Organizational Membership Negotiation of Boundary Spanners: Becoming a Competent Jack of All Trades and Master of.. Interactional Expertise

Da Jung Woo, Karen K. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Organizations hire in-house communication professionals to maximize efficiency in managing information and stakeholder relationships across various internal and external boundaries. The boundary-spanning aspect of in-house communication professionals’ job has the potential to shape their membership negotiation (MN, that is, ongoing communication processes through which individuals develop meanings of their organizational participation) in important ways that differ from the experiences of those who become integrated into a workgroup or domain with a well-defined boundary. Drawing on 30 in-depth interviews with communication professionals employed at public sector organizations, this study explores key characteristics and challenges of their boundary-spanning roles and how they negotiated meanings of their membership as they navigated the challenges. Based on the findings, the authors propose a novel conceptual model of boundary spanners’ MN, future research directions, and pragmatic implications for employers of boundary-spanning members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-120
Number of pages36
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

Keywords

  • boundary spanners
  • communication professionals
  • expertise
  • membership negotiation
  • organizational assimilation
  • organizational socialization

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