Conclusion and Outlook
This study has investigated the visibility of decision contingency in the project documentation practices of a multi-national consulting firm. The theoretical focus on the visibility of decisions and their contingency has been newly developed in this study. The issue’s relevance is twofold: In theoretical terms, recent advancements in both organizational communication studies (Taylor & van Every, 2000; McPhee & Zaug, 2000; Cooren & Fairhurst, forthcoming) and social systems theory (Luhmann, 2000; Nassehi, 2005; Seidl, 2006b) grasp organizations first and foremost as communicative phenomena. According to this view, organizations reproduce themselves by a continuous reproduction of decision communication. Consequently, the organization’s awareness of its own decision processes and their contingency becomes a basic precondition for accomplishing connectivity between communicative episodes over time. In practical terms, recent advancements in the field of CPL have put forth the learning value from failure rather than success (Edmondson, 1996; Starbuck & Baumard, 2005; Zhao & Olivera, 2006). According to this view, project organizations can avoid a repetitive re-invention of the wheel in new projects by becoming aware of mistakes made and alternatives considered in the past. Consequently, it is the contingency of past decision processes, defined as alternatives inherent to decisions, which is presumed to embed the highest learning value.
KeywordsOrganizational Communication Social System Theory Communication Study High Learning Recent Advancement
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