Abram Anders

Research, Media, Flows, Etc.

Category: Articles (page 1 of 2)

Email vs Voicemail? A Study of B2B Buyer Communication Preferences

Anders, A., Coleman, J., & Castleberry, S. (2017). Communication preferences of business-to-business buyers for receiving initial sales messages: A comparison of media channel selection theories. International Journal of Business Communication. https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488417702476

Abstract: Recent research on media channel selection theories has called for studies exploring communication in interorganizational business relationships and for specific work functions. The present study addresses this need through an exploration of buyer-seller communication practices in business-to-business contexts. Based on a survey of buyers, it offers a comparison of e-mail and voice mail with an emphasis on preferences for initial or cold call sales messages. The study design compares the explanatory power of three prominent theories of media channel selection: media richness theory, channel expansion theory, and media synchronicity theory. Results indicate that e-mail and voice mail/phone are the most frequently used media channels for business-to-business sales communication. Buyers preferred to receive initial messages from new salespeople by e-mail. Voice mail and phone are preferred for specific processes in established relationships, including conflict resolution, negotiations, and relationship building. Of the three theoretical models, media synchronicity theory offered the most thorough and robust account of buyer media preferences and channel selection rationales. Congruent with the expectations of media synchronicity theory, buyers preferred e-mail for communication processes characterized by the conveyance of information due to its capabilities for information processing. In particular, buyers preferred the higher parallelism of e-mail—including its capabilities for engaging in multiple conversations simultaneously—as it supported multitasking working styles.

A Study of Slack: Team Communication Platforms and Social Collaboration

Anders, A. (2016). Team communication platforms and emergent social collaboration practices. International Journal of Business Communication, 53(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2329488415627273

Abstract: Team communication platforms (TCPs), including the Slack software service, are an emergent class of social collaboration technology that combine features of multiple enterprise social media including social networking platforms and instant messaging. The media capabilities of these platforms, including integrations for diverse information and communication technologies, enable affordances for both highly adaptable and centralized team communication practices. In order to understand emergent practices in TCPs, this study offers a quantitative and qualitative content analysis of the reflective practice of early adopter organizations and individuals based on a sample of self-published blog posts. Results indicate that TCPs enable affordances for communication visibility that support situated knowledge sharing and collaborative workflows. TCPs also enable affordances for multicommunication and attention allocation including flexible scaling of media modality and synchronicity. This latter affordance is conceptualized as polysynchronicity, a term that describes the dynamic synchronicity characteristic of communication practices in TCPs.

A few quotes from the article:

“The promise of TCPs [team communication platforms] is that these technologies will help organizations centralize both team communication and information from external services and ICTs. Based on a strategy of flexibility and open integration, TCPs are designed to make the full scope of internal communication visible, searchable, and available for social collaboration across organizational boundaries.”

“Although the extreme flexibility of TCP platforms does require the development of organization and team-specific routines and workflows, the key difference is that these routines can be integrated, automated, and become native features of an organization’s collaboration and communication environment. TCPs have the potential to allow collaboration practices that were once difficult and exemplary to become normal and routine.”

 

Theories and Applications of MOOCs

Anders, A. (2015). Theories and applications of massive online open courses (MOOCs): The case for hybrid design. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(6), 40-62. http://dx.doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v16i6.2185

Abstract: Initial research on learning in massive open online courses (MOOCs) primarily focused participation patterns and participant experiences. More recently, research has addressed learning theories and offered case studies of different pedagogical designs for MOOCs. Based on a meta-analysis and synthesis of the research literature, this study develops a conceptual model of prominent theories and applications of MOOCs. It proposes a continuum of MOOC learning design that consolidates previous theories into a tripartite scheme corresponding to primary types of MOOCs including content-based, community/tasked-based, and network-based applications. A series of MOOC hybrids are analyzed to demonstrate the value of this model while also clarifying appropriate applications and significant design challenges for MOOCs.

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