Academic journal article Business Communication Quarterly

Dissertation Research. (Focus on Research).(Brief Article)

Academic journal article Business Communication Quarterly

Dissertation Research. (Focus on Research).(Brief Article)

Article excerpt

THIS FOURTH ANNUAL column continues a series that introduces the work of emerging professional communication scholars. The two scholars featured this year address timely issues in the rapidly evolving domain of computer-mediated communication. As in past years, directors of dissertation projects and directors of graduate programs were asked to nominate emerging scholars at their institutions for inclusion in this column. This year's participants were selected based on the timeliness of their projects and the promise of their work to shape future conversations in professional communication research. In the text that follows, each of the researchers provides an overview of her work and its relationship to the field, identifies the methodology for conducting the study, and talks about the implications of her work.

The two studies of computer-mediated communication in this column share some characteristics. Both researchers, for example, address limitations in the ways that the current literature frames our understanding of what it means when communicative practices are moved online. In her examination of how community is established online, Nicole R. Brown of Purdue University considers an alternative to the limited options offered to researchers to date. This study, which employs an innovative ethnographic methodology that positions the researcher as an interested participant in the textual traffic of cyberspace, moves beyond the work of earlier online writing researchers to provide a complex picture of what it means to be part of an online community. …

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