Organizational Communication Behavior: Description and Prediction

  • David W. Conrath
Part of the Nato Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 6)


For the past several years I have been contending that the essence of the concept “organization” is to be found in the interpersonal communication networks which exist within any defined organizational boundaries (e.g. Conrath, 1973). This holds for both theory and practice. While the specifics of the contention appear to be new, the importance of communication to an organization has been argued in the literature on organizational analysis for many years (e.g. Barnard, 1938; Guetzkow, 1965; Hage, Aiken & Marrett, 1971). Furthermore, at the level of small groups interpersonal communication has been used as the basis for measures of organizational structure (e.g. Bavelas, 1950; Leavitt, 1951; Mackenzie, 1966). Unfortunately, there is little if any evidence that these measures have been applied to, or are relevant for, organizations past the size of small groups. What is lacking are measures of structure based on communication behavior that are applicable to large and complex organizations.


Mode Choice Critical Incident Human Relation Communication Behavior Interpersonal Communication 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • David W. Conrath
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Management SciencesUniv. of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Institut d’Administration des EntreprisesUniv. d’Aix-MarseilleAix-en-ProvenceFrance

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