Reducing Social Context Cues: Electronic Mail in Organizational Communication

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.32.11.1492

This paper examines electronic mail in organizational communication. Based on ideas about how social context cues within a communication setting affect information exchange, it argues that electronic mail does not simply speed up the exchange of information but leads to the exchange of new information as well. In a field study in a Fortune 500 company, we used questionnaire data and actual messages to examine electronic mail communication at all levels of the organization. Based on hypotheses from research on social communication, we explored effects of electronic communication related to self-absorption, status equalization, and uninhibited behavior. Consistent with experimental studies, we found that decreasing social context cues has substantial deregulating effects on communication. And we found that much of the information conveyed through electronic mail was information that would not have been conveyed through another medium.

INFORMS site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; Others help us improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Please read our Privacy Statement to learn more.