Organizational Communication

The study of organizational communication explores the communication processes by which individuals create, develop, and maintain voluntary, health, government, education, and for-profit groups and organizations. Students become familiar with the scholarship on leadership, decision making, culture, socialization, supervisor and peer communication, use of technology, and other topics. Students receive training in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods to be able to conduct research and complete a thesis or dissertation depending on their research interests.

The Department of Communication at the University of Oklahoma were sponsors of the 25th Anniversary Organizational Communication Mini Conference. We were pleased to continue this important tradition in the organizational communication field. You can learn more by visiting the website using this link.

Typical Graduate Level Course Offerings:

Comm 5333 Organizational Communication
Comm 5353 Conflict Management
Comm 5363 Communication and Technology
Comm 5375 Communication and Leadership
Comm 6233 Small Group Processes
Comm 6423 Communication in Health Organizations
Comm 6023 Communication Research Task Groups
Comm 6960 Directed Readings

Current Faculty with Research and/or Teaching Interests:

Michael Kramer
Claude Miller (Risk and Crisis Communication)
Ryan Bisel
James Olufowote
Sunny Lee
Justin Reedy (Small Group Communication)

Recent Dissertations in Organizational Communication:

Veronica (Yijia) Guo: Hidden Tensions: An Exploration of Multinational Company Employees’ Multiple Social Identities in the U.S. and China Defended June 2017)

Stacie Wilson Mumpower: Framing Leader Messages for Highly Reliable Organizing. (Defended December, 2016)

Michael K. Ault Giving Your All: Evaluating Changing Social Identities throughout the Assimilation Process in Full-life Volunteer Organizations. (Defended April, 2016)

Jacqueline S. Bruscella  Constructing organizational legitimacy transactionally: The communicative constitution of ISIL. (Defended April, 2016)

Carrisa S. Hoelscher Negotiating the tensions of collective change implementation. (Defended April, 2016)

Elissa N. Arterburn (Adame). Training organizational trainers to frame feedback: Mitigating face concerns and suppressing ego defensiveness. (Defended March, 2015)

Michael J. Tornes Finding the Big Picture: A Bona Fide Group Approach to Work Team Assimilation (Defended November, 2015)

Alaina C. Zanin. Concertive resistance: How organizational members resist collectively in the absence of resistance leadership. (Defended April, 2015)

Recent and Representative Faculty and Graduate Students

Publications in Organizational Communication:


Bisel, R. S. (2018). Organizational moral learning: A communication approach. New York: Routledge.

Kramer, M.W., & Bisel, R.S. (2017). Organizational communication: A lifespan approach. New York: Oxford.

Kramer, M.W., Lewis, L. K. & Gossett, L. M. (Eds). (2015). Volunteering and communication Volume II: Studies in intercultural and international contexts. New York: Peter Lang.

Mize Smith, J., & Kramer, M.W. (Eds.). (2015). Case studies of nonprofit organizations and volunteers. New York: Peter Lang.

Journal articles:

Adame, E. N., & Bisel, R. S. (online 2017). Can perceptions of an individual’s organizational citizenship behavior be influenced via strategic impression management messaging? International Journal of Business Communication. DOI: 10.1177/2329488415627355

Adame, E. A., Bisel, R. S., Kosik, E., & Rygaard, J. (in press). Training the anesthesiologist trainer: Enhancing the quality of feedback during human patient simulations. Health Communication.

Adame, B. J., & Miller, C. H. (2016) Vested interest: Developing scales for assessing flooding preparedness, Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 25, 282–297.

Adame, B. J. & Miller, C. H. (2015). Vested interest & disaster preparedness: Strategic campaign message design. Health Communication, 30, 271–281.

Adame, E. A., & Bisel, R. S. (2016). Can perceptions of an individual’s organizational citizenship behavior be influenced via strategic impression management messaging? International Journal of Business Communication. DOI: 10.1177/2329488415627355

Bisel, R. S., Barge, J. K., Dougherty, D. S., Lucas, K., & Tracy, S. J. (2015). A round-table discussion of “big” data in qualitative organizational communication research. Management Communication Quarterly.

Bisel, R. S., & Kramer, M.W. (2014). Denying what workers believe are unethical workplace requests: Do workers use moral, operational, or policy justifications publicly? Management Communication Quarterly, 28, 111-129.

Bisel, R. S., Kramer, M. W., & Banas, J. A. (2017). Scaling up to institutional entrepreneurship: A life history of an elite training gymnastics organization. Human Relations, 70, 410-435.

Bisel, R. S., Zanin, A., Rozzell, B., Baird, E., & Rygaard, J. (2016). Identity work in a prestigious occupation: Academic physicians’ local social constructions of distributive justice. Western Journal of Communication.

Hoelscher, C.S., Kramer, M.W., Nguyen, C., Cooper, O.D., & Day, E.A. (2017). Decision making and communication in a statewide interagency task force: An investigation of planned versus utilized processes. Management Communication Quarterly, 31, 39-68.

Hoelscher, C.S., Zanin, A. C., & Kramer, M. W. (2016). The role of values in alternative organizations: Examining organizational identification in farmers markets. Western Journal of Communication. 80, 481-501.

Kelley, K. M., & Bisel, R. S. (2014). Leaders’ narrative sensemaking during LMX role negotations: Explaining how leaders make sense of who to trust and when. Leadership Quarterly, 25, 433-448.

Kramer, M. W. (2017). Sage on the stage or bore at the board? Communication Education, 66, 245-247.

Kramer, M.W., & Danielson, M.A. (2017). Communication and role development for zoo volunteers: Responding to role-sending, role-making, and role-remaking. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 45, 96-115.

Kramer, M.W., & Danielson, M.A. (2016). Developing and re-developing volunteer roles: The case of ongoing assimilation of docent zoo volunteers. Management Communication Quarterly, 30, 103-120.

Kramer, M.W., Hoelsher, C.S., Nguyen, C., Day, E.A., & Cooper, O.D. (2017). Structuration processes in an interagency collaboration: Enabling and constraining participation and efficiency. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 45, 429-444.

Lee, S., Kim, H., & Piercy, C. W. (online 2016). The role of status differentials and homophily in the formation of social support networks in a voluntary organization. Communication Research. doi: 10.1177/0093650216641501

Meisenbach, R. J., & Kramer, M. W. (2014). Volunteer membership, identification, and identity in a community choir. Management Communication Quarterly, 28, 187-213.

Olufowote, J. O. (2017). An institutional field of people living with HIV/AIDS organizations in Tanzania: Agency, culture, dialogue, and structure. Frontiers in Communication [Health Communication section], 2, doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2017.00001

Olufowote, J. O. (2016). Identity constructions and inter-organizational collaboration: Islamic faith-based organizations and the polio vaccination stoppage in Northern Nigeria. Communication Quarterly. 64, 518-535.

Olufowote, J. O. (2015). Preparing future physicians in medical ethics: A tension-centered study of institutional and situational dualities. Communication Quarterly, 63, 254-271.

Olufowote, J. O. (2014). Virtue training in medical schools: The perspective of behavioral science course directors. Health Communication, 30, 361-370.

Olufowote, J. O., Aranda, J., Wang, G. E., & Liao, D. (2017). Advancing the New Communications Framework for HIV/AIDS: The communicative constitution of HIV/AIDS networks in Tanzania’s HIV/AIDS NGO sector. Studies in Media and Communication, 5, 79-92.

Olufowote, J. O. & Wang, G. E. (2016). Physician assimilation in medical schools: Dualisms of biomedical and biopsychosocial ideologies in the discourse of physician educators. Health Communication, 32, 684.

Piercy, C. & Kramer, M.W. (2017). Exploring dialectical tensions of leading volunteers in two community choirs. Communication Studies, 68, 208-226.

Tornes, M. J., & Kramer, M. W. (2015). The volunteer experience in temporary organizations: Volunteer role negotiation and identity in a popular culture conference. Communication Studies, 66, 590-606.

Zanin, A. C., Bisel, R. S., & Adame, E. N. (2016). Supervisor moral talk contagion and trust-in-supervisor: Mitigating the workplace moral mum effect. Management Communication Quarterly, 30, 147-163.

Zanin, C. A., & Bisel, R. S. (online 2017). Discursive positioning and collective resistance: How managers can unwittingly co-create team resistance. Management Communication Quarterly. DOI: 10.1177/0893318917717640

Zanin, A.C., Hoelscher, C.S., & Kramer, M.W. (2016). Extending symbolic convergence theory: A shared identity perspective of a team’s culture. Small Group Research, 47, 438-472.


Book Chapters:

Adame, B., & Miller, C. H. (in press). Risk perception and earthquake preparedness motivation: Predicting responses to a Cascadia Subduction Zone catastrophic event. In V. Fletcher & J. Lovejoy (Eds.), The really big one: Risk, health, and environmental communication. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

Bisel, R. S., & Zanin, A. (2016). Moral dissent in healthcare organizations. In E. A. Williams & T. Harrison (Eds.), Organization, Communication, and Health (pp. 119-133). New York: Routledge.

Homsey, D. M., & Bisel, R. S. (2016). Subtle meaning evolutions in the meanings of work in the Lebanese-American community. In S. S. Packer & E. Gabor (Eds.), Immigrants and the meanings of work: A global perspective. New York: Peter Lang.

Kramer, M. W., & Hoelscher, C. S. (2014). Promotions and transfers. In V.D. Miller & M. Gordon (Eds.), Meeting the challenge of human resource management: A communication perspective (pp. 64-75). New York: Routledge.

Kramer, M.W., & Lewis, L.K. (2015). Reflections and new directions on volunteering in international and intercultural contexts. In M.W. Kramer, L.K. Lewis, & L.M. Gossett (Eds), Volunteering and communication Volume II: Studies in intercultural and international contexts (pp. 295-305). New York: Peter Lang.

Kramer, M. W., & Miller, V. D. (2014). Socialization and assimilation: Theories, processes, and outcomes. In L. L. Putnam & D. K. Mumby (Eds.), The Sage handbook of organizational communication (pp. 525-547). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kramer, M.W., & Myers, K. K. (2014). Communication and work place socialization: A life-span examination of the work-life interface. In J. S. Nussbaum (Ed.), Handbook of life-span communication (pp. 253-271). New York: Peter Lange.

Kramer, M. W., & Sias, P. S. (2014). Interpersonal relationships and organizational communication. In C. R. Berger (Ed.) De Gruyter Mouton handbook of interpersonal communication (pp. 467-491). Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter.

 Recent Funding in Organizational Communication

Decision Making and Leadership in an Interagency Taskforce Collaboration: Funded (2015) by the U.S. National Safety Council. Awarded to Eric Day (Psychology) and Michael W. Kramer as Co-PIs. Carrisa Hoelscher, Christopher Nguyen, and Olivia Cooper, research assistants: $107,276.

Fostering community deliberation in Native American communities on the ethics and politics of genomic research and health care in tribal communities. Four-year funding (2016) by the NIH through the center of excellence at the University of Oklahoma and the Center on American Indian and Alaska Native Genomic Research, Awarded to Lead PI: P. Spicer, and Justin Reedy co-principal investigator (Lead PI: Spicer, P.; Co-PIs: Cobb-Greetham, A., Helton, T., Lewis, C., Reedy, J.; credit 20% per PI.) ($3,611,149).