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Unraveling the E-Collaboration Paradox: Evidence of Compensatory Adaptation to Low Media Naturalness

Unraveling the E-Collaboration Paradox: Evidence of Compensatory Adaptation to Low Media Naturalness
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Author(s): John D’Arcy (Temple University, USA) and Ned Kock (Lehigh University, USA)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 4
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch081
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330

Abstract

There is substantial empirical evidence from the literature on electronic collaboration suggesting two apparently contradictory conclusions, which characterize a phenomenon that has been referred to as the “ecollaboration paradox”: (a) the suppression of face-to-face communication elements in electronic communication media (e.g., the suppression of the ability to convey nonverbal cues in e-mail) poses obstacles to communication; and (b) groups performing collaboration tasks through electronic communication media often present levels of performance equivalent to or greater than similar groups interacting face-to-face. This paper summarizes a theoretical framework developed to explain these apparently contradictory conclusions, as well as two studies that provide support for the framework. The paper concludes with suggestions for future avenues of research aimed at testing and refining the theoretical framework.

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