To give or not to give – voice to employees in the employee magazine

Peter Kastberg, Marianne Grove Ditlevsen

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/konference proceedingKonferenceabstrakt i proceedingForskningpeer review


Modern day corporations are becoming the primary places where employees (and with them citizens) develop their identities. Various aspects of this increasing so-called corporate colonization of our life worlds (Deetz, 1992) have been investigated by scholars from within the field of critical organizational communication. Nevertheless, core theoretical aspects and substantial empirical expressions remain under-researched. In this paper, we isolate and investigate the phenomenon of voice in an instance of strategic corporate journalism (Kounalakis et al., 1999). More specifically, we describe and critically discuss voice as a managerial means with which to mold employee identity formation. We begin by establishing a theoretical framework where we, against a background of critical organizational communication theory, integrate research-agenda relevant schools of thought. The theoretical aggregation underlying this paper is comprised of presentations and discussions of select cross sections of voice research literatures (e.g. Logan & Tindall, 2018), paired with an adherence to a communication-as-constitutive approach to identity formation (e.g. Taylor & Coreen, 1997; Alvesson and Willmott, 2002). Empirically, we conduct in-depth investigations into the discursive construction of voicers in an issue of G Magazine, the employee magazine of the Grundfos Group. This research design allows us to empirically document a number of major findings: That who has a voice in the magazine is strictly regulated; what an actor is allowed to give voice to equally so; and that the amount of space allocated for any given voicer as well as the distribution of voicers over the course of the magazine is indicative of the stipulated strategic importance.

Keywords: Identity Formation, Corporate Journalism, Construction of Voicers

Alvesson, M. & Willmott, H. (2002). Identity regulation as organizational control: Producing the appropriate individual. Journal of Management Studies 39, (5). 619-644.
Deetz, S. A. (1992). Democracy in an age of corporate colonization: developments in communication and the politics of everyday life. New York: State University of New York Press.
Kounalakis, M., Banks, D. & Daus, K. (1999). Beyond Spin: The Power of Strategic Corporate Journalism. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Logan, N. & Tindall, N. (2018). Voice. In Heath, R.L. & Johansen, W. (Eds.). The International Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication, John Wiley & Sons.
Taylor, J.R. & Coreen, F. (1997). What makes communication ”organizational”? How the many voices of a collectivity become one voice of an organization. Journal of Pragmatics, 27, 409- 438
TitelThe Dark Side of Organizational Socialization : Book of Abstracts
StatusUdgivet - 2021
BegivenhedThe Dark Side of Organizational Socialization -
Varighed: 11 nov. 2021 → …


KonferenceThe Dark Side of Organizational Socialization
Periode11/11/2021 → …