Adaptive Structuration Communication Theory

Adaptive Structuration Communication Theory


Workplace communication problems occur each day in organizations. Communication is very crucial to good management and a factor in organizational success. Various communication theories were developed to explain how to solve workplace communication problems. The research question is how Adaptive Structuration Theory is used to solve negative attitudes as a workplace communication problem. Negative attitudes bring interference with the communication process in the workplace. In many cases, two or more employees may dislike one another or distrust each other. This dislike and distrust create a wall between the two employees when it comes to communication. In many scenarios, employees take attitudes are different towards work in general. This makes them not to care about what is said during normal workplace communication.

Literature Review

According to Patricia (2009), Adaptive Structuration Theory is among the top three group communication theories. The theory looks into the formation of group structures and how they influence communication and decision making. Adaptive structuration theory investigates how the formed groups or organizations utilize resources, how rules are established, cohesion is achieved, how goals are accomplished, and they evolve or adapt over time. According to Schmitz et al. (2016), Adaptive Structuration Theory holds that group structures result from cultural, social, and assumptions brought on the table by each group member. Each assumption determines communication between members, the type of resources they use, and how the group’s resources and rules evolve with continued communication. Adaptive Structuration Theory seeks to explain the relationship between input groups and outputs.

According to Tavella et al. (2020), Adaptive Structuration Theory looks at the organization as a system of communication. When people have a desire to create a group, they start by communicating. People show their expectation for the group, and later set of rules or structure begins to rise. Group is established when group members accept rules. Limitations and weaknesses in the structure become apparent as group members continue communicating. Set rules are then modified to suit the needs of group members. Sun et al. (2020) agree that as change occurs within group members, new resources are drawn to solve problems, or a shift in the environment is experienced. The group maintains stability through structural change. Adaptive Structuration Theory shows how communication enhances group evolvement or adaptation while remaining stable. In perspective, without communication, the group ceases to exist.

Turner et al. (2019) agree that the theory aims at exploring different types of structures given by advancing technology and the structures that arise in human action as individuals interact with the technology. Information technology and organizational change are explained through different schools of thought. Decision-making school is one of the schools of thought. It purports that the aim of technology is to achieve efficiency, productivity, and satisfaction for people and organizations. It holds that organizational change failure is a sign of failed technology. According to Etudo et al. (2015), Adaptive Structuration Theory looks at rules, social structures, and resources emerging as a result of technologies. The theory holds that technology structures and structures in action continuously shape each other.

According Koschmann (2012) organization communication is communication that happens within an organization. According to Widyarini and Simatupang (2015), Adaptive Structuration Theory is best understood through three levels of analysis; global, microlevel, and institutional. Microlevel analysis seeks identification of different types of appropriation moves, differentiating between unfaithful and faithful appropriation. Examines group members’ attitude and their effect on communication. The global level looks across the whole organization meeting or a series of meetings. Another level is institutional, which needs longitudinal observation on the technology, with the goal of persistent identification patterns across user types, business units, or organizations.


Adaptive Structuration Theory provides an analysis of between-group differences. Second, the theory gives an understanding of how groups organize themselves, a process that plays an important role in group outcomes and organizational change. Hence Adaptive Structuration Theory accurately explains and can be used in resolving negative attitudes as a communication problem at the workplace.











Etudo, U., Weistroffer, H. R., & Al-Abdullah, M. (2015, January). Adaptive structuration theory and media richness theory in GDSS research: A critical review. In 2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (pp. 344-353). IEEE.

Matt Koschmann (2012) what is organizational communication

Patricia, O., C.,Baillet. (2009) Encyclopedia of Communication Theory

Schmitz, K. W., Teng, J. T., & Webb, K. J. (2016). Capturing the complexity of malleable IT use: Adaptive structuration theory for individuals. Mis Quarterly40(3), 663-686.

Sun, Y., Guo, Y., & Zhao, Y. (2020). Understanding the determinants of learner engagement in MOOCs: An adaptive structuration perspective. Computers & Education157, 103963.

Tavella, E., Papadopoulos, T., & Paroutis, S. (2020). Artifact appropriation in facilitated modeling: An adaptive structuration theory approach. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 1-15.

Turner, J. R., Morris, M., & Atamenwan, I. (2019). A Theoretical Literature Review on Adaptive Structuration Theory as Its Relevance to Human Resource Development. Advances in Developing Human Resources21(3), 289-302.

Widyarini, M., & Simatupang, T. M. (2015). An adaptive structuration theory approach to price transmission in the rice value chain. International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management22(2), 155-170.

Assignment Solutions