Media synchronicity in organizational social exchange

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Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of the paper is to examine how media synchronicity facilitates the emergence of social exchange (i.e. trust and reciprocity) in organizations’ information and communication technology (ICT)-mediated interactions. A model of media synchronicity in organizational social exchange (MSiOSE) is proposed.

Design/methodology/approach
The paper has a design and review approach. The theoretical analysis is based on social exchange theory (SET) and media synchronicity theory (MST).

Findings
The authors propose that, in general, social exchange benefits from both asynchronous and synchronous communication processes. However, media synchronicity has different boundary conditions (i.e. pros and cons) in relation to the emergence of social exchange, determined in accordance with the mutually interacting patterns of trust and reciprocity predicted by SET. The authors provide testable theoretical propositions to support the analysis.

Originality/value
Social exchange is a critical business factor for organizations due to its well-known positive outcomes, such as the strengthening of social ties. The need for successful social exchange in remote work conditions is particularly emphasized. However, with regard to the communication and behavioral patterns that lead to social exchange via ICT, the theoretical understanding is limited. The study reveals previously unmapped heuristics between social exchange and physical media capabilities. Thus, the study's propositions can be used to study and analyze social exchange in the ever-changing media landscape. As a practical contribution, the study helps organizations to improve their communication strategies and use of ICT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-180
Number of pages19
JournalInformation Technology & People
Volume35
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • media synchronicity
  • social exchange
  • social exchange theory
  • Trust
  • Reciprocity

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

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