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Unformatted text preview: Communication Monographs I J Routledge Vol. 71, No. 2, June 2004, pp. 161-183 S \ T.y(orf.F™nd.Cro. Organizational Assimilation and Communication Technology Use Jennifer H. Waldeck, David R. Seibold & Andrew J. Flanagin Studies of organizational members' assimilation information seeking have focused on traditional channels for uncertainty reduction (e.g., face-to-face communication and traditional technologies like employee handbooks) and on the experiences of newcomers. This investigation extends organizational assimilation research by examining a variety of socialization experiences (not just those of newcomers) and by considering Advanced Communication and Jnformation Technologies (ACJTs) as an additional channel for obtaining assimilation-related information. Data from 405 employees of four organiza- tions were utilized to explore the relationship between three channels for information seeking (face-to-face communication, traditional media, and ACJT) and perceived socialization effectiveness. Predictors of employee selection and use of ACITs also were examined, including perceptions of media richness and social presence, and user responses to their experiences using ACJTs for assimilation. Results indicate that face-to-face communication is the most important predictor of assimilation effectiveness, followed by ACIT use. Least important are traditional technologies. Media characteris- tics, as elucidated in two prominent theories of organizational communication technol- ogy use, predicted individuals' selection and use of ACJTs. Finally, a typology of members' behavioral responses to feedback regarding their ACJT use was derived, which revealed that users respond by continuing current practices, supplementing the channel, discontinuing use, expanding use, learning new uses, or by implementing a variety of these strategies. Organizational membership can be anxiety producing even for those who are confident in their social and professional competence because so much is at stake. Although many members receive some formal training for their jobs, they End that The authors would like to thank Michele Jackson for her helpful comments. Correspondence to: Jennifer Waldeck, Department of Communication, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4020, USA. Email: [email protected] ISSN 0363-7751 (print)/ISSN 1479-5787 (online) © 2004 National Communication Association DOI: 10.1080/0363775042331302497 162 /. H. Waldeck et al. a great deal of learning takes place on the job. They often "learn from the inside" as they interact with one another, and as they observe and practice the norms of their organizations and learn the subtle nuances of their jobs. The ability to engage in communication that reduces uncertainty can reduce stress and result in a heightened state of organizational assimilation—which ostensibly improves one's contributions to the organization, commitment to membership and tasks, and satisfaction with the...
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- Spring '11
- Organizational Communication, Social presence theory, Media richness theory, organizational members, Theories of technology, ACITs, ACIT Use