A Test of Domain Theory In Hospitals: A Study of Organizational Communication

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Richard Conville

Advisor Department

Communication Studies


The present study investigated the distinctiveness of domains in hospitals. If domains are a reasonable way to conceive of organizational communication, then it is reasonable to expect that domain occupants will communicate differently. Distinctiveness among domains was assessed in terms of their uncertainty towards one another and perceived attributes of communication. Results of this study provide an initial view of the relationships between hospital domain members. Clearly, there is evidence to suggest distinctiveness between domains and further to suggest that members of these domains see themselves as different from other domains. Additionally, the results of this research are a valuable contribution to organizational literature because (1) This study identifies a subunit or group of employees in hospital organizations that has not been previously explored; (2) The distinctiveness between domains may provide a middle level analysis that could improve organizational research and organizational effectiveness; and finally (3) The combination of interpersonal and organizational theory allows for a more thorough and complete picture of the organization and its internal population.