A43. Rice, R.E. (1993). Media appropriateness: Using social presence theory to compare traditional and new organizational media. Human Communication Research, 19(4), 451-484.


This study assesses a scale measuring appropriateness of media for a variety of organizational communication activities and then compares seven media across six organizational sites. The ranking of media were face-to-face, telephone, meetings, desktop video and video conferencing, voice mail, text, and electronic mail. Although information exchange and socioemotional relations dimensions emerged, the first provided a parsimonious solution. Multidimensional scaling placed traditional media in separate clusters, and new media together with some instances of text and phone, along interpersonal-mediated and synchronous-asynchronous axes. The appropriateness of face-to-face and meetings did not change over time, whereas ratings of phone and text (to some extent) and new media did. Appropriateness of new media was weakly associated with use. Finally, there was very little evidence of social information processing influence on appropriateness, except for organizational newcomers’ ratings of the newest medium, desktop video.

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