PhD Course: A new paradigm? Introduction to CCO - Communication Constitutes Organization

Date: 25-26 February 2019
Time: Lecture and Group Work: 25.02.2019 - 11:o0-14:45
Lecture and Group Work: 26.02.2019 - 10:00-12:30
Place: Lecture and Group Work: 25.02.2019 - 11:00-14:45
in room:  51.43

Lecture and Group Work: 26.02.2019 - 10:00-12:30
in room : 31.11
Registration: Was before February 10, 2019
Language of teaching:    English


PhD Course: A new paradigm? Introduction to CCO - Communication Constitutes Organization


Klarissa Lueg (SDU) & Dennis Schoeneborn (CBS). 2019



This PhD course introduces the theoretical perspective called “CCO”: Communication Constitutes Organization. CCO is one of the most recent scholarly approaches to the interrelationship of organization and communication. At its core lies the assumption that organizations, being constructed and constantly developed by humans, fundamentally consist of communication rather than contain or produce communication. Instead of investigating single, isolated acts of communication occurring in organizations (e.g., a company or a network) CCO proposes to look at organizations as communicative entities. In this focus, the CCO perspective has gained increasing attention in key journals of management/organization studies as well as communication studies over the past years (e.g., Ashraft, Kuhn & Cooren, 2009; Schoeneborn, Kuhn & Kärreman, 2018). We discuss different approaches being employed under the umbrella notion of CCO, contrast and compare the most dominant theoretical schools, and aim at critically assessing the endeavor of a unified CCO approach. This PhD unit is designed as a “crash course” enabling students to assess what can be gained from switching to a constitutive understanding of communication for exploring organizational phenomena of various kinds (especially in today’s era of digital media and communication). We also will discuss possible connections of the CCO view to students’ individual research foci.

Instruction Units






Unit 1

Lecture and Group Work

25.2.2019, 11.30-14.45h

Dennis Schoeneborn

Unit 2

Lecture and Group Work

26.2.2019, 10.00-13.00h

Klarissa Lueg


Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, PhD students will have acquired the following competences:

  1. PhD students will be able to reflect on the current definition of CCO and to critically reflect on its different schools and orientations. They will also have the competence to extend, synthesize, associate and adapt the concept(s) to the case-specific situation of the context they focus on.

  2. PhD students will be able to identify and acquire relevant information for their investigations related to CCO. They will be able to debate their insights applying the vocabulary applied within one or more streams of CCO.


Please read:

Ashcraft, K. L., Kuhn, T. R., & Cooren, F. (2009). Constitutional Amendments: “Materializing” Organizational Communication. Academy of Management Annals, 3(1), 1-64. [Excerpt: pp. 1-28]

Axley, S. R. (1984). Managerial and organizational communication in terms of the conduit metaphor. Academy of Management Review, 9(3), 428-437.

Dobusch, L. & Schoeneborn, D. (2015). Fluidity, identity, and organizationality: The communicative constitution of Anonymous. Journal of Management Studies, 52(8), 1005-1035.

Schoeneborn, D. & Vasquez, C. (2018). Communication as Constitutive of Organization (CCO). In R. L. Heath, W. Johansen, J. Falkheimer, K. Hallahan, J. Raupp and B. Steyn  (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication. John Wiley. 

Optional background reading:

Donmoyer, R. (2008). Paradigm. In L. M. Given (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods (pp. 604-595). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412963909.n306

Kuhn, T. S. (1970). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Schoeneborn, D., Kuhn, T. R., & Kärreman, D. (2018; in press). The communicative constitution of organization, organizing, and organizationality. Organization Studies, 0170840618782284.