A qualitative study of organizational communication practices in primary care clinics




Travis, Deandra M.

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This dissertation presents the results of a qualitative study of organizational communication practices across ten organizations. I examined day-to-day, task-related communication practices of organization members utilizing a broad framework highlighting three fundamental dimensions of organizational communication---activity, content, and tone (Collins, 1981). Drawing on focus-group interviews with 57 employees of primary care clinics caring for patients with type 2 diabetes, I inductively identified specific aspects of organizational communication providing detail around each of the more general dimensions in the framework. The communication practices I identified include practices related to communication activity (participation, media selection, speed), quality of communication content (accessibility, completeness), and communication tone (emotion quality, emotion strength). Comparisons were made between the communication practices I identified for the most and least effective clinics in my sample. Based on my analysis, I introduce a conceptual model and develop testable propositions to guide future research on the identified organizational communication practices and their relationships to organizational effectiveness.


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organizational communication