Western Journal of Speech Communication
Western States Communication Association
Communication network research has been criticized for being based on an atheoretical method with little explanatory power. Research on organizational identification (OI), although theoretically rich, has been criticized for the paucity of research which examines the relationship between identification and communication. This research used OI as a theoretical framework from which to study communication networks. Incoming graduate students from three communication departments specified the content and patterns of their communication with members of their respective departments and indicated their organizational identification at three points in time during their first academic year. Results indicate that (a) multiplex communication relationships are positively associated with OI; (b) these respondents specified an array of ten content topics rather than the three traditionally used by network researchers; and (c) OI is related to specific conversational content. Academic talk during initial interactions was negatively related to midyear OI. Mid-year social interaction and O1 were positively related. Midyear interaction about departmental issues was negatively related to overall change in O1. Near the end of the first academic year, phatic and social topics were positively related to OI while concrete interaction was negatively associated with change in OI.