First Advisor

L. David Ritchie

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




Communication in organizations, Organizational change



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, v, 125 p.)


Organizational change often involves the creation of work teams. This research examines how the creation of self-managed work teams within a particular organization affects perceived communication. Previous research suggests that self-managed teams would socially construct a different view of the organization especially as it relates to power than would those in traditional organizational departments. Attitudes about communication and power within the organization are analyzed in nine self-managed teams and five traditional departments. This analysis is conducted through both qualitative and quantitative means. Group comments and discussions are used in a qualitative analysis. Multidimensional scaling is used to reveal underlying attitudinal differences the self-managed teams and traditional departments may have about others within the organization. Two different scales are used to measure perceived attitudes about relationships to management and others within the organization. The first scale is modified from a family communication patterns instrument and is used to measure the analogous equivalent of the supervisor/subordinate (parent/child) relationship within the organizational family. The second scale explores the perceptions of cooperativeness, competitiveness, and independence between groups. Finally, a value ranking is used to measure perceptual differences the groups have about the organization's view of the customer. The results of this research suggest some differences exist between the two groups regarding perceptions of power and management Differences about perceptions related to boundaries suggests self-managed teams will construct a different reality as a function of their group. Results regarding perceptions of others and perceptions of the organization's view of customers were mixed. It cannot be strongly concluded that these differences exist as a function of the self-managing teams or because of the types of jobs members in self-managing teams hold. Due to a number of constraints researching in this particular organization, further examination and validation of findings were not possible. Most of the teams, for example, had been together for only two months. A possibility for future research may include some longitudinal studies.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL

Persistent Identifier