EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Sensemaking and the Distortion of Critical Upward Communication in Organizations

Dennis Tourish and Paul Robson

Journal of Management Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 4, 711-730

Abstract: abstract Most research into feedback has focused on communication from managers to non‐managerial staff. To a lesser extent, it has more recently addressed upward and 360 degree appraisal systems. In contrast, the role of informal upward communication continues to be largely neglected, especially when it concerns the transmission of opinions critical of managerial orthodoxy. There has been little examination of the sensemaking heuristics employed by both managers and non‐managerial staff that stimulates the former to disregard much of the already muted critical upward communication they receive, and the latter to suppress its transmission in the first place. We therefore suggest that managers often over commit to particular courses of action, irrespective of whether they bode ill or well for the organization concerned. In so doing, they frequently demonize those who belong to stigmatized outgroups or who hold contrary value systems. We argue that the consequent elimination of critical upward communication (CUC) leads to iatrogenic phenomena – i.e. organizational problems that are derived from the treatment regime that has been prescribed, rather than from a pre‐existing condition. Implications for practice and further research are considered.

Date: 2006
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2006.00608.x

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:43:y:2006:i:4:p:711-730

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.blackwell ... s.asp?ref=00022-2380

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Management Studies is currently edited by Timothy Clark, Steven W. Floyd and Mike Wright

More articles in Journal of Management Studies from Wiley Blackwell
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().

 
Page updated 2019-08-08
Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:43:y:2006:i:4:p:711-730