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Does Culture Interact with Media Richness? The Effects of Audio vs. Video Conferencing on Chinese and American Dyads
Jan. 3, 2007 to Jan. 6, 2007
Leslie D. Setlock , Carnegie Mellon University
Pablo-Alejandro Quinones , Carnegie Mellon University
Susan R. Fussell , Carnegie Mellon University
Eastern and Western cultures differ along several dimensions affecting computer-supported collaborative work. We consider one such dimension, low context (requiring little situational information) or high context (requiring substantial situational information) communication style. Specifically, we report on a laboratory study comparing communication and performance of low-context American dyads, highcontext Chinese dyads, and mixed American-Chinese dyads on a negotiation task under two possible media conditions: audio conferencing or video conferencing. Although theoretical cultural work and some prior research suggest that high-context Chinese dyads can benefit from the visual cues available in video-enabled systems, we found little support for this hypothesis. There were no effects of culture or medium on conversational efficiency. We did find differences in word usage and quality of interaction between the groups, suggesting potential impact on long term collaborations. We discuss some of the implications of these findings for a theoretical understanding of culture and collaborative work.
Leslie D. Setlock, Pablo-Alejandro Quinones, Susan R. Fussell, "Does Culture Interact with Media Richness? The Effects of Audio vs. Video Conferencing on Chinese and American Dyads", HICSS, 2007, Proceedings of the 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Proceedings of the 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2007, pp. 13, doi:10.1109/HICSS.2007.182