Collaboration and Communication Networks: Commitment and Semantic Power

Event Date: 

Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • CTL Trailer 932

Cynthia Stohl

Cynthia Stohl is a professor of Communication at UC Santa Barbara. Professor Stohl work connects several areas in organizational and group studies. She is concerned with the relationships among internal and external communication processes as they are manifest in global collaborations. Her most recent work addresses a diversity of network and collective action organizations in the global context including a focus on new communication technologies and terrorist organizations.

Her talk explores how in today's complex and volatile global environment members of different organizations (often competitors) are working together, for a limited time, to collaborate on solving technical and social problems and creating products that they would be unable to do themselves in an effective and efficient manner. New communication technologies and the ability to share data through new knowledge-management techniques make such collaborations feasible and sometimes quite successful. These technological innovations and the changing nature of group membership, however, have also created several challenges for the study and understanding of group process. For example, traditional notions of power and commitment are less useful in understanding group process when group members identify with differential targets, technologies enable resources and information to be shared equally, and group members are not necessarily co-located study of engineering collaborations illustrates the ways in which power and commitment can be re-conceptualized through semantic network analyses to better understand the dynamics of group collaboration. Originally recorded March 14, 2002 at UC Santa Barbara.