Tessa Pfafman

322 Memorial Hall
(309) 298-1376

Dr. Tessa M. Pfafman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Western Illinois University. She primarily teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the department's organizational communication sequence. Her teaching focus is in organizational communication with a particular focus on power, social organizing, social identities, and social inequalities. She primarily teaches organizational communication and advanced organizational communication but also teaches small group communication, conflict communication, and rhetoric. She is currently developing a course on communicating social responsibility which focuses on globalization, environmental, and corporate social responsibility issues. Her epistemological expertise are in critical, qualitative, and rhetorical methods and she has expertise in communication theory.

Dr. Pfafman's research focuses on organizing, power, and organizational socialization. She has a particular interest in the relationship between organizing and society in terms of the influence of organizational discourses on social organization. Her research explores various forms of organizational rhetoric and critical / cultural studies of organizing, power, and socialization processes. She has numerous conference presentation and has published articles and book chapters on the use of spiritual rhetoric within organizational discourse, globalization, and conflict management.


Ph.D. in Communication, University of Missouri - 2007
M.A., in Professional Communication, Purdue University - 1998
B.A. in Speech Communication and English, Purdue University - 1994

Teaching Areas

Organizational Communication
Gender / Identity / Social Inequalities
Qualitative Research Methods
Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
Small Group Communication
Communicating Social Responsibility

Research Interests

Organizational Power
Organizational Socialization
Organizational Rhetoric
Critical / Cultural Studies of Organizing
Social Organizing
Social Inequalities


Tessa Pfafman