The Interpellated Voice: The Social Discipline of Member Communication

Emma Christensen*, Lars Thøger Christensen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Acknowledging that the voices of ordinary members may be perceived as more credible than official organizational voices, many organizations seek to mobilize members to speak on their behalf. In this conceptual paper, we examine the constitutive dynamics of such practice, highlighting the influence of social discipline on member voicing. With its notion of ventriloquism, the Montreal School has provided an interesting understanding of how organizations are constituted by the voices ascribed to them. Extant formulations of this perspective, however, fail to conceptualize how member voicing is informed and disciplined by social norms and expectations. Drawing on the notions of interpellation and role, we question how “organizational” organizational communication is and what is being constituted when members voice their organizations. By foregrounding the significance of social figures in this process, we call for an extension of the ventriloqual perspective beyond its current organization-centric perspective.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Volume36
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)496-519
Number of pages24
ISSN0893-3189
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: February 11, 2022.

Keywords

  • Member voicing
  • Ventriloquism
  • Interpellation
  • Social discipline

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