Kathleen K. Reardon Emmeline G. de Pillis University of Southern California
In 1988, Reardon and Rogers called into question the historical divide between the studies of interpersonal and mass media communication. In an article in Human Communication Research, they set out to "challenge one of the most guarded constructions in the study of human communication: the separation between interpersonal and mass media communication" (p. 285). They proposed that the distinction between the two fields "has had detrimental effects on the progress of communication theory and research. What communication scholars had considered an obvious and natural division of our field is . . . a disunifying distortion with far reaching implications" ( Reardon & Rogers, 1988, p. 285). The purpose of this chapter is to revisit the false dichotomy perspective of interpersonal versus mass communication in the context of the new technologies and organizational structures that are reshaping the workplace, particularly the virtual office.
"Mass media was defined for decades as all means of transmitting messages, such as the press, radio, television, and so on, that enable one or a few individuals to reach an