Message equivocality, media selection, and manager performance: Implications for information systems

Richard L. Daft, Robert H. Lengel, Linda K. Trevino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1284 Scopus citations


A field study of middle- and upper-level managers was undertaken to explain managers' selection of communication media. The findings indicate that media vary in their capacity to convey information cues. Managers prefer rich media for ambiguous communications and less rich media for unequivocal communications. The data suggest that high performing managers are more sensitive to the relationship between message ambiguity and media richness than low performing managers. Implications for managers' use of information systems and electronic media are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-366
Number of pages12
JournalMIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1987


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems and Management

Cite this