Date of Graduation

8-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Information Systems

Advisor

Moez Limayem

Committee Member

Fred Davis

Second Committee Member

Jeff Murray

Third Committee Member

David Douglas

Keywords

Social sciences; Communication and the arts; Applied sciences; Communication performance; Media choice; Media selection on performance; Media synchronicity

Abstract

With the proliferation of communication media and technologies available, it is important for teams to understand the influence of these media on the performance of their communications. Additionally, it is important for researchers to understand how teams choose and use media. Literature on communication media impacts and communication performance has been somewhat fragmented, and researchers have used different theories and paradigms to study this problem. Researchers still do not have a full understanding of how media influences communication, whether teams recognize and select appropriate media for their communication needs, and what makes some communication more effective, irrespective of the communication media. The overall objectives of this research are to help managers and teams achieve greater communication performance and fill gaps in and strengthen media impacts and communication performance literature. The specific purposes of this research are to determine how well teams understand and select communication media, to consolidate and refine media impacts theory, and to better recognize and understand factors that contribute to superior performance. This research consists of three essays. In the first essay, we study teams' media choices when they are faced with specific communication needs. We found that teams base their media choices on convenience and ease of use rather than on the needs of the communication. We also found that communication performance was not as affected by the medium as prevailing theories would predict. In the second essay, we take a deeper look at media impacts and outcomes of media use. In an effort to evaluate, consolidate, and refine existing media theory, we conducted team experiments where teams used several types of media. We did not find significant performance effects of the communication media. We argue that the medium may not matter as much as previously supposed. The third essay involves a qualitative analysis of communication and communication performance. We use a case-study approach to identify factors that contribute to superior performance. We find that other individual process factors play a role in communication performance and decision quality. We also find that the media does not have much of an effect on communication processes.