Document Type

Article

Publication Date

April 2020

Abstract

This article centers marginal organizational actors—the disenfranchised of the Global South—to remedy their theoretical erasure and disrupt the Anglo-American grand narrative of organizational communication. This task is urgent amidst discussions of decolonization and whiteness in the discipline. We reengage Western theory on liquidity, hereby conceptualized as shape-shifting and adaptive organizing, moving like a liquid at the margins. We draw on fieldworks in Nigeria and Liberia to unearth three properties of liquidity in postcolonial contexts: motion, solvency, and permeability. Motion refers to movement, solvency refers to the ability to dissolve into one’s surroundings, and permeability refers to organizing that infiltrates life and vice versa. This article bears three theoretical contributions. First, it provides a blueprint to dislodge Eurocentric biases (Anglo-American) in organizational communication theory. Second, it models what decolonizing theory may look like. Finally, it provides more complex, nuanced, and inclusive theoretical accounts of liquidities in global landscapes.

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