The prevalence of communication. A case study in the communication history of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
Keywords:organisational communication, International Labour Organisation (ILO), internationalisation, labour and social policy
Organisations are – as communication studies know – constituted through communication. Against this theoretical background, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which was founded in 1919 after the end of the First World War as a sub-organisation of the League of Nations, is examined here. It came into being in the course of the Versailles peace negotiations with the aim of harmonising the rules and standards of labour internationally and creating common standards for this purpose. The primary function of the ILO was to collect and disseminate information and communication on labour conditions in the world in order to adopt conventions and make recommendations on the basis of this information (e.g., on daily working hours, night work, women’s and children’s work, etc.). The external constitution and the internal structure of the organisation were designed for this. The prevalence of the ILO’s communication is also confirmed by the considerable communication costs and the wide range of communication instruments it used. Methodologically, this is a hermeneutic examination of the sources produced by the ILO in the process of its foundation and establishment. The organisation documented and archived its activities extensively from the beginning.
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