The business communicator as presence allocator: Multicommunicating, equivocality, and status at work

  • Turner J
  • Reinsch N
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Abstract

Conceptualizing the contemporary business communicator as a presence allocator, this article intro- duces the concept of multicommunicating and reports two exploratory studies. The authors used qual- itative and quantitative data to explore factors that influence multicommunicating behavior, an increasingly common form of polychronic behavior and multitasking. The analysis builds on the con- cepts of social presence and media richness to describe the contemporary worker as seeking to econ- omize in the allocation of personal presence across multiple, interleaved interactions. In the authors’ exploratory qualitative study, they identified message equivocality and interlocutor status as two fac- tors that seem to encourage (or discourage) multicommunicating. In the quantitative study (a 2 × 2 posttest design), the authors evaluated two hypotheses, confirming that equivocality and status influ- ence the perceived likelihood of multicommunicating. The discussion section includes several sug- gestions for future research. Keywords:

Author-supplied keywords

  • Chat
  • Equivocality
  • Instant message
  • Multicommunicating
  • Multitasking
  • Polychronicity
  • Presence
  • Status

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Authors

  • Jeanine Warisse Turner

  • N. Lamar Reinsch

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