Research methods for studying evolutionary and ecological processes in organizational communication

Peter Monge, Seungyoon Lee, Janet Fulk, Matthew Weber, Cuihua Shen, Courtney Schultz, Drew Margolin, Jessica Gould, Lauren B. Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In a previous MCQ article, Monge et al. overviewed the fundamental concepts and processes of evolutionary theory and their applications to key issues in organizational communication. This article extends that work by providing an overview of research tools for studying organizational ecology and evolution, including (a) the variation-selection-retention sequence, (b) the likelihood of events occurring over a period of time (event history analysis), (c) transition sequence of populations from one state to another (sequence analysis), (d) relationships among nodes in networks over time (network analysis), (e) simulation of complex relationships and interactions (computational modeling), (f) changes in populations' fitness for survival (NKC models), and (g) competitive interdependence among populations over time (predator-prey models). We conclude with a brief review of graphical and qualitative methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-251
Number of pages41
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • NKC models
  • and predator-prey models
  • ecology
  • event history analysis
  • evolutionary theory
  • network analysis
  • organizational communication
  • research methods
  • sequence analysis
  • simulation


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