Differences between Dynamic Face-to-Face and E-Mail Networks: Implications for New Forms of Collaboration
Benjamin N. Waber
MIT - Media Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
February 15, 2010
Observing social changes in organizations and their effects on how employees feel about their jobs at a micro scale has been extremely difficult due to the lack of measurement tools. Using wearable sensors, e-mail data and daily surveys, we were able to study in detail how job satisfaction is affected by changes in communication patterns. The results from a month-long study in the marketing division of a German bank support our hypothesis that denser face-to-face communication is strongly linked to increased job satisfaction, while e-mail communication patterns do not relate to changes in job satisfaction. This has profound implications for the use of e-mail as a primary collaboration tool, since it implies that management interventions will have a greatly diminished effect if they can only effect electronic interactions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: social networks, job satisfaction, kith, reality mining, sensors
JEL Classification: C8, M12, M54
Date posted: April 11, 2010
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