Essay: Business Organizational Studies Benefits

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[. . .] Part 2

One of the research questions I came up with in Module 3 regarding the piece written by DeLorme et al. is "How do rates of exposure to OTC advertisements contribute to behavioral changes in consumer?" I located four articles that ask a modified version of this question or investigate a different though relevant topic that overlaps in intention, goal, or otherwise.

One article by Dennis et al., "Media, Tasks, and Communication Processes: A Theory of Media Synchronicity," makes several interesting points related to my proposed research question. The authors provide a theory of media synchronicity. Media synchronicity, as they imagine and explain it, are synchronous behaviors shared among those exposed to the same media with the same relative frequency and duration. People are synchronized through their behaviors and their behaviors are manipulated by media. The authors hypothesize that according to Media Synchronicity Theory (MST), communication occurs by two processes: conveyance and convergence. They prove that the situation and the type of communication process determine whether media with high or low MST would be most useful. This research confirms the belief that media affects behavior. This research confirms that rates of exposure to a kind of media contributes to the behavioral changes whether the consumer is at home watching OTC drug advertising or working alongside colleagues in a professional setting. I feel this piece supports the research question well. Their data would prove useful in answering this research question.

Another article, "Network ethnography and the hypermedia organization: new media, new organizations, new methods" describes how technology and media are changing how organizations are structured and how they operate. Media and technology are changing organizations inside and outside, from top to bottom. This is another article that supports the validity of the research questions, perhaps though in a more indirect manner than the first article. In this article, the focus is upon how technology and media affect company organization. How a company organizes itself determines a great deal of the kinds of behaviors that will occur within the organization. Therefore, my research question about the relationship between rate of exposure to media and this article focus on the potential to change behavior and thoughts are related. My research question would likely track viewing that occurred in the home while the second article focuses on their research within a professional environment. Despite the differences in location, the topics/questions are related.

The third article located, "Sensible Organizations: Technology and Methodology for Automatically Measuring Organizational Behavior," is more like a case study of the second article. They are generally related in theme, but this article is much more specifically targeted. The authors are more direct in their argument that interdisciplinary study and approach benefit organizational studies. The authors use media production techniques and information technology to track and modify organizational behaviors. The authors use technology and media as part of their research methodology. Media and technology are also fundamental to their research question, so it is very interesting for them to both be studying media and also using media to study. They go farther and in a different direction than my research question though they focus upon the relationship between humans and technology and the potential for technology to change behavior. The authors study the nature of the organizational behavior among the employees with the assistance of media technology. This is another article that supports the unification of media theory and organizational studies to provide insight into and creative solutions to behavior observation and documentation. In these ways, this article supports and relates to my proposed research question.

The fourth article, "Technology and Institutions: What can Research on Information Technology and Research on Organizations Learn from Each Other?" Considers a similar research question as the third article yet these authors focus more upon the nature and organization of relationships more than behaviors. A heuristic present in this study is that of metatheories as thought evokers. The authors strongly contend and advocate for the increased interaction between organizational studies and information technology research. Information technology researchers have collaborated with researchers of many other fields such as neuroscientists, marketing, tourism and leisure, and many more, all to the benefit of both areas of research. This is yet another area that relates to my research topic. My research question supports the collaboration of media theory, organizational studies, information technology, and sociology. The research on this question would benefit greatly with collaboration and interaction with other fields of study, just as the authors in this article suggest. This article is related to my research question also in that this article endeavors to learn more about human nature through the analysis of the exposure and interaction with media and technology. Ultimately all of the articles wonder what the connection between humans, media, technology, and behavior are. They all inquire as to the nature of this relationship. Media and technology alters human behavior. How? Why? Are we sure? These authors along with this one endeavor to ask and answer the same questions through interdisciplinary approach and perspective.

References:

Dennis, A.R., Fuller, R.M., & Valacich, J.S. (2008) Media, Tasks, and Communication Processes: A Theory of Media Synchronicity. MIS Quarterly, 32(3), 575 -- 600.

DeLorme, D.E., Huh, J., Reid, L.N., & An, S. (2010) The state of public research on over-the-counter drug advertising. International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, 4(3), 208 -- 231.

Howard, P.N. (2002) Network ethnography and the hypermedia organization: new media, new organizations, new methods. new media & society, 4(4), 550 -- 574.

Olguin, D.O., Waber, B.N., Kim, T., Mohan, A., Ara, K., & Pentland, A. (2009) Sensible Organizations: Technology and Methodology for Automatically Measuring Organizational Behavior. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics -- Part B: Cybernetics, 39(1), 43 -- 55.

Orlikowski, W.J., & Barley, S.R. (2001) Technology and Institutions: What can Research on Information Technology and Research on Organizations Learn from Each Other? MIS Quarterly, 25(2), 145 -- 165.

Appendix

1. Dennis, A.R., Fuller, R.M., & Valacich, J.S. (2008) Media, Tasks, and Communication Processes: A Theory of Media Synchronicity. MIS Quarterly, 32(3), 575 -- 600.

Abstract:

This paper expands, refines, and explicates media synchronicity theory, originally proposed in a conference proceeding in 1999 (Dennis and Valacich 1999). Media synchronicity theory (MST) focuses on the ability of media to support synchronicity, a shared pattern of coordinated behavior among individuals as they work together. We expand on the original propositions of MST to argue that communication is composed of two primary processes: conveyance and convergence. The familiarity of individuals with the tasks they are performing and with their coworkers will also affect the relative amounts of these two processes. Media synchronicity theory proposes that for conveyance processes, use of media supporting lower synchronicity should result in better communication performance. For convergence processes, use of media supporting higher synchronicity should result in better communication performance. We identify five capabilities of media (symbol sets, parallelism, transmission velocity, rehearsability, and reprocessability) that influence the development of synchronicity and thus the successful performance of conveyance and convergence communication processes. The successful completion of most tasks involving more than one individual requires both conveyance and convergence processes, thus communication performance will be improved when individuals use a variety of media to perform a task, rather than just one medium.

2. Howard, P.N. (2002) Network ethnography and the hypermedia organization: new media, new organizations, new methods. new media & society, 4(4), 550 -- 574.

Abstract:

Social scientists are increasingly interested in innovative organizational forms made possible with new media, known as epistemic communities, knowledge networks, or communities of practice, depending on the discipline. Some organizational forms can be difficult to study qualitatively because human, social, cultural, or symbolic capital is transmitted over significant distances with technologies that do not carry the full range of human expression that an ethnographer or participant observer hopes to experience. Whereas qualitative methods render rich description of human interaction, they can be unwieldy for studying complex formal and informal organizations that operate over great distances and through new media. Whereas social network analysis renders an overarching sketch of interaction, it will fail to capture detail on incommensurate yet meaningful relationships. Using social network analysis to justify case selection for ethnography, I propose 'network ethnography' as a synergistic research design for the study of the organizational forms built around new media.

3. Olguin, D.O., Waber, B.N., Kim, T., Mohan, A., Ara, K., & Pentland, A. (2009) Sensible Organizations: Technology and Methodology for Automatically Measuring Organizational Behavior. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics -- Part B: Cybernetics, 39(1), 43 -- 55.

Abstract:

We present the design, implementation, and deployment of a wearable computing platform for measuring and analyzing human behavior in organizational settings. We propose the use of wearable electronic badges capable of automatically measuring the amount of face-to-face interaction, conversational time, physical proximity to other people, and physical activity levels in order to capture individual and collective patterns… [END OF PREVIEW]

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