The complex spirals of engagement and communication: A case study about the communicative roles of co-workers in a corporate incubator
Abstract: Recently, engagement and communication have started to be researched from a coworker-perspective. Yet, this study problematizes that most research in strategic communication and employee engagement still takes a managerial perspective and lacks critical and complex assessments. This case study therefore aims to analyze coworkers' perceptions of their communicative roles as team members, co-leaders and ambassadors and its communication challenges in a corporate incubator set in Sweden. Based on this, the study strives to understand how employee engagement is both a product and a producer of communication. The empirical material was collected in 15 semi-structured interviews throughout five weeks. Analyzing the findings with a meta-perspective of CCO (Communication Constitutes Organization), it was shown that coworkers perceive the communicative roles differently. More importantly, the results indicated that communication and engagement do not necessarily follow positive linear directions, but rather take complex turns shaped like spirals when studied with CCO. This study contributes with further understanding of how stronger engagement and professional autonomy can be products of both lengthy and limited communication, but also weak ambiguous results with no clear guidance. On the other hand, can employee engagement produce a high-qualitative communication but paradoxically distraction and information overload as well.
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