Forum Introduction: Promoting the Field Through Organizational Communication Pedagogy

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Organizational communication scholars have frequently discussed ways to promote the field by making communicative approaches to organization more useful and meaningful for scholars, organizational participants, and our communities. For instance, a 2002 Management Communication Quarterly (MCQ) forum discussed ways to translate our scholarship into meaningful practice by extending our research to a wider variety of audiences (Trethewey, 2002). Furthermore, a 2005 MCQ forum reflected on the “golden era” of the 1980s (Barker, 2005) and how the field can continue to progress by developing “distinctive theory that responds to pressing interdisciplinary problems in unique ways” (Kuhn, 2005, p. 626). And a 2007 MCQ forum discussed how we can promote the field by moving beyond the traditional boundaries of our scholarship and partnering with various publics to address important issues facing our communities (Krone & Harter, 2007). Although these forums provided useful insights into how we can enhance the relevance of communicative approaches to organization, explicit discussion as to how our undergraduate teaching can enhance the legitimacy and relevance of the field has been largely absent from these conversations. As such, this forum explores how our pedagogical approaches can increase the influence of organizational communication by better aligning our distinct theoretical perspectives, research findings, and applied practices with our undergraduate teaching.