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Impact of communication medium on task performance and satisfaction: an examination of media-richness theory

Abstract(#br)Among several theories to explain how communications media affect task performance, media-richness theory is often cited. It proposes that task performance will be improved when task-information processing requirements are matched to a medium’s ability to convey information richness.(#br)The objective of the work reported here was to examine media-richness theory using a laboratory experiment. The investigation focused on the effect of four different communication media (text, audio, video, and face-to-face) on task performance and satisfaction of both, intellective and negotiation tasks. For the negotiation task, a social psychological factor, consonancy, was used to examine the effect of interaction on media and performance.(#br)Overall, the study did not support media-richness theory. There were no task–medium interaction effects on either decision quality or decision time. Decision quality was the same for both the tasks. Audio was the most efficient medium, but not necessarily the most satisfying. This study did not support the combined theory of media richness and social psychology for the negotiation task. There was no significant media-by-consonancy interaction in the negotiation payoff.

Communication media; Media-richness theory; Social psychology; Computer conferencing; Video conferencing;

Information & Management

Elsevierjournal

10.1016/S0378-7206(98)00097-4

1999

295-312

Elsevier B.V.

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