Media Richness Theory

March 11th, 2010

Again, I am merely touching on this theory due to the fact that I am this week discussing Junghyun Kim’s 2003 article in which he discusses this and other media theories. Soon, I will elaborate on this theory, including the subsequent Media Synchronicity and Media Naturalness theories.

Media richness theory, proposed by Daft and Lengel in 1984, essentially states that task performance increases when the task needs are matched to the medium’s richness. Additionally, the theory suggests that individuals predictably favor the use of specific communication media to perform certain tasks. Specifically, that rich media are a more likely to be found appropriate for “equivocal” communication, which occurs more in complex tasks. Daft and Lengel define the richness of media as the ability of information to change understanding within a time interval. The theory argues that the richness of media differs between media types, with face-to-face communication being richer than communicating via email, for example. Read the rest of this entry »