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Communicating/Organizing for Reliability, Resilience, and Safety: Special Issue at Corporate Communications

Joshua Barbour


UPDATE 2 (March 28, 2017): The deadline for submissions has been extended to April 15th.

UPDATE 1 (February 20, 2017): Corporate Communication's manuscript central portal has been updated for the special issue. Submitters should select the special issue in Step 4: Details and Comments (e.g., "Please select the issue you are submitting to...Communicating/Organizing for Reliability, Resilience, and Safety"). The call should be posted here soon too.


I am excited to be involved in this special issue at Corporate Communications: An International Journal. Editor-in-Chief Timothy Coombs has made space for a special issue focused on Communicating/Organizing for Reliability, Resilience, and Safety. The deadline is April 1, 2017, and the full call maybe found here: RRS Special Issue

The guest editors are Professors Patrice M. Buzzanell, William J. Kinsella, Keri K. Stephens, and me, and we are looking for diverse submissions that bring a communication lens to the study of the organizational and interorganizational systems that people depend upon to manage safety in a risky world. Personally, I am particularly excited by the opportunity to create conversations between scholarship focused on organizations as producers of communication and organizations as constituted of communication. Building on the the International Communication Association 2016 Remembering, Regulating, and Resilience Preconference, this special issue invites submissions that address these sorts of questions: 

  1. What does or what could the communicative accomplishment of reliability, resilience, and safety entail?
  2. How does a communication perspective necessitate a reconceptualization of terms like reliability, resilience, and/or safety?  
  3. How are reliability, resilience, and/or safety intertwined?
  4. How do micro-, meso-, or macrosocial communicative action and the work practices they comprise contribute to, undermine, and constitute reliability, resilience, and/or safety?
  5. How do processes typically conceptualized as inside organizations (e.g., regulatory oversight) interact with processes typically conceptualized as outside organizations (e.g., policy making)?
  6. How does public and institutional memory of disaster (e.g., Bhopal, Chernobyl, Love Canal, Exxon Valdez, Deepwater Horizon) enable and constrain the communicative accomplishment of reliability, resilience, and safety?
  7. What tensions and tradeoffs characterize organizational enactments of reliability, resilience, and safety?
  8. How and to what degree are conceptualizations of resilience, reliability, and safety related to local, national, ethnic, organizational, and professional cultures?
  9. How are conceptualizations of resilience, reliability, and safety entrained into careers, occupations, and professions?
  10. How do people engage in and negotiate reliability, resilience, and safety expertise in team, organizational, and/or interorganizational engagements?
  11. How can resilience, reliability, and safety be cultivated at and across multiple levels of human experience simultaneously?
  12. How can research in this domain inform the design of communicative interventions?
  13. How might research in this domain have a positive influence on policy making?
  14. How do questions of justice, equity, and democracy play out around issues of resilience, reliability, and safety?

Feel free to contact us if you have questions, and please consider submitting!