Hello World

Send me a note while you are here, or email me at josh at macromorphic dot com or at barbourjosh at utexas dot edu.

2504A Whitis Ave. (A1105)
Austin, TX 78712
United States




APRON lab | Teaching | @BARBOURJOSH


I am an associate professor in the Organizational Communication and Technology group at the Department of Communication Studies in the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. I am faculty affiliate of the Center for Health Communication, a collaboration of the Moody College of Communication and Dell Medical School, and I am a faculty affiliate of the Health Informatics and Health Information Technology Program at McCombs School of Business. I founded the Automation Policy and Research Organizing Network (APRON), which aims to build a community of scholars, practitioners, and policymakers and advance communication research focused on the future of data-intensive, automated work, and I direct the APRON Lab.

My research begins with the assumption that institutional structures such as regulations, laws, and cultural norms create opportunities, constraints, resources, and contradictions that we exploit and suffer to solve problems. I try to shed light on practitioners’ strategic efforts to navigate those structures, and, in particular, their communication design, the choices actors make about messages, communication tools, formats, and systems of interaction to do so. I study the institutional moorings of communication and organizing, or put another way, I view organizational communication as macromorphic. Across my scholarship, I have found that (a) institutional constraints can be overcome and reconstructed by local actors’ macromorphic communicative and organizational efforts, (b) these efforts are captured in and enacted through their choices about communication, (c) these choices vary in rhetorical and strategic sophistication, and (d) success depends on the creativity with which they can recast communicative situations, negotiate competing ideals for practice, and navigate contradictory frameworks for action.

My current research focuses on projects funded by a National Science Foundation grant entitled, CAREER: The Future of Work in Health Analytics and Automation: Investigating the Communication that Builds Human-Technology Partnerships (SES-1750731). This scholarship focuses on the datafication and automation of health and healthcare, and it has two goals: (1) Investigate the communication practices involved in automating work to encourage automation that benefits work and workers. (2) Help students at community colleges and universities understand and prepare for the opportunities and challenges of automation and for careers likely to be affected or created by automation.


Need a published version? Email me (barbourjosh at utexas dot edu), and I'll send a copy your way.

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[38] Barbour, J. B. (accepted). Paperwork. Health Communication. PDF PUBLISHER

[37] Barbour, J. B., Gill, R., Barge, J. K. (2018). Organizational communication design logics: A theory of communicative intervention and collective communication design. Communication Theory, 28, 332-353. PDF PUBLISHER

[36] Garcia, M. A., & Barbour, J. B. (2018). “Ask a Professional - Ask a Librarian”: Librarianship and the chronic struggle for professional status. Management Communication Quarterly, 32, 565–592. PDF PUBLISHER

[35] Barbour, J. B., Buzzanell, P. M., Kinsella, W. J., & Stephens, K. K. (2018). Communicating/organizing for reliability, resilience, and safety: Special issue introduction. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 23, 154-161. PDF PUBLISHER

[34] Barbour, J. B., Treem, J. W., & Kolar, B. (2018). Analytics and expert collaboration: How individuals navigate relationships when working with organizational data. Human Relations, 71,  256-284PDF PUBLISHER

[33] Donovan, E. E., Pasch, K. E., Barbour, J.B., Stroud, N. J., Wotipka, C. D., Price, Mindy, J., Alizor, A. A., Gaucin, E. S., Calhoun, B. M. (2017). Defining successful media partnerships. The Center for Health Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. Prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. [White paper]

[32] Barbour, J. B., & Gill, R. (2017). Questioning and answering as regulatory work practice: The communicative accomplishment of reliability for the safety oversight of nuclear power plants. Communication Monographs, 84, 466-487. PDF PUBLISHER

[31] Barbour, J. B., Ballard, D. I. Barge, J. K., & Gill, R. (2017). Making time / making temporality for engaged scholarship. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 45, 365-380. PDF PUBLISHER

[30] Barbour, J. B. (2017). Nutbags, enchiladas, and zombies: Marshaling narrative theory and practice for engaged research. Management Communication Quarterly, 31, 300-306. PDF PUBLISHER

[29] Barbour, J. B., Gill, R., Barge, K. (2017). Exploring the intersections of individual and collective communication design: A research agenda. In P. Salem & E. Timmerman (Eds.) Transformative practices and research in organizational communication. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. PDF PUBLISHER AMAZON

[28] Barbour, J. B. (2017). Listening and organizing. In C. R. Scott, L. Lewis, (General Editors), J. Barker, J. Keyton, T. Kuhn, P. Turner, & (Associate Editors) (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. PDF PUBLISHER 

[27] Barbour, J. B. (2017). Micro/Meso/Macro levels of analysis. In C. R. Scott, L. Lewis, (General Editors), J. Barker, J. Keyton, T. Kuhn, P. Turner, & (Associate Editors) (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. PDF PUBLISHER

[26] Rauscher, E. A., Young, S., Durham, W., & Barbour, J. B. (2017). Egg donation, the institutionalized “ideal” family, and health care decision making. Health Communication, 32, 550-559PDF PUBLISHER

[25] Miller, K. I., &, Barbour, J. B. (2017). Organizational communication: Processes and approaches. (7th enhanced ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. AMAZON PUBLISHER

[24] Barbour, J. B., Doshi, M., Hernandez, L. (2016). Telling global public health stories: Narrative message design for issues management. Communication Research, 43, 810-843. PDF PUBLISHER

[23] Barbour, J. B., Sommer, P., & Gill, R. (2016). Technical, arcane, relational, and embodied expertise. In J. Treem & P. Leonardi (Eds.) Expertise, communication, and organizing (pp. 44-59). Oxford: Oxford University Press. PDF PUBLISHER AMAZON

[22] Barbour, J. B., & Manly, J.N. (2016). Redefining disaster preparedness: Institutional contradictions and praxis in volunteer responder organizing. Management Communication Quarterly, 30, 333-361PDF PUBLISHER

[21] Barbour, J.B., Faughn, S. J., Husband, R. L. (2016). Reaching for big bata: Using analytics to address organizational challenges. In J. Waldeck & D. Seibold (Eds.) Consulting that matters: A handbook for scholars and practitioners (pp. 283-289). New York, NY: Peter Lang. PDF PUBLISHER AMAZON

[20] Dean, M., Gill, R., Barbour, J. B. (2016). “Let’s sit forward:” Investigating interprofessional communication, collaboration, professional roles, and physical space at EmergiCare. Health Communication. PDF PUBLISHER

[19] Barbour, J.B., Gill, R., Dean, M. (2016). Work space, gendered occupations, and the organization of health: Redesigning emergency department communication. In T. Harrison & E. Williams (Eds.) Organizations, communication, and health (pp. 101-118). New York, NY: Routledge. PDF PUBLISHER AMAZON

[18] Barbour, J. B., & James, E. P. (2015). Collaboration for compliance: Identity tensions in the interorganizational regulation of a toxic waste storage facility. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 43, 363-384. PDF PUBLISHER

[17] Barbour, J. B., & Lammers, J. C. (2015). Measuring professional identity: A Review of the literature and a multilevel confirmatory factor analysis of professional identity constructs. Journal of Professions and Organizations, 2, 38-60. MEASURES PDF PUBLISHER

[16] Barbour, J. B., & Gill, R. (2014). Designing communication for the day-to-day safety oversight of nuclear power plants. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 42, 168-189. PDF PUBLISHER

Translated for a general audience: Making complex industrial systems safe means solving unsolvable communication dilemmas. Communication Currents, 9(4), in August 2014. PDF

[15] Gill, R., Barbour, J. B., & Dean, M. (2014). Shadowing in/as work: Ten recommendations for shadowing fieldwork practice. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, 9, 69-89. PDF PUBLISHER

[14] Scott, T. J., White, A., Politte, A., Collard, S., Saathoff, S., Baltensperger, A., Zechman, E.M., Barbour, J. B. Sprintson, A. (2014). A test of the Stormwater Footprint Calculator for improving knowledge and changing attitudes about design for sustainability in stormwater management. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy, 10, 1-14. PDF PUBLISHER

[13] Barbour, J.B., Jacocks, C. A., & Wesner, K. (2013). Message design logics of organizational change. Communication Monographs, 80, 354-378. PDF PUBLISHER

[12] Barbour, J. B., Bierling, D., Sommer, P., & Trefz, B. (2013). Hazardous materials transport incident stakeholder analysis. Texas Transportation Institute. Prepared for the Texas Division of Emergency Management. [White paper]

[11] Huang, M., Barbour, J.B., Su, C., & Contractor, N. (2013). Why do group members provide information to digital knowledge repositories? A multilevel application of Transactive Memory Theory. Journal of American Society for Information Science and Technology, 64, 540-557. PDF PUBLISHER

[10] Chinn, J. & Barbour, J.B. (2013). Negotiating aging and agedness in the volunteer disaster response teams. In Kramer, M., Gossett, L., & Lewis, L. (Eds.), Volunteering and communication: Studies from multiple contexts (pp. 229-250). New York, NY: Peter Lang. PDF SAMPLE PUBLISHER AMAZON

[9] Barbour, J. B. (2013). Consider clicking in: Using audience response systems to spark discussion. Communication Teacher, 27, 38-44. PDF PUBLISHER

[8] Barbour, J. B., Rintamaki, L. S., Ramsey, J. A., & Brashers, D. E. (2012). Avoiding heath information. Journal of Health Communication, 17, 212-229. PDF PUBLISHER

[7] Harrison, T. R., Morgan, S. E., Chewning, L. V., Williams, E. A., Barbour, J.B., Di Corcia, M. J., & Davis, L. A. (2011). Revisiting the worksite in worksite health campaigns: Evidence from a multi-site organ donation campaign. Journal of Communication, 61, 535-555. PDF PUBLISHER

[6] Barbour, J. B. (2010). On the institutional moorings of talk in health care organizations. Management Communication Quarterly, 24, 449-456. PDF PUBLISHER

[5] Lammers, J.C., & Barbour, J.B. (2009). Exploring the institutional context of physicians’ work: Professional and organizational differences in physician satisfaction. In D.E. Brashers & D. J. Goldsmith (Eds.), Communicating to manage health and illness (pp. 91-112). New York, NY: Routledge. SAMPLE PDF PUBLISHER AMAZON

[4] Barbour, J. B., & Lammers, J. C. (2007). Health care institutions, communication, and physicians’ experience of managed care: A multilevel analysis. Management Communication Quarterly, 21, 201-231. PDF PUBLISHER

[3] Lammers, J. C., & Barbour, J. B. (2006). An institutional theory of organizational communication. Communication Theory, 16, 356-377. PDF PUBLISHER

[2] Clark, J., Kruidenier, W., Faughn, S., Barbour, J. B., Hazeu, H., Serb, D., Tucker, J. (2004). Assessment of the USDA Forest Service Urban & Community Forestry Program. HortScience, Inc. and the Aslan Group. Prepared for the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council. [White paper] PDF

[1] Lammers, J. C., Barbour, J.B., & Duggan, A. P. (2003). Organizational forms of the provision of health care: An institutional perspective. In T.L. Thompson, A. Dorsey, K. I. Miller & R. Parrott (Eds.), The handbook of health communication (pp. 319-345). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. PDF