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Computer-mediated communication and media preference: an investigation of the dimensionality of perceived task equivocality and media richness

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Abstract. Computer-mediated communication is the foundation of networking and electronic communities. As the use of new communication technologies continues to proliferate throughout organizations, new modes of interaction between individuals and groups emerge, presenting alternative media choices. How individuals choose between these modes has stimulated much research into theoretical perspectives of media choice within networked and electronic communities. Media Richness Theory is one of these theoretical perspectives. The research presented in this paper investigates the underlying factors of Media Richness Theory, task equivocality and media richness. The results obtained provide evidence to suggest that equivocality may not be unidimensional, and that the richness of media is perceived multidimensionally in terms of the information carrying capacity of media. The findings on dimensionality of equivocality raise doubts as to the basic assumptions of this concept and media richness theory.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-05-01

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