Dr. Lindsey Anderson is an organizational communication scholar who investigates aging and other, related communication processes using qualitative methods. Her primary area of research addresses the way age/aging is portrayed by organizations as well as the intergenerational interactions that take place in the workplace. Drawing on her role as the Executive Director of the Oral Communication Program, Lindsey also explores questions about the role of communication in the teaching/learning process. Her research has appeared in multiple outlets including Communication Teacher, The Annals of the International Communication Association, Public Relations Review, Management Communication Quarterly, Communication Studies, and Public Relations Inquiry.
Expanding and constraining critical communication pedagogy in the introductory communication course: A critique of assessment rubrics
Study presents an interpretive analysis of the presentational speaking rubrics used in the introductory communication course at 20 institutions in the United States.
Rubrics are a commonly used tool to evaluate student work in the introductory communication course. Although rubrics may appear objective, they are continually interpreted by both instructors and students, often reflecting traditional classroom power dynamics. In order to understand how rubrics constrain as well as expand opportunities for the enactment of critical communication pedagogy, we conducted an interpretive analysis of the presentational speaking rubrics used in the introductory communication course at 20 institutions in the United States. In doing so, we identified three levels of rubric context: high, low, and shared. These contexts inform important theoretical and pedagogical implications for the introductory course, as they highlight existing power dynamics, instructor grading practices, and student agency.
Serving public interests and enacting organizational values: An examination of public interest relations through AARP’s Tele-Town Halls
This study illuminates how AARP’s communication reflected public interest relations.
Public interest relations (PIR) is an approach to public relations scholarship and practice that contributes to the social good by integrating the concept of public interest into organizational goals and values. The need for PIR was emphasized during the COVID-19 pandemic as publics looked to organizations for information about a variety of topics (e.g., symptoms, vaccines). AARP created a series of tele-town halls to communicate with its publics, who are considered to be members of a “vulnerable population” during the pandemic. In order to understand how AARP’s Coronavirus Tele-Town Halls reflected the practices of PIR, I completed a critical thematic analysis of 28 virtual sessions that were hosted in 2020–2021. The analysis, which was guided by the tenets of PIR, found that AARP’s communication (1) highlighted common life course milestones of its publics, (2) emphasized the quality of the information, and (3) provided avenues to engage with the organization and its experts. Based on these findings, I developed theoretical implications that reflect a critical perspective on PIR and suggest future research avenues that seek to build this ethical and socially meaningful approach to public relations.
“It gives you a better chance of getting a good job”: Memorable messages, anticipatory socialization, and first-year college students’ understandings of the purpose of college.
Article finds that the memorable messages students received from their family, peers, and high school teachers reinforce the dominant neoliberal, job-centered understanding of college’s purpose.
Higher education has been commodified as neoliberal ideology is reflected in and perpetuated through social discourses, such as memorable messages. These discourses socialize young adults to college and shape their understanding about the purpose of higher education. Through in-depth interviews with 20 first-year college students, Ashby-King and Anderson found that the memorable messages students received from their family, peers, and high school teachers reinforce the dominant neoliberal, job-centered understanding of college’s purpose. In turn, they suggest critical communication pedagogy as a form of resistance instructors and institutions can use to promote a more expansive view of higher education and teaching/learning.
Communicating stakeholder resilience: understanding how resilience discourse can build a fully functioning society
These findings illuminate the societal role of organizational discourse by showing how inclusive organizational-public communication can disrupt meta-narratives and enrich the marketplace of ideas.
Resilience is an ongoing sensemaking process that relies on communicative interactions – including those that occur between stakeholders and organizations – in order to understand and respond to a given adversity. Resilience communication is enacted through discursive processes that align with the tenets of fully functioning society theory (FFS). In order to integrate these two theoretical frameworks, we completed a qualitative content analysis of AARP’s #DisruptAging campaign. In doing so, we found that the campaign provided information about age/aging in a way that countered commonly held stereotypes about older adults at multiple-levels (e.g., individual, organizational, societal). The processes of resilience were reflected in the organizational discourse, as was a new strategy – acceptance/appreciation. These findings illuminate the societal role of organizational discourse by showing how inclusive organizational-public communication can disrupt meta-narratives and enrich the marketplace of ideas, and thus contribute to the building of a fully functioning society through (re)constructing the meanings of resilience on individual, organizational, and societal levels.
An Organizational Socialization Perspective on Young Adults’ Ideas About Retirement: Examining Sources of Retirement Information, Meanings of Retirement, and Source-Meaning Associations
This study drew from literature on organizational socialization, namely an early phase called vocational anticipatory socialization (VAS), to examine the sources of information from which young adults learn about retirement, the meanings they ascribe to r
This study drew from literature on organizational socialization, namely an early phase called vocational anticipatory socialization (VAS), to examine the sources of information from which young adults learn about retirement, the meanings they ascribe to retirement, and associations between sources of retirement information and meanings. In study 1, quantitative content analysis was used to code 671 responses from young adults. In study 2, semi-structured interviews with 16 young adults were conducted and abductively analyzed. Results revealed 16 sources of information about retirement with grandparents and parents emerging as primary sources, and 13 meanings of retirement (e.g., freedom from work, financial issues, how time is spent, life phase, physical decline) that can be combined to construct negative or positive framings. In addition, chi-square analyses indicated significant associations between some source-meaning combinations in study 1, whereas study 2 revealed the nature of explicit and implicit advice from family members. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Where Do You Turn? Student-Identified Resources in the Basic Course Experience, Sources of Information, Feedback, and Help-Seeking Behaviors
This study explored the formal and informal resources students enrolled in a basic communication course use to gather information and receive feedback about their course experience, including presentations and work in the class.
This study explored the formal and informal resources students enrolled in a basic communication course use to gather information and receive feedback about their course experience, including presentations and work in the class. To do so, an online survey was completed by 393 students at three universities. The data were analyzed thematically using an iterative process facilitated through NVivo coding software. This process not only allowed for a descriptive summary of the students’ responses and the creation of a typology of resources, but also revealed four emergent themes related to student motivations to seek out and use sources of information/feedback: (1) the level of availability (2) the value of personalized feedback, (3) the perceived authority, and (4) need for of examples. Taken together, these findings inform practical implications about information literacy, availability of vetted examples, and family/friend involvement, all of which are important for basic course administrators and instructors to consider in order to support student success and learning in the basic communication course classroom.
Measuring Essential Learning Outcomes for Public Speaking
This manuscript compiles dozens of measurement resources, aligned by outcome, and also identifies areas where future assessment measures development is needed.
Basic Course Directors (BCDs) are typically expected to assess course learning outcomes, but few formal guidelines and resources exist for new BCDs. As one part of a larger multi-methodological assessment tool development project, this manuscript maps existing quantitative measures onto the six essential competencies and associated learning outcomes established by the Social Science Research Council Panel on Public Speaking. This manuscript compiles dozens of measurement resources, aligned by outcome, and also identifies areas where future assessment measures development is needed. While there are many measures available for evaluating outcomes related to creating messages, critically analyzing messages, and demonstrating self-efficacy, there are measurement gaps for outcomes related to communication ethics, embracing difference, and influencing public discourse.
Exploring the role of communication in the aging in place experience: A quasi-ethnographic account of a local community
A quasi-ethnographic study of a local neighborhood completed using communication infrastructure theory (CIT).
Aging in place (AIP), or older adults' ability to remain in their homes and communities as they age, is an important social issue given the growing aging population. Communication is a central component of this process, yet little is known about how communicative resources are used by residents to co-construct community as they age. In order to address this topic, a quasi-ethnographic study of a local neighborhood was completed using communication infrastructure theory (CIT). Three themes emerged from the data: (1) shifting communication infrastructure, (2) shifting identities, and (3) shifting priorities of the community and its members. These findings inform theoretical and practical implications related to the built environment and organizational-resident communication that facilitates the AIP experience.