Malcolm (Mac) Parks is Associate Vice Provost for Research and Associate Professor of Communication (Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1976). He is interested in the analysis of complex communication systems, interpersonal communication and communication theory. His work falls into three main areas:


Dr. Parks has conducted studies of employee relations and client relations for a variety of healthcare, financial services, and architecture and engineering firms. He has designed organizational interventions as well as training programs dealing with client relationships. He helped lead a research team that included colleagues from the USAF Office of Prevention and Health Services Assessment and the Battelle Memorial Institute and conducted research on the restructuring of the military health care delivery system. His work in organizational design and analysis was part of a team effort that was honored in 1996 with Vice President Gore's Hammer Award for Innovation in Government. He is currently serving in the central administration of the University of Washington as the Assoc. Vice Provost for Research. His portfolio includes internal grant programs, intellectual property policy and management, security issues, the management of financial interests in research, human subjects research issues, and the inevitable "crisis du jour."


The Internet creates new opportunities and risks for interpersonal communication. Prof. Parks and his colleagues have explored the development of social relationships in a variety of online settings.  Other recent research has focused on the phenomenon of gender deception in Internet interaction, on identity presentation on personal homepages and on relationship metaphors in e-commerce.  Dr. Parks has been a research consultant on Internet issues for a number of firms including Gateway Computers and Organic . He served on the advisory board for a large on-line study of Internet use and mobility sponsored by the National Geographic Society. He most recently co-authored a review of research on online interaction for the Handbook of Interpersonal Communication .  


Much of Prof. Parks' academic research has been focused on the development of personal relationships and social networks.  This includes research on business relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, intercultural relationships, and families.  He is currently working on a book on personal relationships and personal networks. His secondary research interests include communicative competence and deceptive communication. Prof. Parks received the 1996 Woolbert Award from the National Communication Association for research that has had an enduring influence on the study of human communication. Prof. Parks teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in interpersonal communication, conflict and communication, communication in the workplace, computer-mediated communication, and social scientific research methods.


Walther, J.B., & Parks, M.R. (2002).  Cues filtered out, cues filtered in:  Computer-mediated communication and relationships.  In M.L. Knapp & J.A. Daly (eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (3rd. ed) (pp. 529-563).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Roberts, Lynne D., & Parks, M.R. (1999). The social geography of gender-switching in the virtual environments of the Internet. Information, Communication, and Society, 2(4), 521-540.

Parks, M.R., & Roberts, Lynne D. (1998). "Making MOOsic": The development of personal relationships on line and a comparison to their off-line counterparts. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15,517-537.

Parks, M.R. (1998). "Where does scholarship begin?" American Journal of Communication, 1(2). Online Journal.

Parks, M.R. (1997). Communication networks and relationship life cycles. In S. Duck (Ed.),  Handbook of Personal Relationships (pp. 351-372). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Parks, M.R., & Floyd, K. (1996). Making friends in cyberspace. Journal of Communication, 46(1), 80-97. Also published on line in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.
Parks, M.R., & Floyd, K. (1996). Meanings for closeness and intimacy in friendship.  Journal of Personal and Social Relationships, 13, 85-107.
Parks, M.R. (1995). Webs of influence in personal relationships. In C.R. Berger & M. Burgoon (Eds.), Communication and Social Influence Processes (pp. 155-178). East Lansing:  Michigan State University Press.
Parks, M.R. (1995). Ideology in interpersonal communication: Beyond the couches, talkshows,  and bunkers. In B.R. Burleson (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 18. Newbury Park, CA.: Sage.



-- Last Updated November 14, 2002