Date of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

O'hara, Scott

Second Advisor

Feldner, Sarah

Third Advisor

Egdorf, Kerry

Abstract

As corporations continue to expand globally, communication technology is progressing at a rapid pace to keep up. With this global expansion, corporations are integrating BlackBerrys and other integrated wireless enterprise solutions (IWES) into their business technology models and are struggling to understand the totality of the communication technology's impact on corporate communication. Communication researchers have not specifically examined how these communication devices influence the communication that occurs within corporations. Existing literature concentrates on how the communication device blurs the boundaries between individuals' personal and professional lives. This study explores how company issued BlackBerry devices are changing corporate communication. Specifically, this study examines how work culture drives and defines how individuals use company issued BlackBerry devices and how that use affects overall corporate communication (i.e. meetings, interpersonal communication, business lunches, etc.). Guided by the social constuctionism perspective, this study reveals that individuals' use of company-issued BlackBerrys is influenced primarily by peers and supervisors within the complex work culture. Additionally, this study reveals that individual use, which is driven by the work culture, has a significant impact on various facets of overall corporate communication. This study provides a new model for looking at how BlackBerrys impact corporate communication and reveals that more analysis and consideration is needed as corporations integrate the communication technology into their communication technology models. Additionally, this study reveals the need for a new technology paradox called effective / ineffective to describe users' contradictory experiences with BlackBerrys.

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