss, Kanter, and Weick. These four clusters fit the four clusters Cole (2000) specified in his widely read book on management theories: classical theories, human relations and other psychological schools, systems and contingency approaches, and modern approaches. Although Cole does not explicate these four clusters along the line of theoretical dimensions, the background of these four clusters can easily be found in the focus on how people make decisions and in the amount of openness in management processes. Regarding the dimension of how people (managers) make decisions, March (1994:iix) asks: “Do decision makers pursue a logic of consequence, making choices among alternatives by evaluating their consequences in terms of prior preferences, or do they pursue a logic of appropriateness, fulfilling identities or roles by recognizing situations and following rules that match appropriate behavior to the situations they encounter?” In other words, is it rational choice by which meaning is logically deduced from "true" facts or an interpretive, limited rational activity through which meaning is constructed? On the other hand, the approaches also reveal whether management is directive or interactive (see e.g., Argyris, 1994), which fits the open/closed dimension of Scott. There is a fundamental distinction in conceptualization of management between control and learning (Argyris & Schön, 1978). Management as control finds its operationalization in managerial intervention as directive intervention, while management as learning is operationalized as interactive intervention. Contemporary management authors

Authors: Van Ruler, A. A. Betteke. and Vercic, Dejan.
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space, defined by organization and management approaches as well as communication approaches, we
identify four models of communication management: informational, persuasive, relational, and discursive.
2.1. Approaches to organization and management
Management can be characterized as the process by which organizational work is done (Stoner &
Freeman, 1992). Examination of the various schools of organizational and managerial thought uncovers
implications for communication management thinking. It is, therefore, important to define what is meant
by organization and management before viewing definitions of communication in the context of
organization and management. In accordance with Scott (1987), we can organize theories of organization
in four clusters arranged around two dimensions: the amount of openness in the management processes
(closed/open) and the focus on human nature in organizational decision making (rational/natural). Scott
shows that the closed/rational dimension reveals the field of classical theories such as Fayol and Weber.
While Taylor concentrated on scientific management, Weber focused on authority structures. The
closed/natural dimension is consonant with the field of the human relations school of Mayo and other
psychological schools like Lewin and Likert, who focused on individual and group interaction and
relations. They considered people (= employees) primarily as emotional creatures rather than rational
ones. The open/rational dimension illustrates the field of contingency theories, of which Katz and Kahn
and Lawrence and Lorsch are typical exponents. The open/natural dimension covers the entire field of
modern network or learning theories on organization such as Morgan, Moss, Kanter, and Weick.
These four clusters fit the four clusters Cole (2000) specified in his widely read book on management
theories: classical theories, human relations and other psychological schools, systems and contingency
approaches, and modern approaches. Although Cole does not explicate these four clusters along the line
of theoretical dimensions, the background of these four clusters can easily be found in the focus on how
people make decisions and in the amount of openness in management processes.
Regarding the dimension of how people (managers) make decisions, March (1994:iix) asks: “Do decision
makers pursue a logic of consequence, making choices among alternatives by evaluating their
consequences in terms of prior preferences, or do they pursue a logic of appropriateness, fulfilling
identities or roles by recognizing situations and following rules that match appropriate behavior to the
situations they encounter?” In other words, is it rational choice by which meaning is logically deduced
from "true" facts or an interpretive, limited rational activity through which meaning is constructed?
On the other hand, the approaches also reveal whether management is directive or interactive (see e.g.,
Argyris, 1994), which fits the open/closed dimension of Scott. There is a fundamental distinction in
conceptualization of management between control and learning (Argyris & Schön, 1978). Management as
control finds its operationalization in managerial intervention as directive intervention, while
management as learning is operationalized as interactive intervention. Contemporary management authors


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