Personal nature and ambiguity as sources of message equivocality: An extension of media richness theory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Media richness theory has become one of the most cited, yet controversial, theories of media choices in organizations. In this paper, we refine and extend media richness theory by more precisely characterizing its key construct, the concept of message equivocality. We identify two sources of message equivocality, personal nature and ambiguity. We then present results from three studies that demonstrate their differential effects on media choices. Personal nature explains variance in media choices over and above that explained by ambiguity. Further, employees prefer to send personal messages via face-To-face meetings, telephone and voice mail, and impersonal messages via electronic mail, facsimile and memos. Implications for research and new media are drawn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInformation Systems - Collaboration Systems and Technology
EditorsRalph H. Sprague, Jay F. Nunamaker
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages34-40
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)0818673249
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Event29th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 1996 - Wailea, United States
Duration: Jan 3 1996Jan 6 1996

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Volume3
ISSN (Print)1530-1605

Conference

Conference29th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 1996
CountryUnited States
CityWailea
Period1/3/961/6/96

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Webster, J., Trevino, L. K., & Stein, E. W. (1996). Personal nature and ambiguity as sources of message equivocality: An extension of media richness theory. In R. H. Sprague, & J. F. Nunamaker (Eds.), Information Systems - Collaboration Systems and Technology (pp. 34-40). [493174] (Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences; Vol. 3). IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.1996.493174
Webster, J. ; Trevino, Linda K. ; Stein, Eric Winchester. / Personal nature and ambiguity as sources of message equivocality : An extension of media richness theory. Information Systems - Collaboration Systems and Technology. editor / Ralph H. Sprague ; Jay F. Nunamaker. IEEE Computer Society, 1996. pp. 34-40 (Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences).
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abstract = "Media richness theory has become one of the most cited, yet controversial, theories of media choices in organizations. In this paper, we refine and extend media richness theory by more precisely characterizing its key construct, the concept of message equivocality. We identify two sources of message equivocality, personal nature and ambiguity. We then present results from three studies that demonstrate their differential effects on media choices. Personal nature explains variance in media choices over and above that explained by ambiguity. Further, employees prefer to send personal messages via face-To-face meetings, telephone and voice mail, and impersonal messages via electronic mail, facsimile and memos. Implications for research and new media are drawn.",
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Webster, J, Trevino, LK & Stein, EW 1996, Personal nature and ambiguity as sources of message equivocality: An extension of media richness theory. in RH Sprague & JF Nunamaker (eds), Information Systems - Collaboration Systems and Technology., 493174, Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, vol. 3, IEEE Computer Society, pp. 34-40, 29th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 1996, Wailea, United States, 1/3/96. https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.1996.493174

Personal nature and ambiguity as sources of message equivocality : An extension of media richness theory. / Webster, J.; Trevino, Linda K.; Stein, Eric Winchester.

Information Systems - Collaboration Systems and Technology. ed. / Ralph H. Sprague; Jay F. Nunamaker. IEEE Computer Society, 1996. p. 34-40 493174 (Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences; Vol. 3).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Webster J, Trevino LK, Stein EW. Personal nature and ambiguity as sources of message equivocality: An extension of media richness theory. In Sprague RH, Nunamaker JF, editors, Information Systems - Collaboration Systems and Technology. IEEE Computer Society. 1996. p. 34-40. 493174. (Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences). https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.1996.493174