A Formal Model for the Study of Communication Support Systems



    1. Clyde W. Holsapple received his Ph.D. in information systems from Purdue University in 1977. He is currently serving as a professor at the University of Kentucky, Department of Decision Science and Information Systems, Lexington, KY 40506, phone (606) 257–3080, FAX (606) 257–8031, E-mail cwhols00@ukcc.uky.edu.
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    1. Linda Ellis Johnson received her Ph.D. in decision science and information systems from the University of Kentucky in 1991. She is currently serving as an associate professor of computer information systems at Western Kentucky University, Department of Finance & CIS, Bowling Green, KY 42101, phone (502) 745–3242, FAX (502) 745–3893, E-mail linda.johnson@wku.edu.
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    1. Vincent R. Waldron received his Ph.D. in communication from Ohio State University in 1989. He is currently serving as an associate professor of communication at Arizona State University, Department of Communication Studies, Phoenix, AZ 85069, phone (602) 543–6634, FAX (602) 543–6612, E-mail icvrw@asuacad.
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The lack of conceptual frameworks available for integrating research on organizational computer-based communication technologies is documented. An integrated model for studying communication support phenomena in organizations is formalized from a knowledge management perspective using set-theoretic notation. Key constructs for understanding and exploring communication support systems are identified, such as knowledge workers, knowledge management activities, communicate-abilities, and knowledge management episodes. The implications associated with the identification and formalization of each of the foregoing constructs is discussed and further research avenues are explored. The model provides researchers and system developers with a means of studying both human and computer-based knowledge workers in organizations. Two types of communication support systems are defined.