The ability to share abstract information through complex forms of communication is what makes us, human beings, unique. Without this characteristic the formation of large-scale "imagined communities" would be impossible (Anderson, 2006). Even basic forms of organization demand high levels of communication. Over time communication systems have grown more complex. Communication technologies have helped to overcome physical and temporal barriers which first limited human communication.
The proliferation of communication technologies triggered questions about the effects of these technologies (cf. Stimulus-Response Model, early 20th century). These questions led to the establishment of communication research as an independent field of study. Universities and other higher education institutions were quick to establish courses that eventually grew into fully fledged certified programs. In some cases the name "communication studies" has been changed to "media studies" emphasizing the focus on the study of the media industry.
A strong focus on the media industry pushed questions related to organizational communication to the background. As a result other disciplines claimed this field. These other disciplines however do almost always focus on performance related questions thereby neglecting questions of a more sociological nature. With my PhD on internal communication I hope to reassert the value of asking these questions to the benefit of our understanding of how communication contributes to every form of human organization.
Blogging away about my PhD. My goal is to keep you up to date about the progress made in my research. Stay tuned for more news and feel free to interact and comment.