Group performance in computer-mediated and face-to-face communication media

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55 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explores the effects of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and face-to-face (FTF) media on group performance under four experimental conditions. There were CMC-only, FTF-only, FTF/CMC, and CMC/FTF groups. The study examined three variables: the number of unique ideas generated, the time to reach consensus, and the decision quality. Vigilant interaction theory was helpful in exploring the media effects on group performance. Results indicate that, in general, CMC groups generate a greater number of unique ideas than do FTF groups. However, the CMC effect was greater with CMC/FTF groups. This effect was attributed to CMC's showing a greater potential for preventing productivity loss when there is more likelihood for performance evaluation as group members anticipate future FTF interaction with their coparticipants in CMC. Results also indicate the CMC groups take longer to reach consensus than FTF groups. Decision quality was greater in both FTF/CMC and CMC/FTF groups than in either CMC- and FTF-only groups. This study affirms the need to explore group decision making as a nonunitary process and the need to combine FTF/CMC media for better group performance. The discussion includes implications and recommendations for media combination choice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-281
Number of pages26
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1994

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