Media Synchronicity Theory 2

November 9th, 2010

Dennis, A. R., et al. “Beyond Media Richness: An Empirical Test of Media Synchronicity Theory.” Proceedings of the Thirty-First Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Vol I (1998): 48-57.

I first introduced and discussed media synchronicity theory in a September 2009 post, . While that provides a decent overview of the theory, including why they find media richness theory insufficient and thus developed their own theory, I want add some detail of this article/theory.

Dennis and Valacich define media synchronicity as “… the extent to which a communication environment encourages individuals to work together on the same activity, with the same information, at the same time; i.e. to have a shared focus” (48). The authors, acknowledge the value of media richness theory–that a medium’s ability to support various communication modes and process that naturally occur in a FtF communication setting– is important, yet find the theory incomplete, since there are other important media dimensions to consider. Now, with the existence of some electronic media that were not available at the time of Daft and Lengel’s media richness article, there are new ways to communicate, such as with online video, which may provide more effective support for certain communication modes than addressed in media richness theory. Read the rest of this entry »