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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Dorrie DeLuca and Joseph S. Valacich

The purpose of this paper is to provide an understanding of process improvement team member perceptions regarding the effectiveness of asynchronous e‐collaboration.

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3544

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an understanding of process improvement team member perceptions regarding the effectiveness of asynchronous e‐collaboration.

Design/methodology/approach

A field‐based, two‐phase canonical action research study was conducted at two different sites. Data were obtained from observations and interviews of all team members. Media synchronicity theory was utilized to hypothesize the interplay of media capabilities, task communication processes, and team functions.

Findings

Eight primarily virtual teams solved complex problems and provided feedback on the effectiveness of various communications media. The results support media synchronicity theory.

Research limitations/implications

Media synchronicity theory provides an alternative explanation for studies both supporting and contradicting media richness theory. The teams in this study were newly formed. Further investigation of established teams and other contexts is warranted.

Practical implications

For complex problem‐solving tasks performed by newly formed teams, communications media with low synchronicity (e.g. listserv, e‐mail, bulletin board) may be appropriate for conveyance of information; whereas media with high synchronicity (e.g. face‐to‐face, telephone) may be more desirable for convergence on shared meaning.

Originality/value

As geographic, temporal, and cost constraints move organizations toward virtual team work for increasingly complex tasks, research is warranted on effective utilization of available communication technology for solving business problems without face‐to‐face communication. This research paper examines the issue through an emerging theoretical lens, media synchronicity theory, and suggests a new proposition.

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Information Technology & People, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2018

Ingmar Geiger and Christoph Laubert

This study aims to compare predictions from media synchronicity theory (MST) with the influence of personality variables in an attempt to explain how negotiators choose…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to compare predictions from media synchronicity theory (MST) with the influence of personality variables in an attempt to explain how negotiators choose the communication media for negotiation.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine media choice in two scenario-based experimental studies with students (n = 209) and professionals (n = 302) in a negotiation setting. For the analysis of the data, the authors use multilevel modeling.

Findings

This study offers support for the central proposition of MST, namely, that the type of communication subtask (conveyance or convergence) determines the degree of media synchronicity needed and therefore media choice (face-to-face or email). The support for its boundary conditions and contingent situational determinants is weaker. With the affect for communication channel scale, this study also captures individual media preferences for face-to-face or email communication, which have consistent influences on negotiators’ media choice. The personal influence variables on average account for similar variance in the data compared with the MST-based determinants.

Originality/value

This study sheds new light on diverging empirical results concerning media influences in negotiation and offers some reconciling suggestions. Furthermore, this study is the first to test boundary conditions of MST. Also, it stresses the importance of negotiators’ media preferences for media choice.

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International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2021

Nan (Tina) Wang

One challenge facing the digitalized workplace is communication control, especially emotion regulation in which individuals try to manage their emotional experiences…

Abstract

Purpose

One challenge facing the digitalized workplace is communication control, especially emotion regulation in which individuals try to manage their emotional experiences and/or expressions during organizational communication. Extant research largely focused on the facilitating role of a few media features (e.g. fewer symbol sets). This study seeks to provide a deeper understanding of media features that individuals, as receivers of negative emotions expressed by communication partners, could leverage to support regulating negative emotional communication in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used qualitative research methods to identify media features that support regulating negative emotional communication at work. Data were collected using interviews and was analyzed using directed content analysis in which media features discussed in media synchronicity theory (MST) were used as the initial coding schema but the researcher was open to media features that do not fit with MST.

Findings

In addition to media features (and capabilities) discussed in MST, this study identified five additional media features (i.e. message broadcasting, message blocking, receiving specification, recipient specification and compartmentalization) and two underlying media capabilities (i.e. transmission control capability and participant control capability) that may support regulating negative emotional communication. Two major mechanisms (i.e. reducing or eliminating emotion regulation workload, and providing prerequisites or removing obstacles for emotion regulation) via which media features support emotion regulation were also identified.

Originality/value

This paper provides a more comprehensive understanding regarding communication media features that may support emotion regulation in particular and communication control in general. Findings of this study contribute to several literatures and may also transfer to other similar contexts.

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Jennifer Parlamis and Rebekah Dibble

Applying media synchronicity theory (MST) as a theoretical foundation, this paper aims to examine whether teams using multiple communication modes perform better on a…

Abstract

Purpose

Applying media synchronicity theory (MST) as a theoretical foundation, this paper aims to examine whether teams using multiple communication modes perform better on a complex intra-team task than those using a single mode.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopted a mixed-methods explanatory design. Data were collected from 44 teams directly following participation in the Everest Leadership and Team Simulation. Teams were assigned a specific mode of communication: virtual (text-chat only), face-to-face (FTF) or dual (FTF and chat).

Findings

No significant differences in team goals achieved were found when comparing dual modes to single modes, counter to predictions based on MST. Qualitative data indicated that FTF communication is dominant and might lead to “medium inertia” when multiple modes are available. FTF teams reported higher perceptions of team effectiveness than text-chat-only teams.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted on a small number of teams in an artificial environment; therefore, generalizability is limited. Future research should consider other measures of team performance and test teams in a virtual setting where distance, as well as time, are factors.

Practical implications

FTF communication tends to be dominant to a point where virtual options are ignored, suggesting that greater awareness around communication processes required for complex tasks, and ways to appropriate different media for conveyance or convergence, is key to team performance.

Originality/value

This study highlights the importance of determining processes by which teams shift between media to maximize conveyance and convergence processes. Additionally, distinguishing between objective performance and perceptions of performance highlight an additional challenge for teams that can be explored.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Xiongfei Cao, Xitong Guo, Douglas Vogel and Xi Zhang

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of social media on employees’ work performance, as well as the underlying mechanism for how they create value at work.

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7952

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of social media on employees’ work performance, as well as the underlying mechanism for how they create value at work.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on media synchronicity and social capital theories, the authors propose that social media can foster employees’ social capital and subsequently facilitate knowledge transfer. Both social capital and knowledge transfer help promote work performance. Specifically, the authors adopt shared vision, network ties and trust to represent, respectively, the cognitive, structural and relational dimensions of social capital. The research model is tested using data collected from 379 Chinese working professionals.

Findings

The empirical results reveal that social media can promote the formation of employees’ social capital indicated by network ties, shared vision and trust, which, in turn, can facilitate knowledge transfer. Shared vision and knowledge transfer positively influence work performance. Although network ties and trust do not have a direct impact on work performance, the influence is partially mediated by knowledge transfer.

Practical implications

For organizations that wish to build knowledge networks in the workplace, connecting experts with various social media can effectively complement other knowledge management technology. Further, managers should encourage employees to consciously exploit the byproducts created via social media, e.g., social capital, to promote knowledge exchange.

Originality/value

The integration of media synchronicity and social capital theories offers a new theoretical lens and reasonable explanations for investigating communication performance. The research offers empirical evidence regarding how the influence of social media on work performance is transmitted through social capital and knowledge transfer. The authors quantify social media’s benefits for organizations, providing managers an impetus to deploy them in the workplace with optimistic expectation.

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Internet Research, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

M.L.C. Herijgers and Henk L.W. Pander Maat

Complex decision-making is often supported not by single messages but by multichannel communication packages that need to be evaluated in their own right. The purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

Complex decision-making is often supported not by single messages but by multichannel communication packages that need to be evaluated in their own right. The purpose of this paper is to present a new analytic approach to this package evaluation task combining textual analysis, functional analysis (FA) and media synchronicity theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors combine textual analysis, FA and media synchronicity and demonstrate this in a single case analysis of a multichannel communication package offering mortgage information.

Findings

When applied to a mortgage communication package for consumers, the evaluation reveals significant problems concerning the contents and timing of mortgage information and the channels chosen to convey it.

Research limitations/implications

This paper outlines a new direction for evaluating multichannel consumer information, in that it does not focus on user channel preferences but on channel requirements stemming from the communicative task to be performed.

Practical implications

This paper enables designers to optimize the design of multichannel communication packages and its individual components to support customer’s decision-making processes with regards to complex products.

Social implications

Improving information to guide complex decision-making processes leads to better informed consumers.

Originality/value

Research into effective multichannel communication within marketing is in its infancy. This paper offers a new perspective by focusing on channel requirements stemming from the communicative task rather than consumers’ channel preferences.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 17 September 2021

Carine Dominguez-Péry, Rana Tassabehji, Lakshmi Narasimha Raju Vuddaraju and Vikhram Kofi Duffour

This paper aims to explore how big data analytics (BDA) emerging technologies crossed with social media (SM). Twitter can be used to improve decision-making before and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how big data analytics (BDA) emerging technologies crossed with social media (SM). Twitter can be used to improve decision-making before and during maritime accidents. We propose a conceptual early warning system called community alert and communications system (ComACom) to prevent future accidents.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on secondary data, the authors developed a narrative case study of the MV Wakashio maritime disaster. The authors adopted a post-constructionist approach through the use of media richness and synchronicity theory, highlighting wider community voices drawn from social media (SM), particularly Twitter. The authors applied BDA techniques to a dataset of real-time tweets to evaluate the unfolding operational response to the maritime emergency.

Findings

The authors reconstituted a narrative of four escalating sub-events and illustrated how critical decisions taken in an organisational and institutional vacuum led to catastrophic consequences. We highlighted the specific roles of three main stakeholders (the ship's organisation, official institutions and the wider community). Our study shows that SM enhanced with BDA, embedded within our ComACom model, can better achieve collective sense-making of emergency accidents.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to Twitter data and one case. Our conceptual model needs to be operationalised.

Practical implications

ComACom will improve decision-making to minimise human errors in maritime accidents.

Social implications

Emergency response will be improved by including the voices of the wider community.

Originality/value

ComACom conceptualises an early warning system using emerging BDA/AI technologies to improve safety in maritime transportation.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2019

Yaguang Zhu

The purpose of this paper is to critique and extend contemporary scholarship on information and communication technologies (ICTs). This paper argues that the focus on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critique and extend contemporary scholarship on information and communication technologies (ICTs). This paper argues that the focus on the selection and use of a single communication medium limits the understanding of current ICT use in organizations. A combinatorial perspective is needed to capture the complexities of multiple ICTs use for achieving communication goals and completing tasks.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper addresses the trending phenomenon of combinatorial use of ICTs by offering a critical review of the theoretical studies and empirical research in scholarly books and journals and deriving novel theoretical research questions that set the stage for future studies.

Findings

This paper identifies how combinatorial ICT use as a perspective that uniquely elucidates ICT use in organizations, clarifies key terms used in previous research and proposes theoretical and operational recommendations for researchers and corporate practitioners who are interested in studying the combinatorial use of ICTs.

Originality/value

This paper highlights that understanding the combinatorial use ICTs in complex work environments could have significant implications for productivity and efficiency of individuals and corporations. This paper serves as a catalyst for on-going research conversations regarding combinatorial ICT use, while assisting organizational communication researchers and practitioners in describing, theorizing and advancing ICT implementation, use and outcomes.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2013

Carol Xiaojuan Ou, Choon Ling Sia and Chun Kit Hui

Advances in information technology (IT) have resulted in the development of various computer‐mediated communication (CMC) and social networking tools. However, quantifying…

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3863

Abstract

Purpose

Advances in information technology (IT) have resulted in the development of various computer‐mediated communication (CMC) and social networking tools. However, quantifying the benefits of utilizing these tools in the organizational context remains a challenge. In this study, the authors aim to investigate the effects of three specific tools, viz. instant messenger, email and knowledge forum, on facilitating the communication and social network at work, and their subsequent influence on individuals’ work performance. Together with a social network diagram, the proposed model is validated by a survey of 59 employees of a company which embeds these three CMC and social networking tools in the work process. The key findings, implications and future research are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors verify the research model with data from the Hong Kong office of an international bank headquartered in London, UK. They also collected the data on the social networks of 59 employees to draw a network diagram of the respondents using the social network analysis software UCINET.

Findings

The research model is fully supported by the survey data. Meanwhile, the social networks analysis also suggests the linkage of using IM at work and the high level of degree and high level of closeness.

Originality/value

This study provided an empirical verification of media performance theories, evidenced by interactive tools such as IM and email. This research also directly linked the elements of social network, viz. degree, closeness and betweenness, with the CMC and social network tools, the communication, interactivity, relationship, and work performance.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Godwin Oscar Offong and Joyce Costello

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how individual attitudes toward using enterprise social media (ESM) impact trust, explicit and tacit knowledge sharing as well…

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1211

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how individual attitudes toward using enterprise social media (ESM) impact trust, explicit and tacit knowledge sharing as well as work performance in emerging economies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use data from a survey of 293 employed individuals in Lagos, Nigeria, who work at organizations that have ESM systems.

Findings

The authors find that ESM usage is significantly associated with trust. However, ESM usage does not impact explicit or tacit knowledge transfer.

Practical implications

This paper provides empirical evidence that individuals who perceive high levels of performance expectancy will engage in ESM usage which in turn increases trust amongst colleagues. Human resource managers can argue that by adopting ESM, they can facilitate improved trust and collaboration through online engagement amongst employees. This is important for multi-national organizations wanting to expand into emerging economies where the organization and local workforce need to foster trust in knowledge sharing.

Originality/value

There has been little evidence regarding HRM use of ESM in emerging economies. By understanding individual attitudes toward ESM and how the use impacts knowledge sharing, the academic discussions concerning use of technology to enhance knowledge sharing can continue to evolve.

Details

Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-3983

Keywords

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