« Researching Internet-Based Populations | Main | Interactive Written Discourse as an Emergent Register »

Reducing Social Context Cues: Electronic Mail in Organizational Communication

Sproull, L., & Kiesler, S. Reducing social context cues: Electronic mail in organizational communication. Management Science, 32(11). 1492-

The authors conducted a field study on electronic mail at a Fortune 500 company, examining exchanges at all organizational levels. Working from a social/psych perspective, they coded the sample for self-absorption, status equalization, and uninhibited behavior. The results confirmed previous work on the effects of removing social cues from communicative exchange (see Hiltz & Turoff), and they concluded that electronic mail “does not simply speed up the exchange of information but also leads to the exchange of new information as well.” This new information would not have been conveyed through any other medium, since social cues would have prohibited it.