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Division History



The original 26 individuals expressing interest in Division IV were:


Don Faules, Eldon Baker, Cal Downs, Dale Level, Leslie G. Moeller, Mickey Dovar, Eric Sager, Frederick M. Nathan, James L. Cypher, Bruce A. Dean, J. Edwin Hollingworth, Jr., R. M. Cavanaugh, David H. Smith, William S. Howell, B. Aubrey Fisher, George Sanborn, William Dilworth, Lou Spataro, Stuart Sharpe, Dennis R. Smith, Harold O. Haskitt, Robert L. Minter, Mary K. Minter, Mark Knapp, and David Woods.




With the new bylaws in 1968, ICA characterized the creation of the four first divisions of ICA as follows: "The purpose of creating the divisions is to encourage theory-building, research, and new applications within specialized areas of communication, and to disseminate this information through division sponsored conference or regional programs, newsletters, and other media selected by each division" (Newsletter, 16(3), June 1968, p.2). 


As this history of Division IV: Organizational Communication examines the events of record involving the division and the influences the division has had on ICA, the review will focus on the continuing achievement of these goals by the division.


Founding Efforts and Activists


From the very inception of NSSC, business and industry has had a home. As early as 1956, the original committee structure included the quite active Business and Industry Committee. In the beginning a stalwart of the membership itself consisted of representatives from industry including Ford Motor Company, International Business Machines (IBM) and General Motors just to name a few. The applied focuses of the government and military committees most likely also found a home in the newly made Division IV. As one of the original four divisions the importance of organizational communication within ICA is apparent.


At the first business meeting on April 27, 1968 at the Waldorf-Astoria twenty-six individuals expressed interest in Division IV. This group sported affiliations with universities both from speech departments and business schools; businesses such as the Chrysler Corporation, IBM Components Division, E. J. du Pont, and the General Motors Institute; as well as the military (Business Meeting Minutes, 1968).


Articulating a Mission


In 1968, Division IV invited members to join describing itself as a special interest group concerning: "Person-centered interface; analyses of interaction between organizational structure, message forms and flow, channel effects and person behavior" (Newsletter, 16(3), June 1968, p.2). Additionally, Division IV emphasized the need for applied research that addresses current organizational problems. At the first business meeting mentioned above, members set forth a number of questions, comments, and made an attempt to define organizational communication. 


Writing "due to the time limit and perceived futility by the group of arriving at a workable definition," they agreed to table the discussion of a definition. Since 1968, few would argue that any concrete definition has surfaced as agreeable to all and although the core of the mission remains it has expanded and changed with the field, the applied focus has always remained in concert with the study of macro as well as micro organizational communication. 


Past Division Chairs

  • 1968    David H. Smith, University of Minnesota
  • 1970    Eldon E. Baker, University of Montana
  • 1972    Mark Knapp, Purdue University
  • 1974    Gerald Goldhaber, State University of New York
  • 1976    Gary M. Richetto, The Williams Companies, Tulsa
  • 1978    Joseph M. Foley, Ohio State University
  • 1980    Harry S. Dennis III, The Executive Committee
  • 1982    Cal W. Downs, University of Kansas
  • 1984    Raymond Falcione, University of Maryland
  • 1986    Sue DeWine, Ohio University
  • 1988    Linda Putnam, Purdue University
  • 1990    Fred Jablin, University of Texas, Austin
  • 1992    Susan Hellweg, San Diego State University
  • 1994    Gail Fairhurst, University of Cincinnati
  • 1996    Eric Eisenberg, University of South Florida
  • 1998    Katherine Miller, University of Kansas
  • 2000    David Seibold, University of California
  • 2002    Patrice Buzzanell, Purdue University
  • 2003    Noshir Contractor, Northwestern University
  • 2005    Steve Corman, Arizona State University
  • 2007    Cynthia Stohl, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 2009    Dennis Mumby, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 2011    Janet Fulk, University of Southern California
  • 2013    Ted Zorn, Massey University
  • 2015    Craig Scott, Rutgers University