Presented at the 4th Annual Sooner Communicatiosn Conference, Oklahoma University, Norman, April 3, 1993.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Douglas Swanson was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Noting that there has been tremendous growth in the number of businesses and not-for-profit organizations which have become equipped with computers and have empowered workers to communicate with them, this paper sheds light on policy issues related to managing the use of computer mediated communication (CMC). The paper first summarizes CMC's impact on the organizational, social, and technical environment. The paper looks at issues of CMC content and access, to illustrate the diversity of opinion about the assembly and legal ownership of CMC messages in the workplace. The paper then examines varying opinions about access to, and editorial control over, CMC messages. The paper looks at several business and educational organizations in which management and subordinates have encountered difficulty when attempting to define operational boundaries for the use of CMC, noting that academic institutions have made the decision to uphold the rights of the individual CMC users over that of the organization at large. The paper concludes with the posing of a series of questions that may help in the development of policies that can bring about more effective organizational control of CMC. (Contains 87 references.) (RS)