A fast-growing social media marketing company, TechCo encourages all of its employees to speak up. By promoting open dialogue across the corporate hierarchy, the firm has fostered a uniquely engaged workforce and an enviable capacity for change. Yet the path hasn't always been easy. TechCo has confronted a number of challenges, and its experience reveals the essential elements of bureaucracy that remain even when a firm sets out to discard them. Through it all, TechCo serves as a powerful new model for how firms can navigate today's rapidly changing technological and cultural climate. Catherine J. Turco was embedded within TechCo for ten months. The Conversational Firm is her ethnographic analysis of what worked at the company and what didn't. She offers multiple lessons for anyone curious about the effect of social media on the corporate environment and adds depth to debates over the new generation of employees reared on social media: Millennials who carry their technological habits and expectations into the workplace.
Marshaling insights from cultural and economic sociology, organizational theory, economics, technology studies, and anthropology, The Conversational Firm offers a nuanced analysis of corporate communication, control, and culture in the social media age.
Catherine J. Turco is the Theodore T. Miller Career Development Professor and associate professor of organization studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management. An ethnographer and economic sociologist, her work has appeared in the American Sociological Review and the American Journal of Sociology.
Preface Introduction 1. The Social Revolution 2. Open Communication 3. Open Control 4. Openness Controls 5. Open Culture 6. A Conversation About Bureaucracy 7. Conversational Spaces 8. The Conversational Firm: Implications for Theory 9. The Future of the Conversational Firm Methodological Appendix Acknowledgments Notes References Index