Affiliated Organization

Case Western Reserve University, USA


We conducted an in-depth, micro-level process analysis of 36 experimental groups working on a decision-making task in either desktop videoconferencing, audio conferencing or face-to-face environments. Using the framework of Giddens’ structuration theory, we observed social structures producing behaviors and social structures reproducing behaviors that participants exhibited during the experimental task and then examined how these behaviors are related to their perceptions of media. Our study found that both ad hoc and established groups spent about 40% of their time performing structuring behaviors. We also found that members of established groups exhibited more social structures reproducing behaviors and less social structures producing behaviors than members of ad hoc groups. Members’ structuring behaviors directly influence their perceptions of media. Our results suggest that future research on teams communicating via electronic media should focus more on group behaviors than on environmental variables such as media condition or group history.