Welcome to Jim Taylor and Elizabeth Van Every's Website
Bienvenue au site web de Jim Taylor et Elizabeth Van Every

updated 02/10/13
mise à jour le 02/10/13


Articles, chapters


Biographical info

What we're working on

James R. (Jim) Taylor is Emeritus Professor of Communication at the Université of Montréal where he was founder of the Département de Communication in the early 1970s. He has been a longstanding contributor and active participant in the field of Organizational Communication.
In his research and writing Jim has focused on deepening our understanding of the complexity of organization and people's capacity, through an interplay of text and and conversation, to configure whole networks of relationships. Elizabeth Van Every is a sociologist/historian and has been a co-author with Jim on several research projects and books, including The Emergent Organization.
Since Jim's retirement in 1998 he and Elizabeth have been privileged to enjoy extended visits to universities internationally to work alongside with students and colleagues.
Writing continues to be a major occupation with latest results published in July, 2011 (see below).

Books on organizational communication

Since 1993 we have published six books on organizational communication, which form part of a developing theoretical perspective, sometimes characterized as "The Montreal School". The volumes have received favourable reviews from within both the field of organizational communication and related disciplines, and have sold internationally.

Our most recent publication (2011) is published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge). The Situated Organization: Case studies in the pragmatics of communication research is available from the publisher at www.routledge.com/9780415881685.

Co-authored with Université de Montréal colleague, François Cooren a book published in 2006 is entitled Communication as organizing: Empirical and theoretical explorations in the dynamic of text and conversation. it was awarded the best (edited) book prize in the Organizational Communication division, National Communication Association annual meeting, held in San Antonio, Texas, November, 2006. The book is available from the publisher, Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates.

Perhaps our best known book has been The Emergent Organization: Communication as its Site and Surface (2000), also published by Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates. In it we raise the question: What is organization?" arguing that it is through communication and the modality of language that the organization can be both local and global. Organization emerges in the mix of textual and conversational communicative acts that together construct organizational identity.

Jim's first foray into working out in book form a rationale for a communication theory of organization was Rethinking the Theory of Organizational Communication: How to Read an Organization (1993), Ablex Publishing. Based on findings from his extensive experience and research into the management of large scale organizations, he argued for a new paradigm of organization grounded in communication. The organization is "authored", he suggested, and a communication analysis must develop ways to read it.

The book is out of print, but available in libraries.

Very much related to our explorations of organizational process, we have participated in studies of the implementation of communication technology in both the private and public spheres. Since the late 1980s, organizations have invested massively and rapidly in technological ventures. Yet as one study after another has demonstrated, the results have often failed to live up to expectations, prompting users to ask why the technology does not work the way it was supposed to.

In The Vulnerable Fortress (1993) published by University of Toronto Press we suggested that this failure may have had something to do with the nature of bureaucratic organization itself, where established modes of administration and managerial authority are threatened by information and communication technologies. Rather than acting as a buttress, the technologies become both an opportunity and a trap, and if such is the case, require us to radically rethink our ideas about management and how it works.

Also exploring the relation between communication technology and organization, The Computerization of Work , was co-authored with Université de Montréal colleagues Groleau and Heaton and published in 2001 by Sage It too addresses the question of why the results of the computerization of organizational communication processes have so often been disappointing. A communicational explanation is developed, with reference to theories of sensemaking and agency and examples from organizational field studies.

For more information, you can contact us at: jr.taylor@umontreal.ca

Pour plus d'information vous pourrez nous rejoindre au: jr.taylor@umontreal.ca

©2006. Taylor and Van Every. All rights reserved.