Associate Professor of Communication
George Mason University
Dr. Anne Nicotera is a nationally-recognized scholar of organizational and interpersonal communication. Her current focus is communication in healthcare contexts. Her research is grounded in a constitutive perspective, driven by the assumption that communication creates and constitutes organizational realities and cultures that then constrain those very communication processes from which they were created. Her topical areas of research include culture and conflict, diversity, race and gender, and aggressive communication, with a particular interest in nursing communication. She has published her research in numerous national journals, such as Health Communication, Human Communication Research, and the Journal of Applied Communication Research. She has also published five books and numerous chapters in scholarly monographs, including a chapter in the 2009 Handbook of Applied Communication Research that presents a theoretical model of race as political identity grounded in social construction.
Her current research is centered in the development of a body of theory around a phenomenon she has labeled structurational divergence (SD). SD is a particular phenomenon of conflicted interaction that is rooted in the intersection of multiple incompatible meaning systems. She is currently investigating how SD, as experienced by nurses in a hospital setting, is linked to horizontal violence (bullying), burnout, destructive aggression, nursing turnover, and patient outcomes. She is also currently studying the unique organizational structure and form of hospitals and healthcare systems. More broadly, she is developing a theory of diversity rooted in structuration theory. She is interested in using this new theoretical construction to structuration theory and SD theory to cultural competence training for healthcare practitioners who serve traditionally marginalized populations