Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Management Communication Quarterly 21:1 (August 2007), pp. 75–79.

doi: 10.1177/0893318907302637


Copyright © 2007 Sage Publications. Used by permission.


We remain optimistic when we read, write, ask, and answer questions. When a journal comes across our desks, we select an article or two to peruse and hope the arguments will transform how we see things. We hope the work will inspire us, offer new ways of thinking about a salient issue or question, and foster edifying dialogue about lived problems. In short, we muse, how does this scholarship enable stakeholders to understand, feel, and grapple with the experiences being expressed? What does the research awaken or evoke in those who consume it? What paths does the scholarship carve? What possibilities are envisioned? Meanwhile, as scholars, we seek to theorize in ways that move people to meaningful reflections and actions. Rather than divorcing ourselves from the community at large, we strive to move beyond the academy and connect the stories of our discipline with the stories of people’s lives. This forum is inspired by a desire to understand (and model) how scholarship can weave its way more fully through and into the storied lives of others. Calls abound for civic or publicly responsible scholarship that speaks to the central and specific issues of communities. In fact, Prospect magazine annually identifies their top 100 public intellectuals, people who have shown distinction in their own discipline along with the ability to communicate ideas and foster dialogue outside of it. In this forum, we want to highlight the various ways in which organizational and management communication scholars understand and perform their roles as public intellectuals.