Author: Shek, Yi Keung
Title: Media synchronicity, collaboration, and organizational performance : an empirical study of synchronous & asynchronous CMC media use in multinational companies
Advisors: Xu, Xin (MM)
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 2017
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Communication in organizations -- Data processing
Communication and technology
Department: Faculty of Business
Pages: xii, 120 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Drawing from the media synchronicity theory (MST) and theory of collaborative advantage (TCA), this study disentangles the two theories and reassembles their components into a single research model to provide a holistic theoretical understanding of the phenomenon in real business context. Specifically, computer-mediated communication (CMC) use has been conceptually dichotomized into two distinct constructs, synchronous media use and asynchronous media use; collaboration has been differentiated into internal collaboration and external collaboration. A research model, explaining the causal relationships among the use of synchronous and asynchronous media, internal and external collaborations, and organizational performance, has been proposed and tested empirically with a focus on multinational companies (MNCs) from both manufacturing and service sectors. With survey data from 92 MNCs, the results, from partial least square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), show that - use of synchronous CMC media positively impacted organizational performance, both directly and indirectly through promoting either use of asynchronous CMC media, or internal collaboration; - use of synchronous CMC media had direct and positive impacts on both internal collaboration and external collaboration; - use of asynchronous CMC media had direct and positive impact on organizational performance; but no significant relationship with either internal collaboration or external collaboration; - internal collaboration had direct and positive impact on organizational performance; and - external collaboration impacted organizational performance only indirectly through promoting internal collaboration; These findings reveal the complexity of the impacts of the use of synchronous and asynchronous media on organizational performance through the mediation effects of internal and external collaborations. In particular, synchronous media has found to be more important in terms of promoting both internal and external collaborations. To drive for better organizational performance, MNCs need to emphasize more on internal collaboration and invest more in synchronous media.
The current research will contribute to the existing literature by: - connecting MST and TCA to provide a holistic theoretical understanding of real business phenomenon; - generalizing and enhancing MST at organizational level in real business contexts, covering the situation of using multiple media in performing multiple collaborative activities; - providing empirical connection between MST and organizational performance with respect to the use of synchronous and asynchronous media; - providing empirical proof for MST with regard to the understanding of conveyance and convergence processes; - extending and generalizing the findings from TCA, SCM and CMC literatures to the organizational level, covering MNCs from both manufacturing and service sectors; - differentiating the relative theoretical significance of synchronous media over asynchronous media, and internal collaboration over external collaboration; and - providing a baseline model for future research. The current research will also contribute to the business world by uncovering the relative importance of synchronous media and internal collaboration on the impact of organizational performance so that business leaders could reconsider the strategic priorities in promoting internal collaboration and investing on synchronous media tools. For ICT practitioners, the findings of this study could give them a better understanding of and insights into the relationships between the use of different synchronous and asynchronous media, collaborations and organizational performance. It is important for them to develop different specialized synchronous media tools and to educate their clients in adopting these tools in pursuit for better collaborative advantages and hence better organizational performance.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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