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Communications Environment and its Relationship to Organizational Structure


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  • David W. Conrath

    (University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)

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    This paper is concerned with the relationships between modes of communication, the communication environment and organizational structure. This is a very neglected area of organizational analysis, which is surprising considering the possible implications of such relationships. A framework is presented within which the above relationships can be identified and studied. Field research methodology is essential to the effort and is discussed in some detail, along with the associated problems of measure and measurement of organizational communications behaviour and organizational structure. An empirical study is described, and some initial propositions tested. Distance appears to be a dominant factor in the mode of communication chosen, and it strongly influences the association of formal structural relations with modes of communication. Such conclusions are tentative, however, as we are describing an on-going research effort.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 20 (1973)
    Issue (Month): 4-Part-II (December)
    Pages: 586-603

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:20:y:1973:i:4-part-ii:p:586-603

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    Cited by:
    1. Cramton, Catherine Durnell & Webber, Sheila Simsarian, 2005. "Relationships among geographic dispersion, team processes, and effectiveness in software development work teams," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 758-765, June.
    2. Sosa, Manuel E., 2003. "Factors that influence technical communication in distributed product development : an empirical study in the telecommunications industry," Working papers WP 4123-00., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    3. Jessica G. Lambert & Gail P. Lambert, 2011. "Predicting the Psychological Response of the American People to Oil Depletion and Declining Energy Return on Investment (EROI)," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(11), pages 2129-2156, November.


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