Communicative Rules and Organizational Decision Making.

This article suggests that managerial awareness of ordinarily unconscious communicative rules (and how these rules potentially influence decision-making processes) might help managers to be more intentional about their communicative choices and may therefore lead to better decisions. The article explores the impact of communicative rules on decision-making processes using the retrospective discourse surrounding the decision to launch the space shuttle Challenger as an example case. Communicative rules may have played a part in the course of the eve of the launch debate over whether to launch the Challenger. Four potential communicative rules are identified using quotations from the presidential hearing transcripts. Being aware of communicative rules may be especially important in decision-making situations because it can enable one to make conscious choices concerning communicative behavior instead of unconsciously following intuitive social norms–norms that might have undesirable along with unintended results. Keywords: decision making; Challenger; organizational communication; communicative rules

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