Gidden’s structuration theory vs. Taylor’s theory of text and conversation.

Structuration theory as developed by Gidden’s distinguishes between systems such as small groups and structures the practices rules, norms and other resources the system makes use of to work and continue existing.  Small groups are viewed as the products of structures and also produce structures themselves.

Members of the small group must follow rules that lead to the production of some sort of outcome and that outcome will eventually influence the group’s future interactions. Structuration refers to the very processes the group member’s employ. The focus goes beyond the group as a whole and places emphasis on the structuration process itself in which group members negotiate group structures and procedures based on their efficacy.

However, to date structuration theory has not provided a way of predicting what structures will be the result of what circumstances. Also, as group structures continue evolving it is difficult to identify which structural changes occurred and when they occurred when observing day-to-day interactions.

Taylor’s theory of text and conversation is not focused on the small group that come from structures or the structures developed by small groups it takes aim at explaining organizational communication within itself and stemming from the organization to the outside. The organization is seen as not being objective and is not less real but not real in the material sense. Text is defined, as the content of interaction or what is being said in interaction and conversation is the communicative interaction itself. The process takes place in progressive stages of translation from text to conversation, from conversation to text and from text and conversation to organizational communication. While this process of communication may take place within the structuration of small groups it is not a process or phenomena that defines the same observations.

Both theories reveal an internal process within a group and the internal development of communication and the recursive relationship between interaction and structure and the tension between enablement and constraint.

The interview process is typically one that has resulted from the structuration of a small group created within the organizational structure. (i.e. recruiting team or HR department). The specific process job opening, job requirements, application screening, candidate interviews and candidate selection has developed and changed as the small group overseeing it has evolved and found more efficient or beneficial ways of conducting this process. The actual interview itself will be guided by a series of questions that have been agreed upon by the structuration process and will yield answers and information from the candidate that best allows the person interviewing to ascertain if that candidate is the most appropriate for them.

As the interview process itself is underway the conversation being held is representative of the text and conversation theory as the content being shared in the conversation is the text. The questions asked are translated from text to conversation and the interviewee responses are then translated from conversation to text and so forth. While the processes involved not directly linked they are complimentary to the continued communication and development of the small group and the organization as whole.

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