Case Western Reserve University, USA
We use Goffmanâ€™s characterization of front and backstage interaction practices to analyze how the use of instant messaging in both face-to-face and technology-mediated meetings alters the spatial, temporal, and social configurations of meetings. In an interview study of workers in two organizations, we found that workers used instant messaging during face-to-face meetings and telephone conference calls (1) to participate concurrently in front and backstage interactions, (2) to participate in multiple, concurrent, backstage conversations, and (3) to manage and influence front stage activities through concurrent backstage conversations. These interactions would be either physically impossible or socially constrained without the use of instant messaging. We draw on psychology, GSS, and communication studies to consider the implications for group work.
Rennecker, Julie; Dennis, Alan R.; and Hansen, Sean, " 'Invisible Whispering': Instant Messaging in Meetings" (2008). All Sprouts Content. 110.