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Instant Messaging for Collaboration: A Case Study of a High-Tech Firm

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Abstract

This article examines uses of instant messaging (IM) in a high-tech firm to illustrate how knowledge workers use this new work tool to collaborate with co-workers. The objectives are 1) to identify the collaborative practices of individuals in mediated work environments by looking at uses of IM; 2) to discern what social processes are reflected in employees' use of IM; and 3) to investigate how three factors proposed by Erickson and Kellogg (2000) to support social processes—visibility, awareness and accountability—are used in an IM system. Questionnaire and interview data show that while IM leads to higher connectivity and new forms of collaboration, it also creates distance: employees use the mediated environment as a shield, distancing themselves from superiors. We use Erickson & Kellogg's ‘social translucence of technology’ framework to discuss the social consequences of working in a computer-mediated work environment.

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... Several studies on IM in the workplace have suggested IM is primarily used for discussing quick questions and clarifications, arranging and coordinating scheduled and impromptu meetings, and keeping in touch with family and friends while at work [11,13]. Other research [8] has found that the majority of IM conversations in the workplace were work-related (62%) with the average IM conversation lasting almost 4.5 minutes. ...
... IM use varies as people adapt their work IM use in response to communication purposes, job characteristics, and work environment and structure [2]. Recent studies [2,8,13] demonstrate that IM is being used to facilitate collaborative work though studies have typically focused on dyadic interactions (e.g., [8,11]). ...
... Many studies examine IM in the workplace (e.g., [6,8,11]) but how authority affects IM conversations is not widely discussed (studies done in educational settings (e.g., [12]) implicitly acknowledge authority with the emphasis on the teacher/student relationship). In a recent study [13], IM messages coming from higher status individuals were answered more quickly than others. ...
... Hence, the assumption is that social platforms have a potential for employees to establish relationships or connections with co-workers located elsewhere. However, this assumption is problematic because research into social networking sites (SNS) in the public discourse [9][10][11], of instant messaging [12,13] and the scarce research of social platforms in the workplace [14,17] have shown a consistent tendency to connect with those colleagues employees already know and work closely with, such as reconnecting with previous acquaintances, rather than establishing new relationships. An exception to this pattern is the study by DiMicco, Millen, Geyer, Dugan, Brownholtz, and Muller [15], which finds the opposite: employees connected with colleagues they did not know. ...
... Also, Subrahmanyam, Reich, Waechter, and Espinoza [16] found that social network software bridged online and offline social networks. Others have found that communication patterns in Information and communications technology (ICT) in the workplace are closely related to taskmanagement [12,13]. This questions the potential of social platforms for establishing connections between people who do not already know each other. ...
... A shared history plays a key role in developing trust over time since an individuals repertoire of potential future actions are interpretations of prior interactions [20]. This is in accord with a study of instant messaging for collaboration in a high-tech firm [12], which found that over time, employees developed comfortable working relationships due to prior collaboration and socializing. ...
Conference Paper
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The study presented in this paper is the first to explore the relationship between knowledge professionals' offline interaction practices with their interaction practices in their social enterprise media platform in their multinational workplace. The article points to findings from a comprehensive, mixed methods and longitudinal (2010-- 2013) case study of a knowledge intensive multinational organization with entities in over 20 countries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The findings reveal a consistent pattern that offline practices are expanded online, and that the company's social enterprise media has facilitated few new acquaintances for employees. This provides important insights to the field of social media and our society because enterprise media are typically introduced in organizations to establish connections or relationships among employees that do not already know each other, or that work at the same geographical place or context. The study shows that organizations' online enterprise media spaces cannot be understood without reference to the social context in which they occur. This is explained in the framework of Giddens' structuration theory and his later work on modernity, which surprisingly few scholars have employed.
... More recently, looking at software teams, Slack use was categorised into three purposes: personal networking and fun; team collaboration and communications; engaging with communities of practice and special interest groups [32]. In one tech firm case-study [47], Quan-Haase et al., refer to the "social transluscence of technology", suggesting work tools should support social processes, to enhance collaboration [20]. They claim chat groups at work, may provide 'social distance' for workers and management alike-meaning interaction up and down the organisational hierarchy is made easier by chat because of the absence of hierarchical social cues in the chat groups. ...
... PublicBank had an active social group and we saw occasional work-related jokes, or birthdays and leaving celebrations. These tended to be confined to flat groups where members were co-workers and the boss was not present, countering the idea that chat groups are inherently less hierarchical [47]. Whilst chat may, in this way, contribute to team spirit, outside of PublicBanks social group, work-related messages were far more prevalent. ...
... This contrasts with the cases we observed, which by and large recreated and reinforced existing hierarchies. Unlike Johnston et al. [26]and Quan-Haase et al. [47] our study did not provide evidence for less hierarchical communication, and despite hoping for more direct information-sharing with workers, most organisations created chat groups around their hierarchies. Even the younger Kenyan companies, which had less traditional structures and were doing more innovative things with chat, still implemented chat as a top-down organisational tool and, thus, recreated traditional power structures, with HQ in charge. ...
Conference Paper
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In this paper, we examine how two chat apps fit into the communication ecosystem of six large distributed enterprises, in India and Kenya. From the perspective of management, these chat apps promised to foster greater communication and awareness between workers in the field, and between fieldworkers and the enterprises administration and management centres. Each organisation had multiple different types of chat groups, characterised by the types of content and interaction patterns they mediate, and the different organisational functions they fulfil. Examining the interplay between chat and existing local practices for coordination, collaboration and knowledge-sharing, we discuss how chat manifests in the distributed workplace and how it fits -- or otherwise -- alongside the rhythms of both local and remote work. We contribute to understandings of chat apps for workplace communication and provide insights for shaping their ongoing development.
... This is the same with instant messaging. People code-switch to emphasize their identities of bilinguals (Jones, 2007), challenge the accepted language norms to reconstruct their social identity (Cheuk & Chan, 2007), take the message windows as a means of controling online working status (Quan-Haase, Cothrel, & Wellman, 2005), and key in emoticons to boost communicative competence (Aarsand, 2005). Owing to the collapse of context (Marwick & boyd, 2011), identity and power in instant messaging are perceived as incredibly fluid and complicated, constituting CMD in a more versatile and negotiable manner in comparison to other mere verbal and written discourse. ...
... As some of my examples illustrated, participants made use of information on the Internet for the purpose of humor and small talk. When instant messengers are used locally within a physically-bounded workplace (Quan-Haase et al., 2005), the users can even draw on offline information as well. This was clearly demonstrated in my samples of small talk that stemmed from events taking place in the physical offices (see excerpts 5.14 and 5.18). ...
Thesis
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Workplace discourse analysis and computer-mediated discourse analysis have gathered momentum in the broad field of applied linguistics, but analysts have rarely empirically studied workplace discourse and computer-mediated communication simultaneously from a socio-constructionist perspective. Studies of the former have tended to explore face-to-face workplace interaction in non-Asian settings, while studies of the latter have centered on interpersonal and public communication contexts. However, the reality is that the use of digital devices, especially instant messengers, has become a trend in backstage communication in the workplace, including the small-sized enterprises in Sino-settings. This research hence aims to explore how the professionals in three Hong Kong white-collar organizations interact in Windows Live Messenger, Tencent QQ, and Facebook Chat for various transactional and relational purposes. Drawing upon Etienne Wenger's Communities of Practice framework (1998) and James Gee's model of discourse analysis (2011), the study analyzes the participants’ instant messaging chat logs supplemented with interview data, especially concentrating on how their humor and small talk took place functionally and creatively in such a computer-mediated work environment. Results indicate that these discursive strategies contain many fundamental features of Netspeak (e.g., the use of emoticons, non-standardized punctuation) that differentiate themselves from the counterparts in face-to-face settings, and that these speech events co-occur with the utilization of the general and specific instant messenger interfaces. The computer-mediated humor and small talk instances also activate various new dimensions to the reform of identity and the negotiation of power in the workplace. Further discussions reveal that these phenomena have facilitated sheer discourse processes in workplace communication, including the tendency to relational talk vis-à-vis business talk, the circulation of intertextual and multimodal meanings, the regression of social etiquette, the emergence of heteroglossic identity, and the amplification of individual intellectuality, linguistic competency, abilities of information access, and skills of information technology. It is concluded that humor and small talk in workplace instant messaging are socio-computational products of national cultural preferences, community norms, colleagues’ personal experience and preference of usage, and that they are informal, interpersonal, multidimensional tools for achieving organizational goals in the long run. It is also argued that the gendered and colloquial, individual and professional characteristics of humor and small talk in workplace instant messaging normally coalesce a fluctuating state of turbulence of workplace identity, and that the discursive strategies often visualize and symbolize the intellectual capital and personal aptitudes for controlling technology of a colleague. This dissertation not only provides insight into workplace discourse analysis and computer-mediated discourse analysis, but also projects novel knowledge, viewpoints, and implications to white-collar practitioners in Hong Kong, if not other career fields and societies.
... Although few studies have examined the uses of SNSs in the workplace from a social influence perspective, some have explored the importance of the social context of adopting a new communication medium in organizational settings. For example, Quan-Haase, Cothrel, and Wellman (2005) examined how employees of a high-tech firm used IM to collaborate with one another. They found that the first thing the employees did when they arrived at their workstations in the morning was log on to the IM system to indicate their availability to other employees. ...
... As Rice (2009) stated, new communication technologies "ARE wherever we are"; the use of Facebook among co-workers creates a social environment in which Facebook is wherever the employees are. These so-called "local virtualities" created by employees using computer-mediated media to communicate with each other in a physically bounded place could increase the density of the connected network (Quan-Haase et al., 2005). This increased level of density, the heightened level of interaction between and among co-workers, could in turn lead to a higher level of Facebook interruption. ...
Chapter
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In a society like Egypt, online political practice is not normatively integrated due to structural and/or technological inefficiencies. By the time this research began in late 2010, less than a quarter (21.1 %) of the Egyptian constituency was online (Egypt: Internet Usage and Telecommunications Report, n.d.). As the Internet’s new communicative affordances have benefitted “those who have crossed the digital divide,” (Bennett, 2003, p. 20) it is expected that the limitations of digital inequalities would reduce the numbers of potential online recipients and possible contributors. This, in turn, excludes the poorer and less-educated, and influences the contributors’ capabilities to support a viable form of influential ‘Internet-based’ activism. So, while the Internet and social media have expanded the toolkit for activists and enabled large numbers to assemble in loose networks with minimal resources, a hybrid ‘repertoire of collective action’ (McAdam, Tarrow, & Tilly, 2001) that fuses the virtual with the real is crucial should they aspire to acquire significant change and yield feasible outcomes for the collective. Social media, Hands (2011) writes, should be articulated as “a new element into the revolutionary process, in which new dynamics and new capacities need to be absorbed and understood.” This was evident in the configuration of the massive uprising of January 2011, which was arguably enabled by the creation of “a complex socio-technical system ….. not only between social media and the more traditional media, but also between mediated and face-to-face networks” (Lim, 2012, p. 244).
... On the contrary, even though the increasing intensity of technological multitasking, such as multiple instant messaging discussions taking place simultaneously, can at first enhance users' performance, this benefit can be followed by a collapse in performance due to cognitive information-processing challenges (Reinsch, Turner, & Tinsley 2008). The availability cues that instant messaging systems can provide may, however, speed up information exchange and lead to new forms of collaboration, because team members can easily become aware of who is available at a given point in time (Quan-Haase, Cothrel, & Wellman 2005). ...
... However, before sharing information, ESM users tend to consider privacy issues and other concerns, such as the nature of the information. These considerations, which include personal and professional privacy management principles (Petronio 2002), may restrict or strongly shape the content shared on ESM. For instance, because employees can perceive the organization-wide ESM as an open platform visible to all employees, they are likely to be conscious about their privacy management strategies and to carefully control the content they share (Laitinen & Sivunen 2018). ...
... Early studies of IM in the workplace [26,34,37,38,51,63], found it was used for short interactions, often for setting up phone or in-person meetings [63], or longer discussions between frequent chat partners [38]. With the emergence of mobile chat apps, there has been some discussion of how chat impacts the organisa tional hierarchy, with multiple studies suggesting it affords less hierarchical communication [67], including in hospital settings, with junior doctors and interns better able to access expertise from experts and ask more questions [44,57,64]. However, chat cannot replace the work that hierarchy accom plishes, such as filtering relevant content [59]. ...
... Prior work on clinical teams with senior and junior doctors found that chat helps to flatten the hierarchy and ease com munication [44,57,67]. In Shraddha, WhatsApp use reflects and reinforces the hierarchy, through group membership, who posts what, who acknowledges what, and the hierarchy of groups. ...
Conference Paper
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In this paper, we examine WhatsApp use by nurses in India. Globally, personal chat apps have taken the workplace by storm, and healthcare is no exception. In the hospital setting, this raises questions around how chat apps are integrated into hospital work and the consequences of using such personal tools for work. To address these questions, we conducted an ethnographic study of chat use in nurses' work in a large multi-specialty hospital. By examining how chat is embedded in the hospital, rather than focusing on individual use of personal tools, we throw new light on the adoption of personal tools at work-specifically what happens when such tools are adopted and used as though they were organisational tools. In doing so, we explicate their impact on invisible work [77] and the creep of work into personal time, as well as how hierarchy and power play out in technology use. Thus, we point to the importance of looking beyond individual adoption by knowledge workers when studying the impact of personal tools at work.
... The prevalence of smartphones made MIM become the leading mobile communication services in recent years, replacing traditional text messaging services such as short message service (SMS) provided by cellular network carriers. Compared with other services and tools, MIM primarily concentrates on the immediate delivery of messages via a "pop-up" notification to present the message immediately (Quan-Haase, Cothrel & Wellman, 2005). The general characteristic of MIM can be summarized into the following: (1) users can access this kind of applications via handheld mobile devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, tablet computers etc., (2) messages can be transmitted by the Internet, not the telecommunication carriers, (3) connection between recipients can be bi-directional (one-to-one) and multi-directional (one-to-many) (So, 2016), (4) contact list can be customized by adding, deleting and blocking, (5) chat log can be saved (usually in the device), stored (usually in the cloud), cleared (not including the cache), deleted (including the cache). ...
... Thus, messages via IM are synchronous usually between two sets of interactants in a one-to-one or one-to-many format. IM is popular among adults (Shui and Lenhart, 2004;Quan-Haase, Cothrel and Wellman, 2005) as much as it is among teenagers. ...
Article
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Orthographic engineering is no longer the preserve of the Short Messaging Service (SMS), which is characterised by limited space. Such stylistic creativity or deviation is fast creeping into real-time messaging, popularly known as Instant Messaging (IM), despite the large number of characters allowed. This occurs at various linguistic levels: phonology, morphology and syntax. This study investigates the phonological and meta-phonological conventions of the messages sent and received via WhatsApp by Nigerian graduates. This is an ontological study of 310 instant messages collected from 98 graduates from different ethnic groups in Nigeria. The selection and analysis of the messages are based on figure and ground principle. The results reveal the use of accent stylisation, phoneme substitution, blending, consonantisation (a specialised form of deletion targeting vowels), numerophony (using a figure/number, usually 1-10, to represent a word or syllable that has the same sound) and phonetic respelling in the IMs sent by Nigerians. They also show that Nigerians employ more substitution devices than deletion strategies in constructing textisms for IM. The study confirms the existence of linguistic creativity.
... The stand-alone examination of three virtual collaboration elements is descriptive in nature (e.g., team composition, task complexity, and tool functionality), and it is the relationships among them that matter in terms of how well an inter-organizational project is carried out. Conceptual and case studies suggest that virtual collaboration outcomes depend on whether an appropriate collaboration tool is used to facilitate task accomplishment (i.e., task-tool relationship), how extensively team members adopt and utilize the collaboration tool (i.e., team-tool relationship), and how well team members coordinate with each other to work on the tasks (i.e., team-task relationship) (Argote and Fahrenkopf, 2016;Quan-Haase et al., 2005). In different fields, researchers have developed theoretical frameworks that focus on the relationship between two elements at a time. ...
Article
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Inter-organizational projects face unique challenges and opportunities due to team diversities and task complexity. Mobile social media like WhatsApp and WeChat emerge as new-generation collaboration tools in such endeavors. Based on a literature review, this study posits that how well team-tool, task-tool and team-task relationships are handled shape virtual collaboration effectiveness. The conceptual framework, validated with the interviews from inter-organizational project team members in China and the USA, leads to a research model. The results of a larger-scale survey confirm that tool usability, task fit and team connectivity contribute to virtual collaboration effectiveness, which affects project management success and team appreciation. In addition, there are noticeable cross-country differences, especially the opposite moderating effects that degree of use imposes on the relationship between virtual collaboration effectiveness and project management success. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd and Association for Project Management and the International Project Management Association
... Since then, group chat, and its close relative instant messaging, have amassed billions of users world-wide [16,18,47,83]. Chat has been extensively studied in numerous application areas, including how it can foster intimacy among friends and family [37,81], how social norms form in online chat communities [65], how firms collaborate with chat in the workplace [32,35,63], how open source software developers coordinate in distributed teams [71], and how chat can lead to unintended consequences, such as a reduction in face-to-face communication, and increased interruption and distraction [10,21,29,39]. Echoing this work, we also find unintended consequences and side effects in today's group chat, in particular, that people like the simplicity of having a single tool for rich interactions with their entire team, but struggle to keep up with the demands of information management. ...
Article
While group chat is becoming increasingly popular for team collaboration, these systems generate long streams of unstructured back-and-forth discussion that are difficult to comprehend. In this work, we investigate ways to enrich the representation of chat conversations, using techniques such as tagging and summarization, to enable users to better make sense of chat. Through needfinding interviews with 15 active group chat users, who were shown mock-up alternative chat designs, we found the importance of structured representations, including signals such as discourse acts. We then developed Tilda, a prototype system that enables people to collaboratively enrich their chat conversation while conversing. From lab evaluations, we examined the ease of marking up chat using Tilda as well as the effectiveness of Tilda-enabled summaries for getting an overview. From a field deployment, we found that teams actively engaged with Tilda both for marking up their chat as well as catching up on chat.
... Although computer-mediated communications connect workers and allows for more knowledge workers to communicate more frequently, these communications are often misunderstood (Hertlein & Ancheta, 2014;Larson, 2013), resulting in shallow relationships and creating distance in the work place (Quan-Haase, Cothrel, &Wellman, 2005). To quote Lucius Annaeus Seneca, "it is quality rather than quantity that matters" (Vogt, 2016). ...
Research
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Technology is essential to organizations, especially computer-mediated communications, allowing for globalization, improved quality, and increased profits. Knowledge workers rely on technology as well as computer-mediated communication tools. Research on the use of computer-mediated communications among adolescents and in social settings has suggested that there is a lack of effective interaction and relatedness when technology is used. Research further posits that this can cause a breakdown in trust and commitment. This study used a survey to collect data about organizational commitment levels and relatedness and affiliation needs in the workplace for knowledge workers, and to what extent computer-mediated communications could explain these variables. The research question was: What is the extent of relationship between computer-mediated communications, relatedness and affiliation needs, and organizational commitment of knowledge workers? There were 199 responses collected by the researcher and analyzed with linear regression. The survey and structural model utilized a composite of existing instruments to measure computer-mediated communications, relatedness and affiliation needs in the work place, and commitment levels to the organization. Two structural models examined the relationships for the constructs and resulted in two null hypotheses being rejected. The first model tested computer-mediated communications use and relatedness and affiliation needs. The results supported a significant relationship between these variables. The second research question tested the relationship between computer-mediated communications use and normative and affective organizational commitment levels. The second model also rejected the null hypothesis and discovered a significant relationship exists between these variables. Future research was recommended to further analyze the results based on sex and age and include different classifications of knowledge workers.
... As the extent of socialrelated ESM use increases, personal interaction and quality communication improve. In such a quality communication process, mutual understanding among employees is likely to be developed (Quan-Haase, Cothrel, & Wellman, 2005). Mutual understanding facilitates the information being easily exchanged with each other (Huang, Chen, Ou, Davison, & Hua, 2017). ...
Article
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Considerable research has focused on the positive effects of information technology use. However, emerging research and practice commentary highlight the importance of considering the negative side of information technology use. The current study investigates how enterprise social media use (i.e. work- and social-related use) influences employees’ perceived overload (i.e. information and social overload), which in turn affects enterprise social media-related strain. In addition, we posit that communication visibility moderates the nonlinear relationship between enterprise social media use and overload. Using a survey of 282 enterprise social media users in the workplace as a basis, we find an inverted U-shaped relationship between work-related enterprise social media use and information overload and between work-related enterprise social media use and social overload. Moreover, a U-shaped relationship is found between social-related enterprise social media use and information overload and between social-related enterprise social media use and social overload. Communication visibility positively moderates the inverted U-shaped relationships between work-related enterprise social media use and information overload and between work-related enterprise social media use and social overload, but negatively moderates the U-shaped relationship between social-related enterprise social media use and information overload. The theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.
... Other online communication technologies have also found their place in the organizational environment, including various meeting support tools, voice and video conferencing tools, instant messaging, chat, group calendars, and repositories of shared knowledge (Olson and Olson, 2003). For instance, use of instant messaging adds speed and ease to workplace communication and can increase connectivity and a sense of community within organizations (Quan-Haase et al., 2005); it can also improve the working relationship with co-workers within departments, across departments, and outside the organization (Cho et al. 2005). ...
Conference Paper
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A recently developed computer-mediated communication (CMC) competence measure was evaluated on a convenience sample (N=270) regarding the reliability of its 15 subscales that were designed to measure the following CMC-related constructs: Motivation, Knowledge, Coordination, Expressiveness, Attentiveness, Composure, Efficacy, General Usage, CMC Interactivity, Task Orientation, Appropriateness, Effectiveness, Satisfaction, Co-orientation, and Productivity/Efficiency. Satisfactory reliability (Cronbach alpha) was found for almost all of the subscales. Furthermore, significant correlation was found between most of the subscales of the CMC competence measure and frequency of web use, e-mail use and instant messaging / chat use. Finally, the total scores and the items of the subscales of the CMC competence measure were used in separate factor analyses. The uncovered factors/dimensions of CMC competence corresponded to the agency and communion dimensions of interpersonal interaction, and also to the knowledge, motivation and skills model of interpersonal competence. The potential educational use of the CMC competence measure is also briefly discussed.
... The affordances provided by computer technology have suggested an enormous availability of CMC small talk at work. Instant messengers have been used in the workplace for communication purposes such as greeting (Chung and Nam 2007), mentoring (Mak, Chui, and Liu 2012), prefacing face-to-face or phone talk (Cameron and Webster 2005), and maintenance of a superficial sense of belonging (Quan-Haase, Cothrel, and Wellman 2005). They are commonly used as an alternative to face-to-face talk when colleagues are using work computers (Nardi, Whittaker, and Bradner 2000). ...
Article
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This paper describes how bilingual colleagues living in Hong Kong make small talk in instant messaging to achieve various business-oriented goals and construct multiple identities in the discursive process. Guided by James Paul Gee's revised framework of discourse analysis, the analyses evidenced that, overall, colleagues use small talk in instant messages to maintain minimal ties with distant partners, fill in silence during computer work, affect informal decision-making at work, and to diffuse useful surrounding information into business talk. These instances interplay with different affordances provided by the gadgets in the instant messenger interfaces. Such creative usage, together with the perceived nature of online interaction and instant messaging, results in multiple and turbulent identities circulating in the broader context of workplace discourse. The article concludes by arguing that computer-mediated communication has offered participants an emerging modus of interacting socially, beyond the physical and psychological constraints of time and space.
... Some studies examined the unanticipated outcomes of group chat such as a reduction in face-to-face communication and increased interruption and distraction (e.g., Cameron & Webster, 2005;Czerwinski et al., 2000;Garrett & Danziger, 2007;Iqbal & Horvitz, 2007). Many studies were conducted on chat related to employee collaboration in the workplace (e.g., Herbsleb et al., 2002;Quan-Haase et al., 2005). ...
Preprint
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of using mobile group chat for social interaction on team collaboration. The forming stage of team development is the main scope of the study. Based on the literature suggesting stimulating effects of mobile group chat and social interaction on employees’ positive behavior, we hypothesized that using mobile group chat (Line) for social interaction would enhance the collaboration of teams during the forming stage. We designed a one-factor experiment with participants randomly assigned to one of the two conditions. We compared the collaboration of the experimental group (using Line) with that of the control group (without Line). We found that group using mobile group chat generated higher levels of collaboration than did the control group. Implications for the role of mobile group chat in groups are discussed.
... These goal-oriented communications are common in diverse groups, including those of family members, friends, colleagues, and coworkers. Group chat has the advantages of enabling asynchronous communication [39,52] and maintaining users' awareness of ongoing group agendas through Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. ...
Conference Paper
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Although group chat discussions are prevalent in daily life, they have a number of limitations. When discussing in a group chat, reaching a consensus often takes time, members contribute unevenly to the discussion, and messages are unorganized. Hence, we aimed to explore the feasibility of a facilitator chatbot agent to improve group chat discussions. We conducted a needfinding survey to identify key features for a facilitator chatbot. We then implemented Groupfeed-Bot, a chatbot agent that could facilitate group discussions by managing the discussion time, encouraging members to participate evenly, and organizing members' opinions. To evaluate GroupfeedBot, we performed preliminary user studies that varied for diverse tasks and different group sizes. We found that the group with GroupfeedBot appeared to exhibit more diversity in opinions even though there were no differences in output quality and message quantity. On the other hand, GroupfeedBot promoted members' even participation and effective communication for the medium-sized group.
... Taken together, our findings also support the idea of proactive use of technological seams between various communications services drawn from Barkhuus and Polichar (2011) that also transpires from the various studies indicating that conscious communication choices reflect different roles played by consumers in separate contexts (Boczkowski et al., 2018;Finn et al., 2017;Kerrigan & Hart, 2016;Tandoc et al., 2019). Apart from apps clearly associated with the Orientation Stage such as Lovoo or Tinder, social ties present on apps comprise the same people one knows in real-life (Grinter & Palen, 2002;Mesch et al., 2012;Quan-Haase, Cothrel, & Wellman, 2005). Consequently, it seems natural that boundaries that exist in real-life somehow have to transcend into the online sphere. ...
Article
The European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) enables competent authorities to introduce interoperability obligations also for number-independent interpersonal communications services (NI-ICS) such as Facebook Messenger, LINE, Skype, WeChat and WhatsApp. Under such an obligation, consumers could interact not just with users of the NI-ICS where they have a user account themselves, but also with users of all then interoperable NI-ICS. While with traditional electronic communications services (ECS) economic theory and consumer interests align as regards interoperability since multi-homing across various operators is the exemption, it is not yet clear whether that is also true for NI-ICS for which multi-homing is the norm. Our paper draws on an online survey of n = 2044 consumers in Germany covering traditional ECS, email and 22 other NI-ICS to address this issue from a consumer point of view. We find that people proactively use the boundaries between communications services to compartmentalize their social contacts according to relationship closeness. Our finding echoes indications provided in a rich stream of computer-mediated communication (CMC) research and in particular psychological theories of relationship development. Specifically, people appear to follow a finely tuned cultural code implying a hierarchical order of communications services used depending on the closeness of the contacts. Consequently, our results provide a complementary explanation of how and why certain groups of social ties converge to a specific (set of) communications service(s) beyond network effects and shed a critical light on current policy debates around an interoperability obligation for interpersonal communications applications. They highlight that an interoperability obligation for NI-ICS would likely not be in line with consumer interests.
... Prior research suggests that, being used in mainly collaboration tasks (Pazos, Chung, & Micari, 2012), instant messaging supports copresence of employees, facilitates informal knowledge exchange (Davison, Ou, & Martinsons, 2013), and enables employees to check availability of their coworkers with little effort (Nardi, Whittaker, & Bradner, 2000). Instant messaging thus increases connectivity among employees and is found to facilitate workplace relationship development and improve communication quality and job satisfaction (e.g., Dahlberg, 2005;Davison, Ou, Martinsons, Zhao, & Du, 2014;Ou & Davison, 2015;Quan-Haase, Cothrel, & Wellman, 2005). ...
Article
Supporting dyadic and multisided messaging with various communication modalities as well as social networking, mobile instant messengers provide a communication tool that alters processes in not only social but also professional interactions. In this study, we employ a paradox-based perspective to examine how WeChat, the most popular mobile instant messenger in China, is a productive and problematic tool for work-related interactions. Findings from interviews with Chinese employees suggest that, although enhancing connectivity and coordination among employees, WeChat use is associated with paradoxes of engagement, formality, and visibility. Technical features, organizational norms, coworker expectations, and conflicts in individual understandings of WeChat contribute to the perceptions of these paradoxes. Participants respond to the paradoxes by developing their own rules, exerting control, or withdrawing from some features of WeChat. Implications of this study on mobile communication research and organizational communication practices are discussed.
... Moreover, ESM enables employees to be visually active rather than physically present in organizations to interact with others (Sun et al., 2020). This endeavor would assist employees to show their feelings and behaviors in a comfortable and open manner, thereby enabling them to easily create an "ambient awareness" of issues (Quan-Haase et al., 2005). Task-related communication through ESM enhances employees' abilities to solve task conflicts in a substantially efficient manner. ...
Article
Enterprise social media (ESM) has been commonly used by businesses and companies to provide a framework for communication and cooperation among individuals. However, studies have presented vague results related to the characteristics of ESM usage, which may be beneficial for workplace managers to enhance individual creativity. This study uses primary data from 346 Chinese employees working in different companies to assess the role of ESM usage in managing workplace conflict. Findings show that ESM usage has negative and insignificant effects on task and relationship conflicts, respectively. In addition, relationship conflict has a negative effect on individual creativity, while task conflict shows a curvilinear relationship with creativity. Task interdependence strengthens the relationship between ESM use and task conflict, but shows an insignificant relationship between ESM use and relationship conflict. Lastly, this research discusses the theoretical and managerial implications.
... Like IM, messaging apps support "presence awareness" and visible alerting, which enrich the near-synchronous interaction and information exchanges in one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many formats (Quan-Haase, Cothrel, & Wellman, 2005). "Presence awareness," or simply "presence," allows users to indirectly create and maintain a sense of connection to others; it also enables them to negotiate availability or preparedness for interaction (Nardi, Whittaker, & Bradner, 2000). ...
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This paper examines how mobile messaging apps have how people microcoordinate. It is based on five focus groups of young adults in Singapore and Taiwan. Originally, microcoordination usually assumed dyadic interaction using either SMS or mobile voice calls. Increasingly, mediated communication uses mobile messaging apps that allow multi-sided interactions that facilitate task-based chat groups. Groups are easy formed but can be difficult to manage. This paper advances our understanding of microcoordination via the use of messaging apps. Specifically, it provides insights into the dual roles of instrumental and expressive interaction integral to the functioning of these messaging groups, ambient mediated sociation in the form of readily available communication partners in groups, as well as the emergence of meme-based coordination.
... In recent years, a wide variety of computer technologies such as Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs), smart kit etc, have gained increasing popularity in language teaching and learning environments. According to Quan-Hasse, Cothrel, and Wellman (2005), computer technologies have enabled learners to communicate ideas, information, and their feelings without any limit on time and area. As researchers repeatedly argue, CALL practitioners' computer literacy knowledge and skills for creating and maintaining successful CALL environments contribute greatly to the efficacy of CALL (Egbert & Hanson-Smith 2007;Guichon & Hauch, 2011;Stockwell, 2009) Educational researchers and teaching practitioners recognize that computer technology can enhance language teaching and learning (Amaral & Meurers, 2011;Egbert & Hanson-Smith, 2007). ...
Conference Paper
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Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) can be defined as " any process in which a learner uses a computer, and as a result, improves his or her language " (Beatty, 2013, p. 7). Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of a TAMA software, an educational content development, in Iranian absolute-beginners' proper use of the simple present tense. Forty participants were homogeneously assigned to two experimental and control groups; each group consisting of twenty participants. During the treatment, for the experimental group, the materials were presented through both their regular coursebooks and the TAMA software. However, the control group was taught, the materials only through their coursebooks. The results of the two independent samples t-tests showed that the experimental group significantly outperformed the control one.
... Literature has also analysed the social dynamics that are integral to the usage of CMC, with a study by (Quan-Haase, Cothrel & Wellman 2005) reporting that while instant messaging in the workplace has led to some improvements in productivity, it has deepened divides between employees who are unfamiliar with each other, due to the observed 'distance' the platform brings due to the lack of non-verbal cues. Employees felt that the personal nature of instant messaging services made it difficult or awkward to initiate conversations with co-workers they did not have a prior relationship with and preferred to begin correspondence with asynchronous methods of communication first, such as email, or more 'professional' forms of synchronous communication like telephone calls or in-person meetings. ...
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This research aims to demystify the reasons why young adults’ instant messaging (IM) communication does not directly emulate their prosaic or spoken English, and form a theory of a ‘digital accent’ to explain these differences and provide a nascent framework for future research. In the context of this thesis, ‘digital accent’ refers to a dialect of communication unique to instant messaging software, fostered by the temporality of communication encouraged by the medium’s synchronous nature. The research question “what definition, if any, can be given to the term ‘digital accent’?” was posed for this thesis to answer. Through semi-structured interviews, document analysis and a survey, this thesis explores areas related to instant messaging such minor linguistic cues (MLCs), the differences between older synchronous mediums and instant messaging, and the role emoticons and emojis play in communicating affective meaning. It was concluded that while grammatical commonalities exist between many of the participants’ instant messages, it is far more effective to consider the digital accent as a heuristic framework to understand and interpret the subtexts of instant messages rather than a descriptive term.
... Not only are they rare, but their results are also inconclusive-possibly as it is still an emerging area of research (Chari & Gane, 2018;Wan et al., 2019). Some studies suggest that IM can help decisions to be made quickly while also facilitating communication, the exchange of ideas, employees' motivation, their concentration, and a sense of workplace community (Quan-Haase et al., 2005). However, studies also suggest it can frequently interrupt work, may extend the length of the working day, increase stress, negatively affect well-being (Mullan & Wajcman, 2019;Russo et al., 2019) and cause telepressure-the preoccupation and urge to respond to messages from work (Barber et al., 2019). ...
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As new communication technologies become embedded in care work, there is a need to understand how they affect its temporal order. This article analyses group‐based mobile instant messaging (IM) in residential elder care work in Finland. The article asks (i) how care workers use group‐based messaging for work; and (ii) how they negotiate the rules for its use. Theoretically, the article draws on science and technology studies focusing on ‘taming’ and ‘unleashing’ (Pols, 2017), and temporality (Wajcman, 2008). Analysis is based on a qualitative interview study of care workers and nurses (n = 25) conducted in 2018. The results showed how the time‐shifting functionality of IM allows employees to ‘tame the technology’ and unleash effective communication practices. However, IM also increases a risk of boundless accessibility and tames its users, pointing to a growing need for time work to manage their work‐life balance in the complex temporal order of care work.
... The development of more innovative communication forms technologies, such as blogs, instant messaging, and Internet chat, has heralded a qualitative change in communication potential (Lovejoy, Saxton, 2012). Studies of newer digital technologies, which could be considered "forerunners" of social media, have found that they have brought significantly larger possibilities for collaboration, interactivity, and communication (Cameron & Webster, 2005;Macias, Hilyard, & Freimuth, 2009;Quan-Haase, Cothrel, and Wellman, 2005). ...
... Consequently, technology that supports collaborative work alleviates such issues resulting in better work performance. Finally, a prominent argument when it comes to collaborative work is that oftentimes individuals require input to be able to continue their work if tasks are interdependent, and that instant messaging can break down social barriers and allow individuals to utilize others' knowledge (Quan-Haase et al., 2005). In turn, this knowledge can help develop innovation and contributes to enhanced work performance. ...
Article
Purpose This study aims to investigate the relationship between information and communication technologies (ICTs) use and work performance during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Specifically, it aims to understand what the role of task–technology fit is, and what effect this has on feelings of loneliness of individuals and their subsequent work performance. As a large proportion of workers are required to work from home during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, understanding what aspects contribute to higher performance and reduced negative psychological outcomes is of increased practical and research interest. Design/methodology/approach To explore these questions, a quantitative approach that employed a sample population of 357 individuals who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic was used. Using a convenience, purposive and snowball sampling approach the authors collected data through a custom-built online questionnaire, and analyzed the data using structural equation modeling (SEM). Findings The results highlight the effect that high task–technology fit has in both directly and indirectly influencing work performance of individuals. The authors find that by designing ICTs based on task–technology fit principles, individuals are less likely to experience feelings of loneliness while working from home and are more prone to perform better in their work-related tasks. Originality/value This study offers a new perspective on the role fit of tasks with technology have on influencing psychological states, and indirectly influencing work-related outcomes. The authors, therefore, expand the understanding about why task–technology fit is sought after by explaining part of the psychological mechanisms through which it has an effect on work performance.
... Quantitative evidence supports these perceptions, linking smartphone addiction to lowered work-related and non-work-related productivity and finding a negative relationship between total hours spent on the smartphone and total hours worked (Adamczyk & Bailey, 2004;Czerwinski, Cutrell, & Horvitz, 2000;Duke & Montag, 2017). It also suggests that employees use instant messaging to create distance between themselves and their superiors in difficult situations (Quan-Haase, Cothrel, & Wellman, 2005). ...
Thesis
This thesis investigates smartphone use in naturally occurring contexts with a dataset comprising 200 hours of audio-visual first-person recordings from wearable cameras, and self-confrontation interview video footage (N = 41 users). The situated context in which smartphone use takes place has often been overlooked because of the technical difficulty of capturing context of use, actual action of users, and their subjective experience simultaneously. This research project contributes to filling this gap, with a detailed, mixed-methods analysis of over a thousand individual phone engagement behaviours (EB). We observe that (a) the smartphone is a key structuring element in the flow of daily activities. Participants report complex strategies on how they manage engaging with or avoiding their devices. (b) Unexpectedly, we find that the majority of EB (89%) are initiated by users, not devices; users engage with the phone roughly every five minutes regardless of the context they are in. (c) A large portion of EB seems to stem from contextual cues and an unconscious urge to pick up the device, even when there is no clear reason to do so. d) Participants are surprised about, and often unhappy with how frequently they mindlessly reach for the phone. Our in-depth analysis unveils several overlapping layers of motivations and triggers driving EB. Monitoring incoming notifications, managing time use, responding to social pressures, actually completing a task with the phone, design factors, unconscious urges, as well as the accessibility of the device, and most importantly its affordance for distraction all contribute to picking up the phone. This user drive for EB is used by providers to feed the attention economy. So far, keeping the smartphone outside of the visual field and immediate reach has appeared as the only efficient strategy to prevent overuse.
... Nogle argumenterer, at Twitter ikke var skabt til at samarbejde, og at Twitter derfor ikke skal overvejes som en samtaleform. Quan-Haase et al. [Quan-Haase et al., 2005] henviser imidlertid til, at der er eksempler på udvidede samtaler, hvor brugere allerede drager fordel af Twitter til uformelle samarbejdsformål, og samtale er en vaesentlig samarbejdskomponent. ...
Article
The anthology Microblogs global is an international study of Twitter. Fifteen researchers examined tweets in Chinese, German, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish regarding the following linguistic phenomena: orthography, spoken language, vocabulary, reduction, syntax, graphostylistics, interaction and the functional aspects. The book was an inspiration for the analysis of tweets in Danish and Polish because the two languages were not included in the original study. Furthermore, a contrastive analysis of the Polish and Danish tweets is included to highlight the differences in the language of the tweets. The following article is the first part of this study. It deals with the social network and microblogging tool Twitter, including the more technical side of microblogging. The many types of tweets and the extensive terminology involved are thoroughly and conscientiously explained. The contrasts regarding orthography and spoken language are analyzed whereas the discrepancies in vocabulary, reduction, syntax, graphostylistics, interaction and the functional aspects will be described in the second part of the study. The basis for the description is a compilation of 640 tweets — 320 Polish and 320 Danish — from an inhomogeneous community that posts mainly in Polish / Danish. Profiles were chosen completely by chance and they belong to various politicians, journalists and individuals. The study covers the period from March 30 to April 6, 2019.
... Smartphone-based messaging apps also draw on the legacy of instant messaging (IM). Like IM, messaging apps support "presence awareness" and visible alerting, which enrich the near-synchronous interaction and information exchanges in one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many formats (Quan-Haase, Cothrel, & Wellman, 2005). "Presence awareness," or simply "presence," allows users to indirectly create and maintain a sense of connection to others; it also enables them to negotiate availability or preparedness for interaction (Nardi, Whittaker, & Bradner, 2000). ...
... But the desire to develop Instant Messaging (I.M.) to mobile phones has come from the perceived benefits of such portability. Quan-Haase et al. [26] suggest that I.M. applications differed from emails primarily in their focus on the immediate delivery of message through (1) a "pop-up" mechanism to display messages the moment it is received, (2) a user-generated visible list of other users and (3) a mechanism for indicating when "buddies" are online and available to receive messages. These are the same characteristics one expects to see in M.I.M. application,only pop-ups are now replaced with notifications. ...
Article
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It is reported in the literature that there are widespread adoption and use of Mobile Instant Messaging (M.I.M.) among businesses. However, there is a lack of academic publication in this area that demonstrates by means of a case study that the M.I.M. implementation for S.M.E.'s can improve operational processes. In this case study, the company recently moved much of its Product Ordering (P.O.) processes to a freely accessible M.I.M. app. The paper uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis to evaluate the impact of the change. Quantitative and qualitative analysis confirms that the introduction has enhanced the P.O. process. The analysis shows that the timeline for the full P.O. process is significantly shortened. The speed of communication allowed faster processing, approval and delivery. The paper presents the first case study that looks at how M.I.M. processes can enhance an S.M.E.'s operations.
... Some studies examined the unanticipated outcomes of group chat such as a reduction in face-to-face communication and increased interruption and distraction (e.g., Cameron & Webster, 2005;Czerwinski et al., 2000;Garrett & Danziger, 2007;Iqbal & Horvitz, 2007). Many studies were conducted on chat related to employee collaboration in the workplace (e.g., Herbsleb et al., 2002;Quan-Haase et al., 2005). ...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of using mobile group chat for social interaction on team collaboration. The forming stage of team development is the main scope of the study. Based on the literature suggesting stimulating effects of mobile group chat and social interaction on employees' positive behavior, we hypothesized that using mobile group chat (Line app) for social interaction would enhance the collaboration of teams during the forming stage. We designed a one-factor experiment with participants randomly assigned to one of the two conditions. We compared the collaboration of the experimental group (using the Line app) with that of the control group (without the Line app). We found that the group using mobile group chat generates higher levels of collaboration than the control group. Implications for the role of mobile group chat in groups are discussed.
... MIM allows students and peers to chat in ''real time'' (Rambe and Bere 2013) allowing instantaneous communication and feedback. MIM is profoundly valued for its capacity to foster a unique social presence that is qualitatively and visually distinct from e-mail systems and SMS in the following ways: (1) a ''popup'' facility to show messages the moment they are received; (2) a visible list (''buddy list'') of users currently online (Quan-Haase et al. 2005). ...
Article
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Research on technology adoption often profiles device usability (such as perceived usefulness) and user dispositions (such as perceived ease of use) as the prime determinants of effective technology adoption. Since any process of technology adoption cannot be conceived out of its situated contexts, this paper argues that any pre-occupation with technology acceptance from the perspective of device usability and user dispositions potentially negates enabling contexts that make successful adoption a reality. Contributing to contemporary debates on technology adoption, this study presents flexible mobile learning contexts comprising cost (device cost and communication cost), device capabilities (portability, collaborative capabilities), and learner traits (learner control) as antecedents that enable the sustainable uptake of emerging technologies. To explore the acceptance and capacity of mobile instant messaging systems to improve student performance, the study draws on these antecedents, develops a factor model and empirically tests it on tertiary students at a South African University of Technology. The study involved 223 national diploma and bachelor’s degree students and employed partial least squares for statistical analysis. Overall, the proposed model displayed a good fit with the data and rendered satisfactory explanatory power for students’ acceptance of mobile learning. Findings suggest that device portability, communication cost, collaborative capabilities of device and learner control are the main drivers of flexible learning in mobile environments. Flexible learning context facilitated by learner control was found to have a positive influence on attitude towards mobile learning and exhibited the highest path coefficient of the overall model. The study implication is that educators need to create varied learning opportunities that leverage learner control of learning in mobile learning systems to enhance flexible mobile learning. The study also confirmed the statistical significance of the original Technology Acceptance Model constructs.
... The text-chat environment is a form of computermediated communication which is very low cost compared with face-to-face communication. A study showed that in an organization, employees commonly used the text-chat medium to communicate more frequently than using face-to-face communication [8]. ...
Conference Paper
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Exchanging text messages via software on smart phones and computers has recently become one of the most popular ways for people to communicate and accomplish their tasks. However, there are negative aspects to using this kind of software, for example, it has been found that people communicating in the text-chat environment may experience a lack of trust and may face different levels of cognitive load [1, 11]. This study examines a novel way to measure interpersonal trust and cognitive load when they overlap with each other in the text-chat environment. We used Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), a physiological measurement, to collect data from twenty-eight subjects at four gradients and overlapping conditions between trust and cognitive load. The findings show that the GSR signals were significantly affected by both trust and cognitive load and provide promising evidence that GSR can be used as a tool for measuring interpersonal trust when cognitive load is low and also for measuring cognitive load when trust is high.
... The text-chat environment is a form of computermediated communication which is very low cost compared with face-to-face communication. A study showed that in an organization, employees commonly used the text-chat medium to communicate more frequently than using face-to-face communication [8]. Although the text-chat environment is commonly used, it has been found that there is a lack of interpersonal trust between the communicators compared to other computer-mediated communication forms such as video [1] and also communicators may face different levels of cognitive load [11]. ...
Conference Paper
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This paper examines how different levels of cognitive load can affect trust in the text-chat environment. It also examines how the mouse movements of participants can indicate the level of cognitive load when they chat with each other. We designed two chat systems: one in which subjects chat under low mental load and the other in which subjects chat under high mental load. Twenty subjects participated in the study and the results showed significant differences in the level of trust between subjects under different cognitive loads; that is, subjects who chatted under low mental load showed more trust in their partners. Moreover, the mouse data obtained proved to be effective in indicating the level of cognitive load existing between the subjects. However, this work suggests that to establish trust in the chat environment, it is better to communicate under a low cognitive load. Our findings also show the ability of designed systems to measure cognitive load via tracking mouse events for the purpose of providing assistance to communicators.
... Mobile and landline phone calls, Taken together, our findings also support the idea of proactive use of technological seams between various communications services drawn from Barkhuus and Polichar (2011) that also transpires from the various studies indicating that conscious communication choices reflect different roles played by consumers in separate contexts (Boczkowski, et al., 2018;Finn, et al., 2017;Kerrigan & Hart, 2016;Tandoc, et al., 2019). Apart from apps clearly associated with the Orientation Stage such as Lovoo or Tinder, social ties present on apps comprise the same people one knows in real-life (Grinter & Palen, 2002;Mesch, et al., 2012;Quan-Haase, Cothrel, & Wellman, 2005). Consequently, it seems natural that boundaries that exist in reallife somehow have to transcend into the online sphere. ...
Preprint
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The European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) enables competent authorities to introduce interoperability obligations also for number-independent interpersonal communications services (NI-ICS) such as Facebook Messenger, LINE, Skype, WeChat and WhatsApp. Under such an obligation, consumers could interact not just with users of the NI-ICS where they have a user account themselves, but also with users of all then interoperable NI-ICS. While with traditional electronic communications services (ECS) economic theory and consumer interests align as regards interoperability since multi-homing across various operators is the exemption, it is not yet clear whether that is also true for NI-ICS for which multi-homing is the norm. Our paper draws on an online survey of n=2,044 consumers in Germany covering traditional ECS, email and 22 other NI-ICS to address this issue from a consumer point of view. We find that people proactively use the boundaries between communications services to compartmentalize their social contacts according to relationship closeness. Our finding echoes indications provided in a rich stream of computer-mediated communication (CMC) research and in particular psychological theories of relationship development. Specifically, people appear to follow a finely tuned cultural code implying a hierarchical order of communications services used depending on the closeness of the contacts. Consequently, our results provide a complementary explanation of how and why certain groups of social ties converge to a specific (set of) communications service(s) beyond network effects and shed a critical light on current policy debates around an interoperability obligation for interpersonal communications applications. They highlight that an interoperability obligation for NI-ICS would likely not be in line with consumer interests.
Article
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Communication accommodation theory predicts that social power plays an important role in influencing communicative behaviors. Previous research suggests these effects extend to linguistic style, thought to be a non-conscious aspect of communication. Here, we explore if these effects hold when individuals converse using a medium limited in personal cues, computer-mediated-communication (CMC). We manipulated social power in instant messaging conversations and measured subsequent interpersonal impressions. Low power induced greater likelihood of linguistic style accommodation, across between- (Study 1) and within-subjects (Study 2) experiments. Accommodation by those in a low power role had no impact on impressions formed by their partner. In contrast, linguistic style accommodation by individuals in a high-power role was associated with negative interpersonal impressions formed by their lower power partner. The results show robust effects of power in shaping language use across CMC. Further, the interpersonal effects of linguistic accommodation depend upon the conversational norms of the social context.
Article
This chapter examines social networks in the Portuguese society, and the impact of these social networks on organizations regarding Computer-Mediated Communication. The results describe a Portuguese case study and attempt to answer the following question: How does Computer-Mediated Communication contribute to social networking in organizations? This chapter examines the emails and phone calls exchanged during the year 2008 by employees working for a Portuguese bank in order to identify nodes, roles, positions, types of relations, types of networks and centrality measures. Overall there were 93.654 internal calls and 542.674 emails exchanged between the actors. The findings suggest that emailing is the preferred means of communication, although frequency increases with hierarchy communication. Collaborative work between departments functions as the emergence of a network. The results confirm the relevance of computer networks to support social networks in organizations, and its potential concerning data analysis outside the traditional surveys, and the possibility of introducing Internet sources.
Article
Family relations and family communication - are a complex socio-psychological fabric, which has always been the quintessence of culture, religion, psychology, economic and political relationships, dependent on migration and many others.The impact of technology has changed it. The purpose of this work is to study the impact of Internet communications on intergenerational communication and the formation of new family ties in society. There is exploratory-descriptive research which as well preliminary and based theoretical part for quantitative methodological design. Here we form hipoteses that technologies make it possible to create strong ties in groups of the grandfather-grandson / grandmother-granddaughter type, that is, in a generation, which for a long time was one of the most necessary elements of communication for the stability of nuclear families.
Chapter
The development and uses of new communication technology in organizational settings has always been a challenge to communication within an organization (Fulk, Schmitz, & Steinfield, 1990; Rogers, 1988). This challenge is exacerbated when new communication technologies “become embedded, pervasive, and interconnected; they ARE wherever we are” (Rice, 2009, p. 718). Advances in information technology have increased the number of ways that people or groups can interrupt one another, which might impede or delay organizational members’ progress on tasks (Jett & George, 2003). Among all the types of new communication technology, social network sites (SNSs), which publicly display users’ social networks online, have generated worldwide concern over their potential effects on the workplace (e.g., Rooksby et al., 2009). One major concern is that the use of SNSs interrupts work—the technical characteristics of SNSs, which support instant messaging (IM), are interruptive by nature (Cameron & Webster, 2005; Renneker & Godwin, 2003).
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This chapter demonstrates how the affordances of computer-mediated communication (CMC) technologies can frame and reframe swearing in the workplace. In particular, we provide evidence that communicating via digital technologies leads to novel communicative situations – situations that might be held accountable for the spread of swearing at work. This is because colleagues exchanging written digital messages can use the channel to perform swearing in a light-hearted, playful way, and thus avoid face-to-face confrontation and being accused of verbal aggression in professional contexts.
Article
Electronic brainstorming (EBS) is one of the most widely studied topics in the fields of information systems (IS) and computer-mediated communication (CMC), but many questions remain as to what is the ideal virtual environment for generating ideas. We review several EBS interfaces originally developed and tested as part of our research over the past 10 years in studying the organization and management of the presentation of users and their content. This includes content spatial partitioning and marking for identifiability or anonymity, as well as certain related social, affective, and cognitive aspects of the user interface. We conclude by discussing the design trends and suggest that IS, human-computer interaction (HCI), and cognitive psychology will benefit from further coalition aimed at improving EBS interfaces.
Article
This study aims to advance research on crowdsourcing processes by exploring practices that foster collaboration between internal employees and external users. We conduct a case study of Miui.com, a crowdsourcing platform launched by one of the world’s leading smartphone makers and also a Fortune 500 company, Xiaomi Inc. Our findings complement previous work on crowdsourcing by showing that collaboration between employees and users can be promoted by building social translucence into the crowdsourcing process.
Chapter
Despite the advantages of using instant messaging (IM) for collaborative work, concerns about negative consequences associated with its disruptive nature have been raised. In this paper, the author investigates the mediating role of self-regulation, using a mixed methods approach consisting of questionnaires, focus groups, and interviews. The findings show that these concerns are warranted: IM is disruptive, and multitasking can lead to losses in productivity. Despite these negative consequences, users are active participants in IM and employ a wide range of self-regulation strategies (SRS) to control their overuse. The study found three key SRS: ignoring incoming messages, denying access, and digital or physical removal. The study also found two different approaches to self-regulation. The preventive approach, consisting of creating routines and practices around IM use that would help regulation, and the recuperative approach, consisting of changing behaviors after overuse had occurred. Communication via IM helps in the development of social capital by strengthening social ties among users, which can be useful for information exchange and cooperation. These positive effects provide a balance to the potential negative impact on productivity. Implications for theories of self-regulation of technology and for managerial practice are also discussed.
Chapter
This chapter discusses informing politics (infopolitics), which is defined in terms of power, agendas, and flight/fight behaviors related to organizational informing agents. The phenomena of infopolitics are tracked back to the relevant literature in the fields of information systems and organization theory. The central concept in infopolitics is that of infopower. Infopower is defined, illustrated by examples from the literature, and grounded in structuration theory. Manipulative communication techniques, which may go unnoticed in organizations, are discussed and their relationships with infopolitics demonstrated. The discussion further covers a three-member categorization of resource-based infopower: data/IT control, expert power, and meaning management. In addition, alternative ontological views based on the premises of symbol, institution and object are proposed as a way of expanding theorizing on infopower. It is argued that information systems could impose themselves as the symbols of autonomy and domination (symbol infopower), and act adrift from designer’s intentions (actant’s informing influence). The chapter also discusses other elements of infopolitics. Infopolitical agenda is conceptualized in terms of goals, strategies, and tactics related to achieving and maintaining infopower. Infopolitical fight is defined in terms of a struggle for achieving one’s infopolitical agenda, and infopolitical flight is referred to negotiations and coalition making aiming at achieving one’s infopolitical agenda. All these concepts are traced to the relevant literature and demonstrated by a case study.
Chapter
Instant Messaging (IM) has been strictly forbidden in some companies as an unproductive use of time and exists in others via unsanctioned employee actions without explicit approval or directive from upper management. This paper examines a set of globally distributed software teams in a company that has explicitly installed and integrated IM capabilities with its collaboration management tools. Through a set of semi-structured interviews and the application of adaptive structuration theory, this study finds that because of the unique characteristics of global software development, IM is a highly useful tool for maintaining team cohesiveness and supporting team communication. Although the study finds strong support for the value of IM, it also identifies that the time distributed nature of the work, the informality of the medium as it interacts with different cultures and the productivity loss from IM’s interruptive nature are problematic. A set of recommendations is made to address these problems. The paper concludes that IM is a useful tool for global software development and its advantages outweigh its problems.
Article
This article argues that a distinctive aspect of computer-mediated communication (CMC) is the way it can make communication visible to others in ways that were previously impractical. We propose a theory of communication visibility that recognizes its multidimensional nature: resulting from activities that make communication visible, efforts by actors to see communication, and a sociomaterial context that influences possibilities for visibility. The different dimensions of communication visibility are explored as they relate to possibilities for action with CMC, and the ability of third-parties to view communication between others. Centering communication visibility in the study of CMC compels scholars to ask new questions regarding the interdependence of active, strategic efforts to make communication more or less visible to others, and the ways in which communication is assessed by observers. To facilitate ongoing research we offer an agenda for incorporating communication visibility into the study of contemporary and future forms of CMC.
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Digital technologies enable the dispersal of office work from physical office buildings. The same technologies involve a counter tendency of concentration where offices are shared by different businesses, often for short periods, via the ‘space as service’ model. These opposing tendencies of workspace dispersal and concentration indicate the contingencies of technologies of work, in which their operations are mutually shaped by workplaces. Understanding what a technology of work is requires examining its situated actions and spaces of activity, like the office. Yet, the spatial characteristics of the present-day office demonstrate that ‘situatedness’ is by no means a straightforward vehicle for understanding contemporary technologies of work. Digital technologies tend less to divide space according to a specific function (i.e. work–life division), and more to create spaces of coordination that can adjust the definition of purposeful activity. Such spaces of coordination constitute the platformization of work with digital technologies in which spatial and temporal processes for instituting work extend beyond a single organization. Including but exceeding the ‘gig economy’ and ‘platform labour’, platformization indicates a wider reorganization of work through technologies that produces flexible arrangements of space and time, creating forms of independence, interdependence and dependency that challenge orders of work–life division.
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The effect of communication visibility on employee behaviors has garnered attention for the widespread use of enterprise social media; yet, this research has rarely considered the typical employee behavior of innovation behavior. This paper explores the relationship between communication visibility and innovation behavior. In addition, the underlying mechanism and boundary conditions are examined drawing on communication visibility theory, regulatory focus theory, and voice literature. Data were collected in a field experiment from a Chinese enterprise. It was found that communication visibility was positively associated with innovation behavior, and the positive association was mediated by voice behavior. Meanwhile, the positive indirect effect of communication visibility on employee innovation behavior was strengthened by promotion regulatory focus. Our research expands our understanding of the outcome behaviors of communication visibility and provides valuable management implications by shedding light on measures to promote innovation behavior.
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This paper is dedicated to Philip J. Stone III, who first put me online in 1965.
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We di cu finding from an ethnographic tudy of in tant me aging (IM) in the workplace and it implication for media theory. We de cribe how in tant me aging upport a variety of informal communication ta k . We document the affordance of IM that upport flexible, expre ive communication. We de cribe ome unexpected u e of IM that highlight a pect of communication which are not part of current media theorizing. They pertain to communicative proce e people u e to connect with each other and to manage communication, rather than to information exchange. We call the e proce e "outeraction." We di cu how outeractional a pect of communication affect media choice and pattern of media u e. Keywords In tant me aging, media theory, informal communication, computer-mediated communication, outeraction.