• "The concept can be observed in recent efforts to synthesize two primary theories of communication technology—media richness and social influence theories (Webster and Trevino 1995). The former focuses on the message content, e.g., " message equivocality " (Daft and Lengel 1986), and the latter emphasizes the social context (e.g., peer and/or group influences) that determine users' media choice (Fulk et al. 1990). But despite the difference in their focus, these two theories highlight the need to consider the general symbolic meaning of a communication technology (Webster and Trevino 1995). "
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    ABSTRACT: The widespread use of personal communication technologies (PCTs) for commercial message dissemination necessitates understanding that PCTs might lead to better commercial performance in different situations. Building primarily on apparatgeist and social construction theories, this research proposes that consumer responses to PCT-disseminated commercial messages are jointly influenced by the PCT (i.e., technology) that carries general symbolic meanings about its nature and purpose (its "spirit"), and the context culture (i.e., the cultural milieu) in which it is used. We began with focus groups' assessments of two commonly utilized PCTs-email and short message service-which revealed their comparative symbolic meanings in terms of intimacy or formality of communication-to be in line with extant literature. Then, in a commercial setting where retailers leverage PCTs to disseminate product discount coupons, we examined the difference between two distinct environments that differed in their context-cultural dimensions (their cultural milieus of social interaction and communication)-i.e., China (an environment of high context-cultural dimension) and Switzerland (an environment of low context-cultural dimension). To do so, we first validated the context-cultural differences through a survey (study 1) and conducted two matching field experiments in the two countries involving more than one thousand consumers (study 2). Results support our propositions, demonstrating favorable commercial performance for SMS use in the high context-cultural environment and for email use in the low context-cultural environment. Follow-up surveys (study 3) corroborated the results and provided deeper insights into how both PCTs' general meanings and pertinent values in the cultural milieus we studied led to consumer responses. Besides presenting empirical evidence to inform the selection of appropriate PCTs for commercial communications, this research contributes to the theoretical development of apparatgeist and social construction theories via its joint examination of technologies and consumers' environments.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Information Systems Research
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    • "MRT has lost much of its appeal due to its inability to explain the usage of lean media like email for conveying rich content (Carlson and Davis 1998; Markus 1994; Lee 1994) and studies that have provided direct empirical contradiction of the theory (Dennis and Kinney 1998). The prevalent thinking is that media attributes such as interactivity (potential for immediate feedback from recipient) and channel capacity (potential to transmit a high variety of cues and languages) (Teeni 2001) are important in determining media usage but social influences (Fulk et al. 1990; Webster and Trevino 1995) and resource factors such as accessibility and cost have to be considered as well (Straub and Karahanna 1998). Additional choice factors that have been highlighted through the channel expansion theory are the experience of users with the media (King and Xia 1997), experience with the message topic, experience with the message recipient and experience with the organizational context (Carlson and Zmud 1999). "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013
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    • "Social interaction theories were developed as an alternative to the rational media choice models and look beyond physical attributes of media and consider the social dynamics of the media selection process. These theories suggest that media perceptions are subjective, partly influenced by social factors, and vary across individuals and contexts (Fulk, Steinfield, Schmitz & Power, 1987; Fulk, Schmitz & Steinfield, 1990). Choice is therefore influenced by other users, past behaviour, and existing social norms. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper is concerned with why managers use the World Wide Web as a channel for information acquisition. The study involved a case study involving eight senior managers in a large organisation. The study found that web-based information acquisition by managers is a complex socio-technical activity. The web may not be as important to managers as it is for other classes of knowledge workers and the reasons for this lie in the equivocal, ambiguous, and uncertain nature of managerial tasks. However, managers do use the web as an institutionalised information channel.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011
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