Media Use and Performance in Air Force Organizations: Testing the Value of Media Richness Theory
Date of Award
Master of Science
Communication is a critical factor in any organization. The choices Air Force members make when communicating have a direct impact on mission accomplishment. Media Richness Theory (MRT) recognizes that communication needs, and the ability of various media to support them, are influenced by a number of factors involving the message content, situational elements, and its symbolic aspects. The theory predicts employees who use more appropriate communication media face to face conversation, telephone, e-mail, and written correspondence as predicted by the theory, will be more effective performers. The ability of MRT to explain supervisory performance ratings for a group of junior enlisted Air Force members (n=48) and another group of senior enlisted Air Force members (n=33) was tested. Results showed that junior enlisted members who made media choices more consistent with MRT were rated as more effective performers by their supervisors. This is consistent with the findings of previous studies. However, the results for senior enlisted members were not consistent with the theory. For senior enlisted members, agreement with their supervisor's media choices was a better predictor of performance than agreement with MRT's predictions. This suggests that MRT may be more applicable for some types of employees than others.
DTIC Accession Number
Harrison, Lawrence D. Jr., "Media Use and Performance in Air Force Organizations: Testing the Value of Media Richness Theory" (1997). Theses and Dissertations. 5653.
Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology