Toward a theory and practice of organizational listening

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Listening, 2017, 32 (1), pp. 1 - 23
Issue Date:
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While there is an important and growing body of research literature on listening, this is predominantly focused on interpersonal listening. Meanwhile, in contemporary industrial and post-industrial societies, organizations play a central role in society and the lives of citizens. People need to interact on a daily basis with government departments and agencies, corporations, and a plethora of non-government and non-profit organizations. Despite theorization of the disciplinary practices of public relations and corporate, organizational, government, and political communication as two-way communication involving dialogue and engagement with stakeholders and publics, a transdisciplinary literature review of these fields reveals that little attention is paid to listening. In addition to identifying this gap in the literature, this article reports empirical research that shows organizations listen sporadically, often poorly, and sometimes not at all. To address this socially and politically significant gap, this analysis makes recommendations as a contribution to a theory and practice of organizational listening.
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