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North Castle Books

Catalytic Conversations: Organizational Communication and Innovation
Authored by: Ann C. Baker

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Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-1280-9 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-1281-6
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Information: 208pp. 20 figures, references, index.
Publication Date: November 2009.  


Description: In today's increasingly globalized world, it is essential that people of diverse ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds learn to work together and communicate effectively. This book offers a breakthrough approach to recognizing that differences among people are resources for organizations to tap as they strive to anticipate change and adapt rapidly in an unpredictable world.

Catalytic Conversations provides a conceptual framework for understanding how complex communication patterns of social networks influence, and are influenced by, organizational structures. It discusses how to enhance the quality and viability of groups and organizational life by paying attention to how people talk--and do not talk--to each other. The book distinguishes between conversations that support organizational enhancement and others that inhibit innovation, and explores the complexity of organizational communication in detail.

Selected Contents:

Part I
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Organizing and Innovating Through Conversations
Chapter 3: Catalytic Conversations in Complex, Emergent Environments
Chapter 4: Diverse Perspectives for Generative Change

Part II
Chapter 5: Constructive Controversy and Intentional Conversation
Chapter 6: The Conversational Environment: Help or Hindrance
Chapter 7: Complementary Technologies for Catalytic Conversations
Chapter 8: Reflection as Movement
Chapter 9: What's in a Story?

Part III
Chapter 10: The Dynamics of Organizational Change and Innovation

About the Author

Comment(s): "Reinforcing time-tested knowledge that communication is the most valuable resource in group, organizational and societal life, Ann Baker's new book, Catalytic Conversations: Organizational Communication and Innovation, builds on her previous work. Her latest book provides us with practical ways to intentionally create 'good conversations' in our organizations and everyday life. It describes how to create hospitable conversational spaces that allow us to embrace and explore differences for productive gain and insight. This new book provides us with both conceptual frameworks for understanding how differences can be vital resources to catalyze innovation and substantial learning, and it provides a range of concrete ways to encourage these kinds of interactions in group and organizational settings." -- David A. Kolb, Case Western Reserve University

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