Thesis Title

Voicing Our Concerns and Being Heard: Social Service Employees' Communication Experiences of Crisis

Date of Graduation

Spring 2004

Degree

Master of Arts in Communication

Department

Communication

Committee Chair

Charlene Berquist

Keywords

communication, crisis, social services, identity, emotion

Subject Categories

Communication

Abstract

Research on organizational crisis has consistently ignored internal factors in managing a crisis event (Adams & Roebuck, 1997). This project explored the impact of organizational crisis on employees at a social service agency in the Midwest. Using system and turning-point perspectives, participants were surveyed through quantitative and qualitative means to understand the impact of organizational crisis on employees. Secondary issues of emotional labor and organizational and professional identity were also explored. Results of the study show that voice in organizational reactions to crisis events is a pivotal aspect in understanding the emotional experience of organizational crisis. Additionally participants indicated they were stigmatized by internal and external forces. Conclusions of the study suggest that work identities need to be redefined after crisis events.

Copyright

© Rachel M. Deibert

Citation-only

Dissertation/Thesis

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