Are We Moving Towards Convergence? Revisiting Communication Disciplines, Theories and Concepts
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When: 05/24/2019
9:00 AM
Where: Washington Hilton Hotel
Washington, District of Columbia 
United States
Contact: Winni Johansen

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OrganizersHelle K. Aggerholm, Birte Asmuss, Finn Frandsen, Winni Johansen, Anne E. Nielsen, Christa Thomsen (Aarhus University), Cynthia Stohl (UCSB) & Maureen Taylor (University of Tennesee)

Contact: Anne Ellerup Nielsen; Winni Johansen

The deadline for submission of abstracts is extended to February 1st. We will notify our decisions as soon as possible and no later than end of February. Selected participants will have to submit an extended abstract or full paper by May 1st.

Price: 125 USD

Place: Washington-Hilton

DescriptionAre We Moving Towards Convergence? Revisiting communication disciplines, theories and concepts.Organizers: Anne Ellerup Nielsen, Birte Asmuß, Christa Thomsen, Finn Frandsen, Winni Johansen, Cynthia Stohl, and Maureen Taylor

Within the last two decades, communication scholars have been preoccupied with debating the intellectual boundaries between disciplines, theories and concepts, as well as the institutional legitimacy of the field as such. Some researchers have talked about ‘convergence’ (Zorn, 2002). Other researchers have talked about ‘bridging’ (Cornelissen & Christensen, 2011). Others again take a fresh approach promoting a new ‘interdisciplinary paradigm’; see International Journal of Strategic Communication, 12(4), 2018). The new thing about this debate is that it seems to take place both inside each discipline, but also across disciplines.The purpose of this pre-conference is not only to study this debate, but also to contribute to it. We therefore invite junior and senior scholars representing one or more of the following disciplines - organizational communication, public relations, business communication, corporate communication, and strategic communication – to submit an abstract. Questions addressed are among others:• Has the field of communication studies failed to define itself, its intellectual focus, in a coherent way as Durham Peters claimed in 1986 (and reformulated in 2008)?• Do we overstate the differences between disciplines, theories and concepts in our research?• Which boundaries or cross-overs do we see in communication disciplines today?• Would it be fruitful to overcome such disciplinary fragmentation?• How do we ‘bridge’ for example corporate and organizational communication, or public relations and corporate communication? • What can more ‘local’ debates, such as the debate about communication vs action, reputation vs relationship, and publics vs stakeholders, tell us about the development of our field?• How does convergence in communication disciplines contribute to shape how contemporary organizations come to see, manage, and evaluate their communication activities?• Can convergence help to solve one of the major concerns of modern organizations, i.e. that without coherence, integration, and consistency, messages can be misunderstood, and their audiences get conflicting or inconsistent meanings which, in the end, may cause confusion and distrust in what the organization offers or stands for?