Explicating listening in organization-public communication: Theory, practices, technologies

USC Annenberg
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Communication, 2019, 13 pp. 5183 - 5204
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
There is a concerning lacuna in communication studies and particularly in specialist sub-disciplines including political, government, corporate, and organizational communication, and public relations. Despite Craig’s succinct but cogent description of communication as “talking and listening”; theorization of communication as two-way transactional interaction rather than one-way transmission of messages; and focus on voice, dialogue, and engagement, listening is implicit or described in sketchy terms in these disciplines. This critical analysis based on a transdisciplinary literature review and empirical research findings proposes that organizational listening must be made explicit and explicated in practical theory. This analysis builds on existing theory and empirical studies to examine methods and technologies that can facilitate organizational listening in a digital age to create an effective public sphere and meaningful organization-public engagement. Ethical as well as technological issues are explored and directions for further research are proposed to inform effective two-way organization-public communication and potentially create transformative communication.
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