#研究分享#【新媒介环境下的组织的媒体使用与组织传播】

#研究分享#【新媒介环境下的组织的媒体使用与组织传播】随着信息和通信技术的扩散,越来越多的组织采用不同的媒体进行信息传播,电子邮件、语音与视频会议、虚拟办公、社交媒体等媒介形态已经被不同组织广泛使用。然而关于组织传播的研究却并不充分。本文介绍了组织传播的概念与渊源,以及组织如何使用媒体作为自己的资源,进行工作沟通与评估。据一项北欧的调查数据,衡量组织媒体有八个标准:普遍性、可编辑、自我展示度、可搜索性、可见性、媒体意识。

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Organizational Media Affordances: Operationalization and Associations with Media Use

  • Ronald E. Rice, Sandra K. Evans, Katy E. Pearce, Anu Sivunen, Jessica Vitak, Jeffrey W. Treem
  • First published: Full publication history
  • DOI: 10.1111/jcom.12273  View/save citation

    Abstract

    The concept of affordances has been increasingly applied to the study of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in organizational contexts. However, almost no research operationalizes affordances, limiting comparisons and programmatic research. This article briefly reviews conceptualizations and possibilities of affordances in general and for media, then introduces the concept of organizational media affordances as organizational resources. Analysis of survey data from a large Nordic media organization identified six reliable and valid organizational media affordances: pervasiveness, editability, self-presentation, searchability, visibility, and awareness. Eight media scales based on frequency of use of 10 media within each of three organization levels were differentially associated with these affordances. The conceptualization, measurement approach, and results from this study provide the foundation for considerable future organizational communication and ICT research.

    With the introduction of computers and digital transmission networks, new forms of organizational and personal information and communication technologies (ICTs) have arisen, diffused, and been incorporated into organizations' and people's lives. These include computer conferencing systems, online bulletin boards, e-mail, group support systems, voice mail, intranets, videoconferencing, virtual collaboration, texting, mobile phones, and social media. Recently, scholars have considered how the affordances of ICTs can provide a useful framework to understand organizational media use and implications. In these studies, researchers evaluate the relationship between users and technology to understand the various ways users adopt, appropriate, and reinvent ICTs, as well as how specific affordances of ICTs are associated with social and communicative outcomes. These studies may be especially beneficial to organizational communication research because they provide new insights into how technology use shapes members' work processes and interactions, and how technology use is shaped by members' perceptions and needs.

    This study extends communication scholarship by adopting an affordances perspective, and contributes to theory by explicating the conceptual foundations of organizational media affordances, considering them as organizational resources rather than assessing each affordance in a one-to-one relation to a specific medium, developing operationalizations of a central set of affordances useful for surveys and interviews, and assessing how use of various organizational media at three organizational levels—interpersonal, group, and organizational—is associated with those affordances.

    Problem statement, review, and research questions

    The nature of media

    Major theoretical approaches to understanding the nature of media include media ecology (McLuhan, 1964), educational media typologies (Bretz, 1971), media symbol systems and cognitive processing (Salomon, 1979), social presence (Rice, 1993; Short, Williams, & Christie, 1976), media richness (Daft & Lengel, 1986), media attributes (Rice, 1987), task-technology attributes (Nass & Mason, 1990), social construction of technology (Bijker, Hughes, Pinch, & Douglas, 2012; Fulk, 1993), adaptive structuration (DeSanctis & Poole, 1994), and uses and gratifications (Flanagin & Metzger, 2001; Sundar & Limperos, 2013). Each of these approaches has extended our understanding of how and why individuals use particular media and how and why different media may be associated with particular outcomes, recognition of the ways media use may be differentially shaped by material aspects of technologies (i.e., features), and users' perceptions and motivations. However, even among theoretical approaches that aim to balance the role of technologies' features and users' perceptions and uses, scholars often privilege one side of the technology-user relationship or conflate the two (as Faraj & Azad, 2012, and Leonardi & Barley, 2008, note). A focus on media affordances offers a theoretical grounding in the relationships betweenusers and technology, and therefore a middle path between deterministic and constructivist stances. Yet the conceptualization of affordances is inconsistent (Evans, Pearce, Vitak, & Treem, in press), and operationalization of affordances is rare, making it difficult to compare studies and understand results.

    Thus, this study provides an initial attempt to operationalize media affordances in organizational contexts. Our construct measurement and validation process follows Mackenzie, Podsakoff, and Podsakoff's (2011) 10 recommendations including: (1) develop the conceptualization, (2) generate items to represent the construct, (3) assess the content validity of the items, (4) specify the measurement model, (5) collect and analyze data, (6) purify and refine scales, and (8) reassess scale validity (groups comparisons and predictive associations). For this case study, we did not use Steps 7 and 9, which require obtaining additional samples, nor Step 10, which proposes obtaining norms for the scales for relevant populations, deemed inappropriate for the concept of affordances.

    Conceptualizing affordances (Step 1)

    The concept of affordances was first defined by Gibson (1979) in the context of the natural environment. Gibson intended affordance to mean an “action possibility available in the environment” (McGrenere & Ho, 2000, p. 1). For Gibson, affordances exist as an action possibility independent of an actor's perception and experiences; do not change when an actor's needs and goals change, but are relative to each actor's perceptions and capabilities for action; exist or do not, without distinctions of degree or extent; and can be nested (comprising other action possibilities). Later, Norman (1988) developed a human-centered design perspective on affordances. Affordances are perceived, not actual; vary in degree or extent; and may be shaped by users through applying functional affordances that may be nested within more general affordances (McGrenere & Ho, 2000).

    Excellent reviews, explications, and comparisons of the affordance concept indicate varying and even opposing uses of the term (Bonderup-Dohn, 2009; Burlamaqui & Dong, 2015; Chemero, 2011; Faraj & Azad, 2012; McGrenere & Ho, 2000; Oliver, 2005; Rietveld & Kiverstein, 2014). Debates include whether affordances exist independently of the actor's perceptions (or capability for becoming aware of the affordance) and effectivities (dispositions for actualizing the affordance); whether the core relation is between actor properties and environment properties, or between actor properties and situation aspects; and whether affordances are properties of the object/environment, a latent capability emerging in a particular context, or specific to the actor/species. This ambiguity has, however, also allowed for the evolution of the concept in a range of disciplines (Evans et al., in press; Treem et al., 2016).

    For many researchers, a particular role of an affordance depends on whether and how the agent perceives the affordance, and thus how the agent applies it. Thus, we need measures of those perceptions. For example, Gaver (1991); see also McGrenere & Ho, 2000) distinguished between information in the affordance itself (usefulness), and mediating information about the affordances (usability, such as labels; implementer or other user suggestions; the context), giving rise to four kinds of affordances: correct rejections, perceptible, hidden, and false affordances. Further, the same object may offer different affordances to different contexts and actor groups (Faraj & Azad, 2012; Oliver, 2005; Oostervink, Agterberg, & Huysman, 2016). An affordance can have both positive and negative, intended and unintended, and short- and long-term connotations; it may both enable and constrain action (Conole & Dyke, 2004; Majchrzak, Faraj, Kane, & Azad, 2013; Oostervink et al., 2016). Affordances may be nested, temporally or spatially interdependent, and bundled into sets of interrelating affordances and outcomes (Strong et al., 2014).

    Emphasizing a design perspective on affordances, Burlamaqui and Dong's (2015) review generates five common foundational elements: artifact, agent, environment, perception, and potential use. Pozzi, Pigni, and Vitari (2014) distinguish and summarize four main aspects of affordances: their existence, perception, actualization, and effect. Other researchers are now attending to the importance of actualization of affordances (Strong et al., 2014; Volkoff & Strong, 2013), which may depend on a wide variety of conditions, agents, and goals.

    Media affordances

    Affordances inherently involve communication. From Norman's perspective, a designer attempts to communicate to the user about capabilities of the artifact through both affordances inherent in the artifact, and through information in or on the artifact about the affordances (Burlamaqui & Dong, 2015; Gaver, 1991). Of course, media afford coconstruction and sharing of intersubjective meaning (Suthers, 2006), such as between organizational members. Organizational researchers have more recently begun applying the concept of affordances to explain uses, context, and implications of organizational media (i.e., Goh, Gao, & Agarwal, 2011; Leonardi, 2013; Majchrzak et al., 2013; Pozzi et al., 2014; Treem & Leonardi, 2012; Volkoff & Strong, 2013). Results describe a wide range of possible and overlapping affordances; in just the case of mobile phones, over 50 (see, e.g., Sheer & Rice, in press, Table 1). Typically, affordances are measured in relation to a specific ICT, at the individual level (Ellison, Gibbs, & Weber, 2015) and, with some exceptions, at a single point in time (Ellison & boyd, 2013; Ellison & Vitak, 2015). Others propose general affordances, unrelated to specific media. For example, Sundar's (2008) MAIN model proposes four broad media affordances: modality, agency, interactivity, and navigability, which cue cognitive heuristics about credibility assessments. Thus, media affordances are relationships among action possibilities to which agents perceive they could apply a medium (or multiple media), within its potential features/capabilities/constraints, relative to the agent's needs or purposes, within a given context.

    全文链接:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcom.12273/full

    来源:journal of communication


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