A reconnaissance of CMM research

  • Barge J
  • Pearce W
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CMM represents a communication approach to the study of human systems that focuses on patterns of communication that make the social worlds in which people live and have their being. This essay takes stock of research in the CMM tradition published during the 30 years since it was introduced, organizing it into five streams: (1) interpersonal and intercultural communication, (2) organizational communication and management, (3) public communication, (4) therapy and consultation, and (5) conflict, mediation, and dialogue. This research provides an impressive empirical basis for treating CMM as sensible (its concepts track onto empirical evidence) and useful (its principles and models help us decide know how to act into unfinished situations) in both research and practice. While our summary includes nearly 100 studies, this is not an overwhelming number, and the story is also one of missed opportunities, under-reported research, and prematurely abandoned research traditions. We characterize the evolution of CMM as a theory and the concomitant shifts in the research methods of choice, and suggest that future CMM research may take advantage of new textual, narrative, and discourse analytic methods as well as collaborative, participatory, and action research designs. A

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  • J Kevin Barge

  • W Barnett Pearce

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