IEEEXplore_3 - A Longitudinal Analysis of the Effects of...

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A Longitudinal Analysis of the Effects of Media Richness on Cohesion Development and Process Satisfaction in Computer-supported Workgroups Kelly Burke Kregg Aytes Idaho State University Idaho State University Media richness theory argues that different media are more or less appropriate for different tasks. Adaptive structuration theory (AST) implies that technology users may creatively adapt technological structures to mitigate differences in richness. Social Information Processing theory (SIP) suggests a motivation and method guiding such technology adoption. In light of these theories, this paper investigates the development of two important group process factors—cohesion development and process satisfaction—in two different studies of groups supported by EMS. Consistent with AST and SIP, results indicate that cohesion and process satisfaction increase over time in all types of electronic support, despite relative differences in richness. 1. Introduction The collaborative organizational model requires new methods for facilitating workgroup interaction [21]. Although a number of technologies have emerged to support distributed workgroups, few studies have examined the effects these various types of Electronic Meeting Systems (EMS) produce with respect to group dynamics over time. This paper examines the development of several group factors in the context of EMS supported distributed interaction. While the influence of technologically deterministic theories—for example Media Richness and Social Presence (i.e. bandwidth related) theories— concerning media characteristics is widespread, there is mounting evidence that EMS mediated interaction permits more relational development than previously expected [e.g., 3, 16, 34]. This paper reports on two studies that observed cohesiveness and process satisfaction among EMS supported groups. This paper's primary concern is whether or not media that differ in richness also differ in their impact on cohesion development or members’ satisfaction with the process in groups. This investigation specifically addresses a void in current research by examining cohesion development in computer-supported groups across a relatively large variety of media. The next section of the paper examines relevant theory and research followed by an explanation of the hypotheses and the research design used in the studies. The paper concludes with a discussion of the results and their implications for future research and practice. 2 Relevant Theory 2. 1 Media Richness Media bandwidth theories [e.g., 4, 26] lead to the conclusion that a medium’s relational communication effectiveness is related to its capacity for carrying a variety of cue types. Relational interaction functions to maintain social relations more than task-focused activities. According to bandwidth type theories, some media are
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IEEEXplore_3 - A Longitudinal Analysis of the Effects of...

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