Face-to-Face Communication in Organisations

62 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2017 Last revised: 25 Mar 2018

See all articles by Diego Battiston

Diego Battiston

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics, Students; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Jordi Blanes i Vidal

London School of Economics

Tom Kirchmaier

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance; Copenhagen Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2, 2017

Abstract

This paper studies how the ability to communicate in person (in addition to electronically) affects team productivity in organisations. Understanding this relation empirically has proven elusive due to measurement and endogeneity issues. We take advantage of a unique natural experiment in an organisation where workers must transmit complex electronic information to their teammates. For exogenous reasons, workers can sometimes also communicate face-to-face. We show that productivity is higher when face-to-face communication is possible, and that this effect is stronger for urgent and complex tasks, for homogeneous teams, and during high pressure conditions. We highlight the opportunity costs of face-to-face communication and their dependence on organisational slack.

Keywords: Teamwork, Face-to-Face Communication, Distance, Organisations

JEL Classification: D23, M11

Suggested Citation

Battiston, Diego and Blanes i Vidal, Jordi and Kirchmaier, Tom, Face-to-Face Communication in Organisations (October 2, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2934290 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2934290

Diego Battiston

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics, Students ( email )

London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Jordi Blanes i Vidal

London School of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 779 51 61 034 (Phone)

Tom Kirchmaier (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 6854 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/tomkirchmaier/home

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Porcelænshaven 24A, 3rd floor
Copenhagen
Denmark

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