Navigating among islands of certainty: Coordinating as communicative practices of temporary organizations experiencing crisis

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Abstract

This research explores temporary organizing in crisis. Recognizing crises in temporary organizations as involving the existential loss of meaning for plans and prospects, we present a qualitative study of the complex negotiation between integration and fragmentation of a temporary organization experiencing crisis. Embracing communication as constitutive of organization (CCO) theorizing, we analyse the real-time, digital communication during the crisis as episodes of temporary organizing. Our analysis reveals three interdependent communicative practices for coordinating—framing, co-creating, and connecting— that constitute “islands of certainty” or ephemeral instances of integration providing orientation for otherwise fragmented coordinating. These findings contribute to understanding coordinating as a sophisticated communicative practice of meaning negotiation about the possible future of a temporary organization in crisis. Specifically, this study reveals increased integration communication when the integrity of a project’s future is contested, yet high degrees of communicative fragmentation when there is a shared prospection of the project’s future.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer102540
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Project Management
Vol/bind41
Udgave nummer8
ISSN0263-7863
DOI
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2023

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