A10. Rice, R.E. & Case, D. (1983). Electronic message systems in the university: A description of use and utility.  Journal of Communication, 33(1), 131-152. Summarized in J. Smart (Ed.), (1984). Higher education: Handbook of theory and research. (pp. 185-190.) NY: Agathon Press.


Local telecommunications networks, which can connect individuals within communities of any size, configuration, and purpose, are being used increasingly for the exchange of messages. The Advanced Research Projects Agency network (ARPANET), for example, was established so that government-funded researchers could have access to host computers at other locations, but instead was used predominantly for the exchange of messages among the researchers.

Many organizations have adopted computer-based communication systems to facilitate their internal communication. The popular names for such systems range from "electronic mail" to "computer conferencing" to "office automation". With the increasingly widespread implementation and use of such technologies is associated a host of potential social and organizational impacts. Designers, vendors, organizational managers, and users alike are becoming more aware of the need to understand and, where possible, control these impacts. This article examines the uses and effects of computer-based communication systems in organizational settings, focusing on a pilot program at a major West Coast university.

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