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Thesis Defense Notification – Blake Harms

Title: Dis/organizing Social Capital: Tension in a Big Western National Park

Author: Blake Harms

Location: Brink Room (SUB)

Time: March 6th from 1:30- 4:30 pm

Committee: Dr. John McClellan (chair), Dr. Pei-Lin Yu, Dr. Matt Isbell


The National Park System in the United States is a challenging work environment filled with tension, organizational complexity and challenges. Scholars have often argued that these complexities should be addressed by organizations with increased social capital. Social capital scholar’s direct practitioner attention toward relational connection as a means of increasing social capital without delving into the dis/ordered communicative processes of relational connecting. In this thesis, I embrace a communication as constitutive of organization (CCO) perspective with a special focus on a dis/organized qualities of organizations to investigate employee expressions of social capital in a large Western national park. Engaging in qualitative interviews and completing an analysis inspired by grounded theory, this study reveals expressions of social capital as constituted in tensions. These findings direct scholars and practitioners interested in social capital toward the dis/organizational processes in which social capital is constituted.