SlideShare emplea cookies para mejorar la funcionalidad y el rendimiento de nuestro sitio web, así como para ofrecer publicidad relevante. Si continúas navegando por ese sitio web, aceptas el uso de cookies. Consulta nuestras Condiciones de uso y nuestra Política de privacidad para más información.
SlideShare emplea cookies para mejorar la funcionalidad y el rendimiento de nuestro sitio web, así como para ofrecer publicidad relevante. Si continúas navegando por ese sitio web, aceptas el uso de cookies. Consulta nuestra Política de privacidad y nuestras Condiciones de uso para más información.
Se ha denunciado esta presentación.
Active su período de prueba de 14 días gratis para desbloquear las lecturas ilimitadas.
Dr. Lora Helvie-Mason, COMS
- Mentally revisit the
systems, and cultural
- Examine and reflect
organizations and in
ROOTS OF CRITICAL THEORY
Frankfurt School philosophy
Knowledge in society is NOT objective
Organizational communication scholars
operating from a critical theory attempt to
reveal how social and technological structures
within organizations serve to oppress workers
Critical theorists view an organization as a site of domination
where the interests of the dominant group (typically owners and
managers—people with power) are elevated above the interests
of subordinate groups (typically the workers—people with less
It is all about POWER…who has it, who doesn‘t, what they do
Mumby (2000) notes two levels of concern
with power in critical theory
Individual/group social relations
Interests and values upon which knowledge
claims are made
Power: One Dimensional View
Power: Two Dimensional View
―A has power over B to the
extent that A can get B to do
something B would not
otherwise do.‖ (Dahl, 1957)
Focuses on decision-making
behavior and conflict
Power MUST consider both
decision making and non-
decision making (Bachrach &
Focuses on the fact that power
is present in both covert and
Power: Three Dimensional View
Power may be present in situations where there is no
conflict on the surface and at times OTHER than
when a decision is being made (Lukes, 1974)
Focuses on political agenda, issues and potential issues, and
observable (overt or covert) and latent conflict
IDEOLOGY AND HEGEMONY
Ideology is the value and beliefs held by the dominant group.
Ideology represents values, ideals, and understandings about a part of social
Ideology can function in the following ways: to represent sectional interests as
universal, to deny or transmute contradictions, to naturalize the present
through reification, to use ideology as a means of control.
Hegemony is the enactment of these values and beliefs by the
The key to the concept of hegemony is the idea that the subordinated
group actively supports the interests of the dominant group, often
unknowingly, a situation resulting in oppressive circumstances.
The subordinated group is actively participating in the maintenance of
the dominant group‘s ideology; hence, its means of control.
Technically, this is the idea of adhering to socially constructed
norms and values that are developed by the organizational
members themselves as they strive to construct their environment
What does that REALLY mean?
COMMUNICATION IN CRITICAL THEORY
Ideal Speech Situation – participant and interaction are balanced.
Utterances are truthful
Legitimate relationship has been established between the participants
The utterances are sincere
The utterances are comprehensible
Think about it!
When, if ever, did you feel these validity claims
were in place in an organization you were in?
Read pages 119-120 of your text. What do you think about the
monitoring of technology use described? Have you experienced
USING CRITICAL THEORY
Create a more ―human(e)‖ workplace
Feminist organizational communication theorizing
Organizational codes of ethics
Critical organizational theorists are dedicated to uncovering
oppressive structural, technological, and communicative practices
in organizations that most people accept as a natural part of work
The reality is that the oppression and oppressive circumstances
exist often as a by-product of the manner in which organizations
have classically been run.
Cheney‘s ―democracy‖ in the workplace
Think about it:
Workers tend to think that oppression is just
a part of working – it just is a part of how
Have you ever felt this way?
Feminist organizational theory is a form of critical theory that is
dedicated to examining the oppressive circumstances
experienced by women in the workplace.
Liberal feminists – people are differentiated on basis of sex and exist in a
male-dominated structure where women are oppressed
Overcome by working with existing structure to gain equal opportunity for women
Materialist feminists – advance the idea that gender differences are socially
Overcome by uprooting existing male-dominated power structure and equally
Radical feminists – men and women should be separated as a way to resolve
the imbalance between the sexes
Women hold superior biological and cultural qualities – they should separate
themselves because they can operate at a higher level without male counterparts in
These are COMPLEX ideas that are rather
simplified here – explore more examples
and details in your text
EQUITABLE POWER SHARING
Mattson and Buzzanell (1999) posit that feminist ethical approaches differ
from others by focusing on "equitable power sharing and decision making"
and insisting that "doing ethics" involves being an active participant in the
struggle to maintain an ethical community (p. 62).
1. This perspective seeks to define the situation through examination of
organizational members language choices, behaviors, and various aspects
of the context to determine the (un)ethical nature of the situation.
2. Second, values and ideals serve to identify communicative action that
violates the values of voice, community, and fairness.
3. Third, the value of fairness implies the equitable balance of power and
4. Fourth, the ethical principle recognizes the importance of emotion in
5. The final phase, development of a solution points to the need to constantly
reevaluate options and solutions until an acceptable one is reached.
In an effort to more fully embrace or endure their organizational
lives, many members have begun to approach their work with a
sense of spirituality.
Milliman et al. (2003) suggest three dimensions that make up
1. ―meaningful work‖ (individual level)
2. Interconnection, community (group level)
3. The organization's mission, values, and goals. (organizational level)
Encourage members to have a voice in the development of a
code of ethics
Usually a response to unethical behavior
May be coercive
Tries to standardize behavior
Think about it:
Please consider your MAJOR. Does your major area have a
code of ethics? What do you know about it? Why does/doesn‘t
your area have a code of ethics? Where do you find a code of
Apply these concepts to the organization you are studying
How do you feel about critical theory?
What are some limitations of the critical perspective?