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Differences between Dynamic Face-to-Face and E-Mail Networks: Implications for New Forms of Collaboration

35 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2010  

Benjamin N. Waber

MIT - Media Laboratory

Alex Pentland

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: February 15, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: social networks, job satisfaction, kith, reality mining, sensors

JEL Classification: C8, M12, M54

Suggested Citation

Waber, Benjamin N. and Pentland, Alex, Differences between Dynamic Face-to-Face and E-Mail Networks: Implications for New Forms of Collaboration (February 15, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1586351 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1586351

Benjamin N. Waber (Contact Author)

MIT - Media Laboratory ( email )

20 Ames St.
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States
617-253-4662 (Phone)
617-253-6285 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.media.mit.edu/~bwaber

Alex Pentland

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

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