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What are the conditions under which users will take advantage of sophisticated communication systems to enhance their coordination and collaboration? Voice mail systems include both simple answering machine functions and more sophisticated, communication-oriented features such as sending messages directly or with a time delay to other users, forwarding messages, diverting on-going calls for later retrieval, and broadcasting messages to a distribution list. This chapter examines voice mail use in several division of a nationwide insurance company. Users report that voice mail was useful for time-delayed communication and for retaining affect in delayed communication. Workers used sophisticated communication features most in complex, nonroutine jobs. In more complex jobs, the communication behavior of peers strongly influenced the degree to which workers used voice mail, while in less complex, more routine jobs, the communication behavior of one’s supervisor predicted the use of voice mail.

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