Contextual Constraints in Media Choice: Beyond Information Richness

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sherrie D. Cannoy (Creator)
Timothy Jacks (Creator)
Prashant Palvia, Joe Rosenthal Excellence Professor and Director of the McDowell Research Center for Global IT Management (Creator)
Praveen Pinjani (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: In today's dynamic environment, managers and organizations are faced with varied choices in communicating information for enhanced decision making. In business, the selection of the appropriate media needs to be efficient and effective for decision making and can be crucial in certain circumstances. Recent studies have relied on numerous theories to explain media choice. This research work goes beyond the traditional task characteristics of equivocality and uncertainty from the media richness theory. It addresses additional contextual constraints including the needs for urgency, confidentiality, accountability, social interaction, and information integrity from the sender's perspective and how these interact with equivocality and uncertainty in the choice of a medium for communication. Results demonstrate a significant change in media selection under all five contextual constraints, although not always in the direction predicted. Email was consistently the top preference, contrary to theoretical expectations. The study adds empirical support to the growing trend of moving beyond media and information richness in order to explain media choice in organizations.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
information richness, media choice, contextual constraints, confidentiality, urgency, accountability, social interaction, information integrity

Email this document to