Skip Navigation

Organizational Communication

Skip Side Navigation

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

Ryan Bisel
Claude Miller (Risk and Crisis Communication)
James Olufowote
Justin Reedy (Small Group Communication)
Michael Kramer (Professor Emeritus)
Yaguang Zhu

Recent Dissertations in Organizational Communication

Jasmine T. Austin: Realistic Organizational Reviews (ROPs) during the offer consideration period: A comparison of candidate responses to absent, explicit, and implicit race-related recruitment messaging from organizational recruiters. (Defended December, 2019).

Ellen M. Buettner: Communication Confidence in Confronting Unethical Behavior: Scale Development and Validation. (Defended June, 2020).

Tianna Cobb: A Black Women Religious Leader’s Perspective: Destigmatizing Mental Health Within Black Churches. (Defended July, 2021).

Marisa Flores: Finding Power in Politeness: Identifying Competent and Courageous Social Justice Advocacy in the Organization. (Defended November, 2022)

Natalie C. Daugherty: Framing Up Workplace Compassion: The Role of Leaders' Prosocial Framing in Coworkers' Intention to Provide Social Support. (Defended April 2019).

Britney N. Gilmore: Gender Identity and Prototypes in Caring Professions: The Role of Communication in Identity Work and Career Development. (Defended July, 2020).

William T. Howe, Jr.: The Development and Validation of a Measure to Assess Military Veteran’s Contempt for Civilian Communication (VCCC). (Defended June, 2020).

Katherine Ann Rush: “She Takes Rest As Seriously As Working: How Resilient Professional Caregivers Think about and Practice Rest. (Defended, March 2023).

Pavitra Kavya: Meta Advice: Training Organizational Members to Practice Advice Seeking with Their Immediate Supervisor. (Defended July, 2020).

Arden C. Roeder: Communicating for Resilience: A Longitudinal Study of Processes for Managing Organizational Disruption. (Defended October, 2021).

Josh Watson: Adopting and Resisting Evidence-Based Calls for Change: Discursive Resources in Organizational Responses to Institutional Pressures. (Defended March 2019).

Mizuki Wyant: Perceptions of trust, trust building, and maintenance between Japanese expatriates and U.S. host nationals in a multinational corporation. (Defended 2022)


Recent Representative Faculty and Graduate Students: Publications in Organizational Communication

Bisel, R. S. & Bisel, D. L. (2023). Organizational constitution in entrepreneurship: Movable type. Routledge.

Kramer, M.W., & Bisel, R.S. (2021). Organizational communication: A lifespan approach (2nd ed). New York: Oxford. 

Bisel, R. S., & Kramer, M. W. (Eds.). (2019). Case studies in organizational communication: A lifespan approach. Oxford.

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


Adame, E. N., & Bisel, R. S. (2019). Can perceptions of an individual’s organizational citizenship behavior be influenced via strategic impression management messaging? International Journal of Business Communication, 56, 7-30.

Adame, E. A., Bisel, R. S., Kosik, E., & Rygaard, J. (2019). Training the anesthesiologist trainer: Enhancing the quality of feedback during human patient simulations. Health Communication, 34, 638-643.

Atouba, Y., Dempsey, S.E., Koschmann, M.A., Kramer, M. W., McAllum, K., McNamee, L.G., & Peterson, B. L. (2021). Forum: The foundations and future of NPVO communication scholarship. Management Communication Quarterly, 35, 445-460. doi.10.1177/08933189211012023

Austin, J. T., & Bisel, R. S. (2022). The influence of colorblind and race-acknowledged organizational socialization messages during offer consideration. International Journal of Business Communication.

Austin, J. T., Wallace, B. S., Gilmore, B. N., & Bisel, R. S. (2020). The micro-skills of communication design work: An academic team's development of sensebreaking messages. Communication Studies, 71, 239-314.

Banas, J. A., Bisel, R. S., Kramer, M. W., & Massey, Z. (2019). "The serious business of instructional humor outside the classroom: A study of elite gymnastics coaches’ uses of humor during training." Journal of Applied Communication Research, 47, 628-647.

Barrett, A., Ford, J., & Zhu, Y. (2021). Sending and receiving safety and risk messages in hospitals: An exploration into providers’ perceived communication overload. Health Communication. 36(13), 1697-1708. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2020.1788498

Bisel, R. S., & Adame, E. A. (2019). Encouraging upward ethical dissent in organizations: The role of deference to embodied expertise. Management Communication Quarterly, 33, 139-159.

Bisel, R. S., Kavya, P., & Tracy, S. J. (2020). Positive deviance case selection (PDCS) as a method for organizational communication: A rationale, how-to, and illustration. Management Communication Quarterly, 34, 279-296.

Bolino, M. C., Flores, M. L., Kelemen, T. K., & Bisel, R. S. (2022). May I please go the extra mile?: Citizenship communication strategies and their effect on individual initiative OCB, work-family conflict, and partner satisfaction. Academy of Management Journal.

Ford, J. L., Zhu, Y., Barrett, A. K. (2022). Structurational divergence, safety climate, and intentions to leave: An examination of health care workers’ experiences of abuse. Communication Monographs, 89, 1–24. doi: 10.1080/03637751.2021.1900886  

Gilmore, B., & Kramer, M. W. (2019). We are who we say we are: Teachers’ shared identity in the workplace. Communication Education, 68, 1-19.

Guo, Y., Lee, S.K., & Kramer, M.W. (online August 2021). We work in international companies: Affordances of communication media in Chinese employees’ organizational socialization. Communication Studies,

Howe, W. T., & Bisel, R. S. (2024). Veteran contempt for civilian communication scale: Development and validation. Management Communication Quarterly.

Hiratsuka, V., Beans, J., Blanchard, J., Reedy, J., Blacksher, E., Lund, J., Spicer, P. (2020) An Alaska Native community’s views on genetic research, testing, and return of results: Results from a public deliberation. PloS one. 15(3): e0229540.  

Hiratsuka, V., Beans, J., Reedy, J., Yracheta, J., Peercy, M., Saunkeah, B., Woodbury, R., O’Leary, M., Spicer, P. (2019). Fostering Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) Research in Tribal Communities: The Center for the Ethics of Indigenous Genomic Research. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics.

Howe, W. T., & Bisel, R. S. (2020). Third-party online organizational reviews: Explaining review-and-rating patterns of the United States military and large corporate organizations. Computers in Human Behavior Reports, 1, 1-8,

Kramer, M.W., Austin, J.T., & Hansen, G.J. (online June 2021). Toward a model of the influence of motivation and communication on volunteering: Expanding self-determination theory. Management Communication Quarterly.

Kramer, M. W., Nguyen, C., Day, E. A., Hoelscher, C. S., & Cooper, O. D. (2019). Leadership in an interorganizational collaboration: A qualitative study of a statewide interagency taskforce. Human Relations, 72, 397-419.

Kramer, M. W., Lee, S. K., & Guo, Y. (2019). Using communication technology to manage uncertainty during organizational assimilation: Information seeking and giving. Western Journal of Communication, 83, 304-325. 

Lee, S., Kramer, M.W., & Guo, Y. (2019). Social media affordances in entry-level employees’ socialization: Employee agency in the management of their professional impressions and vulnerability during early stages of socialization. New Technology, Work, & Employment, 34(3), 244-261.

Millender, L., Bisel, R. S., & Zanin, A. C. (2024). Why do employees choose defensive silence?: How concerns with formal powerholders undermine self-efficacy to dissent. Communication Research Reports.

Olufowote, J. O., Adebayo, C. T., Livingston, D. J., & Wilson, K. K. (in press). An alternative entry point into health communication research: Introspections on learning, applying, and future uses of PEN-3. In C. O. Airhihenbuwa & J. Iwelunmor (Eds.), Health, culture, and place: From the tree to the forest.

Olufowote, J. O. (2021). Taking culture and context seriously: Advancing health communication research on HIV/AIDS prevention in Tanzania with the PEN-3 cultural model. Howard Journal of Communications, 32(4), 394-412.

Olufowote, J. O., & Livingston, D. J. (2021). The excluded voices from Africa’s Sahel: Alternative meanings of health in narratives of resistance to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in northern Nigeria. Health Communication. Advance online publication.

Park, C.H., Richards, R.C., & Reedy, J. (2022). Assessing Emergency Information Sharing between the Government and the Public during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Open Government Perspective. Public Performance & Management Review, 45(4), 828-859.

Piercy, C., & Zhu, Y. (2020). Transactive memory and the job search: Finding expertise and influence in socio-technical networks. Western Journal of Communication, 85(2), 230–252. doi: 10.1080/10570314.2020.1761994

Ploeger-Lyons, N. A., & Bisel, R. S. (2022). Confronting idea stealers in the workplace: The unfortunate moral credentialing granted to power-holders. International Journal of Business Communication.

Reedy, J., Blanchard, J., Lund, J., Byers, C., Peercy, M., Saunkeah, B., Spicer, P., Blacksher, E. (2020). Deliberations about Genomic Research and Biobanks with Citizens of the Chickasaw Nation. Frontiers in Genetics11, 466. 

Riforgiate, S.E., & Kramer, M.W. (2021). The assimilation process and work/life balance (pp. 1-16). Sustainability, 13, 5993.

Roeder, A. C., Bisel, R. S., & Howe, W. (2021). High reliability organizing and communication during naturalistic decision making: National Weather Service (NWS) forecasting teams’ use of “floating.” Journal of Applied Communication Research.

Roeder, A. C., Bisel, R. S., & Morrissey, B. S. (2020). Weathering the financial storm: A professional forecaster team’s domain diffusion of resilience, Communication Studies, 72, 1-16.

Roeder, A., & Bisel, R. S. (2024). Managing disruption(s) at work: A longitudinal study of communicative resilience and high-reliability organizing. Communication Monographs.

Rountree, J., Anderson, C., Reedy, J., Nowlin, M. (2022). The Internal Dynamics of Scaling Up Deliberative Mini-Publics. Communication and the Public (published online ahead of print).

Scott, A. L., Howe, W., & Bisel, R. S. (2022). Reviewing high reliability team (HRT) scholarship: A 21st century approach to safety. Small Group Research.

Tornes, M.J., & Kramer, M.W. (online July 2021). A multi-level analysis of role negotiation: A bona fide group approach to work team socialization. Management Communication Quarterly.

Trujillo-Falcón, J. E., Reedy, J., Klockow-McClain, K. E., Berry, K. L., Stumpf, G. J., Bates, A. V., & LaDue, J. G. (2022). Creating A Communication Framework for FACETs: How Probabilistic Hazard Information Affected Warning Operations in NOAA’s Hazardous Weather Testbed. Weather, Climate, and Society, 14(3), 881-892.

Zanin, A. C., & Bisel, R. S. (2019). Concertive resistance: How teams can resist in the absence of resistance leadership. Culture & Organization, 26(3), 231-249.

Wang, T., Carte, T., & Bisel, R. S. (2020). Negativity decontaminating: Communication media affordances for emotion regulation strategies. Information & Organization, 30, 1-26.

Wyant, M.H., & Kramer, M.W. (online July 2021). “They are nothing more than his spies on the floor.”: Local employees’ sensemaking and interpretation of expatriates’ roles and responsibilities. Management Communication Quarterly.

Zanin, A. C., & Bisel, R. S. (2020). Concertive resistance: How teams can resist in the absence of resistance leadership. Culture & Organization, 26(3), 231-249.

Zanin, A. C., & Bisel, R. S. (2023). Structurational divergence, implicit orientations to active followership, and employees’ selection of upward dissent strategies. Management Communication Quarterly.

Bisel, R. S., Fairhurst, G. T., & Sheep, M. (2022). CCO theory and leadership. In T. Kuhn, & N. Bencherki (Eds.), Routledge handbook of the communicative constitution of organizations.

Bisel, R. S., & Rush, K. A. (2021). Communicating in organizations. In Oxford research encyclopedia of psychology.

Bisel, R. S., Fairhurst, G. T., & Sheep, M. (2021). CCO theory and leadership. In T. Kuhn, & N. Bencherki (Eds.), Routledge handbook of the communicative constitution of organizations.

Bruscella, J. S., & Bisel, R. S. (2019). Transactional constitution: ISIS' cooptation of Western discourse. The media world of ISIS, (pp. 223-245). Indiana University Press.

Lee, Y., Dunbar, N., Miller, C. H., Bessarabova, E., Jensen, M., Wilson, S. N., Elizondo, J., Burgoon, J., & Valacich, J. (2021). Mitigating bias and improving professional decision-making through digital game play. In J. Raessens, B. Schouten, J. Jansz, T. De la Hera Conde-Pumpido, M. Kors, & R. Jacobs (Eds.), Persuasive Gaming in Context. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press.

Kramer, M.W., & Zanin, A.C. (2022). Qualitative methods for studying group communication. In S.J. Beck, J. Keyton, & M.S. Poole (Eds.), The Handbook of Group and Team Communication Research (pp. 75-90). Bingley, UK: Emerald.

Kramer, M. W., & Dailey, S. L. (2019). Socialization and organizational culture. In J. McDonald & R. Mitra (Eds.), Movements in organizational communication research: Current trends and future directions (pp. 96-115). Routledge.

Miller, C. H., & Ma, H. (2021). How existential anxiety shapes communication in coping with the coronavirus pandemic: A terror management theory perspective. In H. D. O’Hair and M. J. O’Hair (Eds.), Communication Science in Times of Crisis. Wiley. (pp. 54-80).

Piercy, C., Bisel, R. S., & Treem, J. (2021). Agency in computer-mediated communication theorizing: Russian bots and the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections. In J. H. Lipschultz, & K. Freberg (Eds.), Emerald handbook of computer-mediated communication and social media.

Reedy, J. & Anderson, C. (2019). Small groups for good or ill: Developing a group communication approach to security. In Taylor, B., & Bean, H. (Eds.), The Handbook of Communication and Security (pp.91-106). Routledge.

Ruminski, E.L., Reedy, J., & Black, L.W. (2021) Communication for development through dialogue, deliberation and civic media: How deliberative democracy and civic capital support social justice. Handbook of Communication and Development, Melkote, S.R. & Singhal, A. (Eds.) Edward Elgar.

Yoon K. & Zhu, Y. (2022). Social media affordances and transactive memory system in virtual teams. Management Communication Quarterly, 36(2), 235-260. doi: 10.1177/08933189211032639

Zhu, Y. & Stephens, K. K. (2019). Participation in online support groups (OSGs) and perceived social support: Incorporating identification and interpersonal bonds. Small Group Research, 50(5), 19-24. doi: 10.1177/1046496419861743

Zhu, Y. & Dailey, S. (2019). Personal-organizational processes in workplace health promotion: Understanding wellness program participation in China. International Journal of Communication, 13, 3589-3608. doi:1932–8036/20190005

Zhu, Y. (2019). Combinatorial use of communication technologies in organizations. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 24(4), 623-635. doi:10.1108/CCIJ-04-2018-00

Zhu, Y. & Smith, S. (2019). Information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled contextualization, polychronic values, and job satisfaction: Evidence from virtual teams. International Journal of Business Communication. doi:10.1177/2329488419832075

Recent Funding in Organizational Communication

Fostering community deliberation in Native American communities on the ethics and politics of genomic research and health care in tribal communities. Four-year funding (2020-24) competitive renewal of NIH 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 ($3,746,973).

Aeroecology as a Test-bed for Interdisciplinary STEM Training, (2015-20). Five-year grant for interdisciplinary graduate education in life/social/physical sciences and environmental sustainability at the University of Oklahoma. Awarded to Lead PI: Jeff Kelly, Biology; Justin Reedy co-principal investigator. National Science Foundation, National Research Traineeship: ($2,952,429).