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The communicative constitution of organizations – Empirical analysis of communication as part of an organizational change process.

Most of the today’s organizations underestimate the value and importance of communication. Communication is perceived as a tool for transmission of information internally as corporate communication as well as externally as Public Relations.

This thesis illuminates the role of communication from a different angle. By applying the emerging communication theory, the “Communicative Constitution of Organizations” (CCO), this thesis views communication from a broader perspective. It is argued that communication is more than one factor of an organization, instead communication is the means by which organizations are designed, sustained and changed.

Based on an abductive research approach, an empirical case study was undertaken to answer the following research question:
“Which role plays communication in times of organizational change?”

By conducting and analyzing qualitative expert interviews and group discussions, the results show that communication plays an extremely important role in times of organizational change. However, beside communication there are several other factors which influence change processes. Behavior, attitudes or identities cannot be changed. By contrast, the CCO theory states that both the ontology and especially change processes are solely by and due to communication possible. Without communication an organization could neither exist nor change. Communication is therefore the foundation for organizational change processes.

Thus, the CCO theory provides important and necessary implications for today’s organizations, especially during intraorganizational change processes. The CCO research should demonstrate the need to reconsider the role of communication in organizations and organizational change processes.