Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Computer-mediated communication systems (CMCS) have numerous implications for business policy, MIS management and many other areas. This study is based on a research framework derived from social exchange theory, interpersonal relations, bilateral bargaining, communication modality, and other areas. The main purpose of this study is to examine the impact of CMCS, as compared to face-to-face (FTF) communications, on two facets on interpersonal interactions: interpersonal relations and task performance.;This study employed an experimental method. The independent variables were media, namely, computer-mediated communication systems CMCS vs. FTF; and familiarity, e.g., familiar (FAM) vs. unfamiliar (UFA). Four groups, labelled CMCS-FAM, FTF-FAM, CMCS-UFA, and FTF-UFA were created to constitute a 2 x 2 factorial experiment. The dependent variables were interpersonal relations and task performance.;A familiarity questionnaire was designed to discriminate between participants and form FAM and UFA groups. Another questionnaire was designed to collect pre-test and post-test interpersonal relations measures. The Fouraker and Siegel cases were employed to provide an experimental context for bilateral bargaining. Joint profits resulting from the bargaining constitute the measure of task performance.;One hundred and fifty two students were invited to participate. FAM and UFA groups were selected according to the familiarity information collected; CMCS and FTF groups were assigned randomly. Control groups negotiated in a face-to-face fashion and their verbal messages were recorded by a micro-recorder. At the end of the session, each participant was asked to complete a questionnaire, to assess his or her subjective perception about the opponent's interpersonal behavior and personality. The treatment group did exactly the same, except that they interacted through electronic mail and written bargaining messages were recorded and stored electronically. Validity and reliability of the data were examined. As hypothesized, CMCS and familiarity both have significant impacts on rational exchange (task performance) and emotional exchange (interpersonal relations).



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