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Title:Media Use In Support Of Communication Networks In An Academic Research Environment.
Author(s):Haythornthwaite, Caroline A.
Subject(s):social networks
computer-mediated communication
media multiplexity
online networks
Abstract:This research examines communication among members of an academic research group, placing their information exchange and media use in the context of their work requirements and work habits. In contrast to earlier studies in computer-mediated communication, this research uses a social network approach which asks about specific kinds of interactions between people rather than about the habits of categories of people. The research examines what types of information are exchanged to support work in the group, how group members make use of the available media to exchange these kinds of information, and how differences in work relations, friendship relations, and organizational status affect the types of information exchanged and the media used by pairs. While past research has emphasized media attributes and group communication norms as distinguishing patterns of media use, this research found that interpersonal work and friendship ties play a large role in media use. Pairs in more well-developed work and social relations—those in formal work ties, closer friendship ties, and pairs that include a faculty member—maintain a wider range of information exchange relationships, use more media, and communicate more frequently per relationship and per medium. Pairs also communicate more frequently and use more media for information exchange relationships important to the pair tie. Previous research suggests that a medium will be chosen because of the type of information to be conveyed. Results here suggest instead that across ties and across relationships media use differs more in number than in type, and what differences are observed are attributable to the pair tie. The more pairs communicate, whether because of their work tie, their friendship tie, or their status, the more media they use to communicate.
Issue Date:1996
Citation Info:Haythornthwaite, Caroline (1996). Media Use In Support Of Communication Networks In An Academic Research Environment. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 1996.
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-11-18

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