Findings in the network literature suggest self-reports are poor indicators of observable communication behavior. As researchers traditionally have studied organizational communication behavior through self-reports, a rather large body of findings is rendered equivocal because it is not known what self-reports actually measure. In this study, the authors conceptualize self-reports of communication as a type of account, and conduct interviews based on Simon's protocol analysis technique with participants in an organizational simulation. Descriptive content analysis of the responses shows that participants use a wide variety of resources to account for their communication with others, and focus these resources on a variety of social units. Loglinear analysis of coded resource-use patterns shows that resource use is significantly idiosyncratic, and that individual differences are partially related to personality and cognitive style traits of the participants. Implications for the use of self-report data for future organizational communication research are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management