Title

Power and communication in worker cooperatives: An overview

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Technical Writing and Communication

Volume

47

Issue

3

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Publication Date

7-1-2017

First Page

260

Last Page

279

DOI

10.1177/0047281616641921

Abstract

Technical communication research has critically engaged with organizational trends toward flattened organizations like networks, horizontal arrangements, and adhocracies, assemblages that hybridize top-down management in favor of autonomous groups. There has been no engagement with a related but distinct trend: worker cooperatives. Co-ops promise similar advantages but are distinct as they claim to deliver what flat organizations promise: access to governance, empowerment, and autonomy. In this article, I survey literature on flattened organizations, apply technical communication theory to account for cooperative communication, and conclude with an analysis from a qualitative study at a cooperative site.

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