Extending Media Richness Theory to Inter-Organizational Relationships: The Choice of Communication Mode in Alliances


Costas Lioukas
Costas Lioukas
  • Speaker
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University Rotterdam

Event Information

Type
Research Seminar
Programme
Entrepreneurship & Innovation (- 2009)
Date
Fri. 14 Dec. 2007
Contact
Time
12:00-13:00 hours
E-mail
Location
Mandeville Building T10-67
Number


Abstract

This paper extends media richness theory into the domain of inter-organizational relationships in order to examine the choice of communication mode in alliances. Media richness theory leads to different predictions than existing theoretical perspectives that are based on efficiency and coordination arguments. Results suggest that shared information systems such as databases and intranets are positively associated with the analyzability of the alliance task and the cultural similarity of the partners. In contrast, the use of integrative media and collaboration mechanisms such as face-to-face meetings does not depend upon task analyzability and cultural similarity. These results provide mixed support for media richness theory. We also found support for efficiency-based arguments: integrative media and information systems are positively associated with the complexity of the alliance task and negatively associated with the division of labor between the partners. We discuss the implications of these findings for the explanatory power of media richness theory and suggest that, with the advent of new technologies such as Extranets and distributed databases, this theory is becoming increasingly important for inter-organizational relationships.
 
Contact information:
Prof.dr. J.C.M. van den Ende
Email
Jan van den Ende
Professor of Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Coordinator