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Virtual Meetings: Examining Presence on Group Communication Quality, Performance and Satisfaction in Communication Environments

Loode, Amber (2021) Virtual Meetings: Examining Presence on Group Communication Quality, Performance and Satisfaction in Communication Environments.

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Abstract:Nowadays we live in an era where group communication is increasingly taking place using virtual environments. Virtual teams are characterized by groups that are geographically and temporally distributed whereby communication is maintained through electronic means. The effect of virtuality on groups has been discussed in literature as an essential factor in shaping the performance of a team, and in particular in the area of communication. Nevertheless, very few studies have investigated the effects of more recent communication environments (e.g. video conference and virtual reality) on group communication, even though they may be greatly deployed within highly virtual teams. Presence has been important to theorizing sophisticated human-computer interfaces such as virtual reality and video conference systems. Therefore, in order to assess these communication environments, the concepts of presence (e.g. telepresence, social presence, and self-presence) were used in this study. By means of an empirical study, groups of students were asked to solve assignments in different communication environments (e.g. in face-to-face, videoconference, and virtual reality environment). Through self-reported measures, perceived telepresence, social presence, self-presence and satisfaction in each communication environment were measured. In addition, the communication quality of a group (e.g. effectiveness, completeness, clarity, fluency and promptness) was measured by means of an observation scheme. And last, the results of the assignments were a measurement of the performance of a group. An analysis was performed to assess the effect of presence and the differences in communication environments. The results of this study suggest that in a FTF environment communication is very complete and team members feel most satisfied, whereas in a video conference environment communication is more effective and teams perform better. In a VR environment, the quality of communication is lowest because team members interact more difficultly and discussions are limited. In addition, social presence turned out to be the biggest positive predictor for communication quality and satisfaction. However, social presence turned out to negatively influence the effectiveness of communication and indirectly the performance through an increase in completeness. These new insights could help academics to make optimal use of presence in the design of a virtual environment to enhance communication and consequently improve the performance and satisfaction of a group.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies, 70 social sciences in general
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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