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Major Research Projects

New communication technologies fundamentally change how people work. Communication technology is not just a neutral medium that people work through or with. All technologies are shaped by the values of their producers, by their intended purposes, their social definitions, and their ultimate uses. As such, the introduction of new information and communication technologies can often have profound, often unforeseen effects on workers and organizations. In the workplace, networked technologies that enable ubiquitous, user-generated and information-intensive data and knowledge sharing have the capacity to shift power relationships, making some kinds of work seem more or less central in producing economic value. At the same, the rise of the Internet has also changed the nature of work in media companies by changing how we get our news, what news looks like, and who produces it. My research focuses on communication and technological change both in media industries and in other workplaces. These two areas are linked theoretically through an emphasis on organizations, institutions, and political economy and through the phenomenon of the adoption of and adaptation to new communication technologies. I bring to the field of communication a fresh perspective on problems of labor and the social construction of economic value. I see these issues as emerging in importance in the communication discipline because of the central role of new information and communication technologies in workplaces and in the economy.  The questions that remain about these changes in communication technologies are how do workers, media industries, and organizations adapt, and how does communication influence this process of adaptation?

My research contributes to three established scholarly conversations in media and communication studies: media organizations and institutions; the study of communication technology; and organizational communication. I use multiple theoretical approaches and methods for a social scientific analysis of communication forces—both mass media and human communication—under technological change.  My research agenda has resulted in successful externally-funded collaborations as well as sole-authored academic work. I have an academic monograph in production with MIT Press; a well-reviewed, co-edited volume published by Paradigm Publishers; 15 peer-reviewed articles and papers published in conference proceedings; and over $500,000 in external and internal funding. My teaching and mentoring emphasize engaging students at all levels in research, analysis and critical thinking. I consistently earn positive teaching evaluations and actively mentor graduate and undergraduate students. As my current research and teaching show, I am strongly committed to collaborating across disciplines while advancing our understanding of scholarly questions at the core of communication.

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