ABSTRACT Organizations are faced with a myriad of emerging advanced information technologies. Management may be anxious about the numerous choices while simultaneously yearning for instant realization of benefits promised by the adopted technologies. Management should also be aware that the eventual institutional use of these technologies is dependent upon the learning and training opportunities presented to individuals. Individual approval or established perceptions toward technology appropriateness are mostly idiosyncratic and contingent upon numerous factors such as task goals or prior technology experience. This paper examines the effect of learning experiences with nine communication media, based on perception changes of media appropriateness. Two hundred and ninety‐five MBA students participated in a longitudinal quasi‐experimental study. Results indicate that traditionally rich media such as face‐to‐face, group meetings, and telephone were consistently perceived to be more appropriate than emerging new media over time. However, an individual's specific experience with communication media affects perceptions of media appropriateness, and this is particularly evident in computer‐based communications. In addition, changes in perception of media appropriateness were directly related to the participants' learning experience and were particularly salient with new media. Furthermore, increased use of some media was found to be associated with decreased use of other media. This study demonstrates that deliberate technology‐use mediation can be an effective management mechanism to facilitate an individual's ability to gain experience in the use of new technologies. This paper also suggests that an individual's media experiences and temporal factors are two important but underemphasized factors in understanding and studying technology choice and use.
Decision Sciences – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1997
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