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OCD is a research group at the Department of Communication and Arts (DCA), Roskilde University, that investigates how communication both organizes and is organized by human activity, and how digitization impacts the process of organizing and communicating, as well as how organizing and communication are crucial to the development and use of digital platforms. This line of inquiry is reflected in the concrete meaning that is given to the three words that make up the acronym.

The word ´organizing´ is intentionally conveying a double meaning that indicates a twofold research focus within OCD. When used as a verb it denotes the activity of organizing communication and digitization, e.g. when organizations strategize communication, or when protesters use social media platforms for political organization. When used as an adjective the word denotes the role that communication and digitization play as organizing devices in and of organizations. This entails a focus on how communicative processes, as well as the sociomateriality of digital platforms, constitute organisations. E.g. how organizational metaphors and myths aids in the enrolment of new members, or how algorithms come to organize an organization’s interactions with stakeholders on social media. A fundamental assumption behind the research at OCT is that organizing as a verb and as an adjective cannot be separated and that both meanings should guide academic inquiry into communication technologies.

For the OCD group ´communication´ has a relational and processual meaning and goes beyond (but not ignores) the traditional focus on senders and receivers, causes and effects. Most importantly, the group understands communication as context sensitive, including the effect of the conduits of the communicated. Common for all research conducted is the dual focus on how communication constitutes organization and how communication is organized. Firstly there can be no organization, unless it’s communicated about. Secondly, there can be no communication, unless interaction is organized. The latter refers to both the human activity of organizing, and the selection mechanisms (technology) that come to determine the interaction.

What, then, is ´digitization´? One can broadly conceive of digitization as the process of utilizing digital technologies in the creation and distribution of communication and information. The technologies of interest are thus characterized by being digital, and the group is particularly concerned with emerging hardware devices, software development, social media platforms, and co-creative digital innovations which have profound and underexplored impact on communication and practices of organizing.

On the basis of these definitions of ´organizing´, ´communication´ and ´technologies´ the group members conduct a diverse palette of research ranging from strategizing processes, via organizational cultures to civic engagement.

The groups contribution to teaching at the department:

Mandatory courses

  • Strategic Communication
  • Organizational Communication
  • Social Media
  • PR / Public Relations

Electives:

  • Crises Communication
 

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