The communication that
takes place in an organization is an important influence in the
success of that organization. Therefore, a good book on organizational
communication can be a valuable resource for all kinds of students-managers
who want to be effective communicators, as well as academic students
who want to understand how organizations work. Phil Clampitt has
written such a book.
Over the years, I have
evaluated a number of manuscripts offered to various publishers,
and many of them have good coverage of rather standard materials
that are commonly covered about organizational communication. What
Phil Clampitt has done, however, is to write a book that is original
What strikes me most
about his work is its freshness. The quotations that begin each
chapter are not typical organizational literature; they demonstrate
how well read Phil Clampitt is and how this breadth of resources
have led him to think about organizational life in some innovative
ways. He also demonstrates great originality in the way that he
uses metaphor to explain how communication works. For example, although
I love to dance, I would never have thought of using dance as a
metaphor for the way organizational communication works. Yet, Clampitt
does so in a convincing way. Furthermore, he is able to coin new
phrases that are rich in explanatory power.
I also like the way
Clampitt makes this book a statement of his theory about organizational
communication. It is not merely a report on the research about a
topic. He includes basic propositions and clarifies some of his
basic assumptions. He also makes a major addition by describing
some common problem areas and then telling his reader "what
to do" about them. Finally, he adds some important areas that
are often overlooked. His work with communication audits has prompted
him to add chapters on facilitating boundary spanning and cultivating
an innovative spirit.
One of the great rewards
of being a university professor is being able to watch exceptional
graduate students become major contributors to one's discipline.
Phil Clampitt is doing this with his book. There are many gems in
these chapters, and I am delighted to recommend it.
University of Kansas