The missing half of communication and engagement: Listening

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Handbook of Communication and Engagement, 2018, 1st
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This chapter builds on discussions and themes in this handbook by turning focus to one further fundamental of engagement that has received far too little attention in corporate, marketing, organizational, government, and political communication and in public relations – that is, how and how well organizations listen to their stakeholders and publics. This chapter reports empirical evidence from a two-year, three-country study that shows many government, corporate, and non-government organizations listen infrequently and poorly and, when they do listen, it is mainly for instrumental organization-centric purposes. Noting that communication is defined as a two-way process built on dialogue rather than monologue, that dialogue is more than turn-taking at speaking, and definitions of engagement, this analysis argues that much greater attention needs to be paid to organizational listening and presents proposals for how this can be operationalized.
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