Asynchronous communication technology: an organisational perspective on efficacy and use
Wellington, R. J. (2003). Asynchronous communication technology: an organisational perspective on efficacy and use (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13976
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13976
This thesis begins with a statement that the literature has suggested great promise for Asynchronous Communication Technologies (ACT’s) such as electronic mail and related technologies. An ideology of democracy is made explicit in this research in both its content and research process. The research participants were overtly and covertly encouraged to direct the process and topic of the research to enable theory grounded in practice to emerge. A Participatory Action Research (PAR) method was employed that bordered on ethnography and that incorporated an interpretive philosophy. Informed by educational PAR studies, this thesis is written in the first person to represent the learning and the interpretations of the author. The suggested measures of the quality of this work are that it improves the process of practice, communicates the improvements of practice for continuance and further reflection by other practitioners, and that it helps to develop the theory of Asynchronous Communication Technology use. This research found that email was used for many purposes and was seen as a very effective form of communication. Email occupied such a variety of uses that explanations were sought that could explain the ability of individuals to comprehend unwritten intentions and behaviours. It was found that email occupied many media spaces, and these can be thought of as media genre. Rather than fundamentally change the way we interact, as was first thought on the initiation of this research project, email and other ACT’s may simply be more convenient, faster, and more efficient than other forms of communication that the research participants had access to. The technological tools that were employed may have had the potential for changing social dynamics over a long period of time, but these tools were shown to be undemocratic in their construction, therefore suggesting that a democratic end may not be in sight for business related ACT’s. Specifically, email did not change the decision making behaviour of the participants, except to allow more freedom and access to information from other staff at the initial stages of the decision making process and to allow for mediation at the end to gain decision acceptance.
The University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
- Higher Degree Theses