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Noshir S. Contractor

As we enter the twenty-first century, new media are fundamentally challenging conventional wisdom about organizations and organizing. However, well before the term ‘new media’ first gained currency almost three decades ago, scholars have been interested in questions concerning the relationship between emerging communication technologies and contemporary forms of organizing. At the turn of the twentieth century, the inventions of telephony, telegraphy and electro-mechanical typesetting (Beniger, 1986; Yates, 1989) played a key role in supporting the dominant organizational forms that sustained the industrial revolution: bureaucracy (Weber, 1947; 1978) and its elaboration, the multi-divisional form (Chandler, 1977). These organizational forms relied heavily on the new media of the time to facilitate the flow of information up the hierarchy as well as the downward flow of ...

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