Abram Anders

Research, Media, Flows, Etc.

Category: Articles (page 1 of 2)

Networked learning boosts self-efficacy for social networking

Anders, A. D. (2018). Networked learning with professionals boosts students’ self-efficacy for social networking and professional development. Computers & Education, 127(December), 13–29. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.08.009

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Abstract: Previous research has recognized that networked learning—including the use of social media, blogs, and learning communities—offers unique affordances for supporting the development of self-efficacy. However, additional research is needed to examine applications of networked learning that integrate professional contexts into academic learning experiences. The present study reports on an intervention in which networked learning was used to promote student self-efficacy for social networking and professional development. The learning design integrates three techniques: a focus on developing personal learning networks, a blog-based learning community, and mastery experiences for networking with professionals. The hypothesis was that networked learning among peers in the learning community would help support the gradual development of skills and confidence for social networking, while networking to learn with professionals would amplify the impact of mastery experiences on student self-efficacy. A study of 72 undergraduate business students found that the intervention led to significant gains in self-efficacy for social networking and professional development activities. Students also reported a greater likelihood of engaging in these activities in the following year. Finally, students perceived the learning experience as relevant for their lifelong learning and professional success.

A Model of Networked Learning for Self-Efficacy

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.”


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