Modelling the Multi in Multi-Party Communication

France, Emma F (2000) Modelling the Multi in Multi-Party Communication. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis investigates the effects of multimedia communications technology on the interaction of mixed- and same-role groups. The first study explores the effect of video and audio conferencing on small, role-differentiated problem-solving groups in the laboratory. The second laboratory study examines the impact of shared video technology on the communication of role-undifferentiated groups. A multi-faceted analytical approach is employed, including indices of task performance, process and content of communication, patterns of interaction and subjective user evaluations. Lastly, a field study looks at how the communication process of business meetings is affected by status constraints and audio conferencing technology. The findings show that both multimedia video and audio communications technology have similar impacts on the patterns of speaker contributions in different types and sizes of groups, and that the extent of their effect is influenced by the presence or absence of role differences between group members - whether experimentally manipulated in the laboratory or organisationally assigned roles in a naturalistic setting. Technology-mediation appears to exaggerate the impact of status and role such that group members say more disparate amounts and interact less freely than in face-to-face groups, in particular it exaggerates the dominance of one individual. Surprisingly, multimedia conferencing technology can support free and equal participation in groups whose speakers have similar roles but evidence of its effect on speakers of similar status is equivocal. The implications for communication outcome and design of communications technology are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Michael Gardener
Keywords: Social psychology, Multimedia communications
Date of Award: 2000
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2000-75962
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2019 09:15
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2019 09:15

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