Advertisement

Information Technology and Management

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 323–339 | Cite as

An empirical study of the effectiveness of telepresence as a business meeting mode

  • Willem StandaertEmail author
  • Steve Muylle
  • Amit Basu
Article

Abstract

Telepresence is a technology that has emerged as a promising mode for conducting business meetings with distributed participants, since it enables an immersive lifelike experience. However, telepresence meetings are substantially more expensive than audio- and video-conferencing meetings. This paper examines the justification of using telepresence for meetings. Based on an extensive literature review, two research questions about the effectiveness of telepresence for achieving meeting objectives are formulated. These are then addressed in an empirical study consisting of two phases, conducted in a large multinational corporation in which telepresence is widely used. In Phase 1, a list of meeting objectives is compiled. In Phase 2, the effectiveness of telepresence is analyzed relative to audio-conferencing, video-conferencing, and face-to-face for these objectives, based on input from 392 meeting organizers. The results of the analysis indicate that although the effectiveness of telepresence is higher than the effectiveness of audio- and video-conferencing for several meeting objectives, it is not significantly different from the effectiveness of face-to-face for any objective.

Keywords

Technology-enabled distributed meetings Telepresence Video-conferencing Meeting objectives Communication media effectiveness 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the support of Mr. Joost Drieman and Mr. Pol Vanbiervliet for this research project.

Supplementary material

10799_2015_221_MOESM1_ESM.docx (148 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 147 kb)

References

  1. 1.
    Bartlett J (2007) Telepresence: beautiful and expensive. Bus Commun Rev 37(6):20–25Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bordia P (1997) Face-to-face versus computer-mediated communication: a synthesis of the experimental literature. J Bus Commun 34(1):99–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Borges MR, Pino JA, Fuller DA, Salgado AC (1999) Key issues in the design of an asynchronous system to support meeting preparation. Decis Support Syst 27(3):269–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bos N, Olson J, Gergle D, Olson G, Wright Z (2002) Effects of four computer-mediated communications channels on trust development. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems, Minneapolis, MN, pp 135–140Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Briggs RO, de Vreede G-J, Reinig BA (2003) A theory and measurement of meeting satisfaction. In: 36th Hawaii international conference on system sciencesGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brown SA, Dennis AR, Venkatesh V (2010) Predicting collaboration technology use: integrating technology adoption and collaboration research. J Manag Inf Syst 27(2):9–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Burke K, Chidambaram L (1999) How much bandwidth is enough? A longitudinal examination of media characteristics and group outcomes. MIS Q 23(4):557–579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Burton-Jones A, Grange C (2013) From use to effective use: a representation theory perspective. Inf Syst Res 24(3):632–658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Buxton WAS (1991) Telepresence: integrating shared task and person spaces. In: Proceedings of groupware, pp 27–36Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Campbell JA (1998) Participation in videoconferenced meetings: user disposition and meeting context. Inf Manag 34(6):329–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Carlson JR, George JF (2004) Media appropriateness in the conduct and discovery of deceptive communication: the relative influence of richness and synchronicity. Group Decis Negot 13(2):191–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Carlson JR, Zmud R (1999) Channel expansion theory and the experiential nature of media richness perceptions. Acad Manag J 42(2):153–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chidambaram L, Jones B (1993) Impact of communication medium and computer support on group perceptions and performance: a comparison of face-to-face and dispersed meetings. MIS Q 17(4):465–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Christie B, Kingan S (1977) Electronic alternatives to the business meeting: managers’ choices. J Occup Psychol 50(4):265–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Conti J (2007) Technology telepresence: i see live people. Eng Manag J 17(3):12–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Costello R (2011) Market analysis: worldwide enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence 2011–2015 forecast. IDC 1–37Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Culnan MJ (1984) The dimensions of accessibility to online information: implications for implementing office information systems. ACM Trans Inf Syst 2(2):141–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Daft R (1986) Organizational information requirements, media richness and structural design. Manag Sci 32(5):554–571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Daft R, Lengel R, Trevino LK (1987) Message equivocality, media selection, and manager performance: implications for information systems. MIS Q 11(3):355–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Davis F (1989) Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Q 13(3):319–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Davis F, Bagozzi RP, Warshaw PR (1989) User acceptance of computer technology: a comparison of two theoretical models. Manag Sci 35(8):982–1003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Dennis A, Fuller R, Valacich J (2008) Media, tasks, and communication processes: a theory of media synchronicity. MIS Q 32(3):575–600Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dennis A, Fuller R, Valacich J (2009) Media synchronicity and media choice. In: Hartmann T (ed) Media choice: a theoretical and empirical overview. Routledge, New York, pp 247–273Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Dennis A, George J, Jessup L, Nunamaker JF, Vogel DR (1988) Information technology to support electronic meetings. MIS Q 12(4):591–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Dennis A, Kinney S (1998) Testing media richness theory in the new media: the effects of cues, feedback, and task equivocality. Inf Syst Res 9(3):256–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Dennis A, Valacich J (1999) Rethinking media richness: towards a theory of media synchronicity. In: 32nd Hawaii international conference on system sciencesGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Dennis A, Wixom B, Vandenberg R (2001) Understanding fit and appropriation effects in group support systems via meta-analysis. MIS Q 25(2):167–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Denstadli JM, Gripsrud M, Hjorthol R, Julsrud TE (2013) Videoconferencing and business air travel: do new technologies produce new interaction patterns? Transp Res Part C Emerg Technol 29:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Denstadli JM, Julsrud TE, Hjorthol RJ (2011) Videoconferencing as a mode of communication: a comparative study of the use of videoconferencing and face-to-face meetings. J Bus Tech Commun 26(1):65–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    DeSanctis G, Gallupe R (1987) A foundation for the study of group decision support systems. Manag Sci 33(5):589–609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ferran C, Watts S (2008) Videoconferencing in the field: a heuristic processing model. Manag Sci 54(9):1565–1578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Fish R, Kraut R, Root R, Rice R (1992) Evaluating video as a technology for informal communication. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference, pp 37–48Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Fjermestad J (2004) An analysis of communication mode in group support systems research. Decis Support Syst 37(2):239–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Fuller RM, Dennis AR (2009) Does fit matter? The impact of task-technology fit and appropriation on team performance in repeated tasks. Inf Syst Res 20(1):2–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    George JF, Carlson JR, Valacich JS (2013) Media selection as a strategic component of communication. MIS Q 37(4):1233–1251Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Goodhue D, Thompson R (1995) Task-technology fit and individual performance. MIS Q 19(2):213–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Habermas J (1987) The theory of communicative action. Heinemann Education, LondonGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Handy C (1995) Trust and the virtual organization. Harvard Bus Rev 73(3):40–50Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Hoegl M, Gemuenden HG (2001) Teamwork quality and the success of innovative projects: a theoretical concept and empirical evidence. Organ Sci 12(4):435–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Hollan J, Stornetta S (1992) Beyond being there. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems—CHI’92. ACM Press, New York, New York, USA, pp 119–125Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Hollingshead AB, Mcgrath JE, O’Connor KM (1993) Group task performance and communication technology: a longitudinal study of computer-mediated versus face-to-face work groups. Small Group Res 24(3):307–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Jarvenpaa SL, Leidner DE (1999) Communication and trust in global virtual teams. Organ Sci 10(6):791–815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    King WR, He J (2006) A meta-analysis of the technology acceptance model. Inf Manag 43(6):740–755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    King R, Xia W (1997) Media appropriateness: effects of experience on communication media choice. Decis Sci 28(4):877–910CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Kock N (2001) Compensatory adaptation to a lean medium: an action research investigation of electronic communication in process improvement groups. IEEE Trans Prof Commun 44(4):267–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Kock N (2004) The psychobiological model: towards a new theory of computer-mediated communication based on darwinian evolution. Organ Sci 15(3):327–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Kock N (2007) Media naturalness and compensatory encoding: the burden of electronic media obstacles is on senders. Decis Support Syst 44(1):175–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Kock N (2009) Information systems theorizing based on evolutionary psychology: an interdisciplinary review and theory integration framework. MIS Q 33(2):395–418Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Kydd C, Ferry D (1994) Managerial use of video conferencing. Inf Manag 27:369–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Leach DJ, Rogelberg SG, Warr PB, Burnfield JL (2009) Perceived meeting effectiveness: the role of design characteristics. J Bus Psychol 24:65–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Lee Y, Kozar K, Larsen K (2003) The technology acceptance model: past, present, and future. Commun Assoc Inf Syst 12(1):752–780Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Lee Y, Kozar K, Larsen K (2009) Avatar e-mail versus traditional e-mail: perceptual difference and media selection difference. Decis Support Syst 46(2):451–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Lengel RH, Daft RL (1989) The selection of communication media as an executive skill. Acad Manag Exec 2(3):225–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Lin C, Standing C, Liu Y-C (2008) A model to develop effective virtual teams. Decis Support Syst 45(4):1031–1045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Lombard M, Ditton T (1997) At the heart of it all: the concept of presence. J Comput Mediat Commun. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.1997.tb00072.x Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Lu J-L, Peeta S (2009) Analysis of the factors that influence the relationship between business air travel and videoconferencing. Transp Res Part A Policy Pract 43(8):709–721CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Markus M (1987) Toward a “critical mass” theory of interactive media universal access, interdependence and diffusion. Commun Res 14(5):491–511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Markus M (1994) Electronic mail as the medium of managerial choice. Organ Sci 5(4):502–527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    McGrath J (1984) Groups: interaction and performance. Prentice-Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Miranda S, Saunders CS (2003) The social construction of meaning: an alternative perspective on information sharing. Inf Syst Res 14(1):87–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Neter J, Kutner M, Nachtsheim C, Wasserman W (1996) Applied linear statistical models. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Nunamaker JF, Dennis AR, Valacich JS, Vogel DR, George JF (1991) Electornic meeting systems to support group work. Commun ACM 34(7):40–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Ocker R, Fjermestad J, Hiltz SR, Johnson K (1998) Effects of four modes of group communication on the outcomes of software requirements determination. J Manag Inf Syst 15(1):99–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Ocker R, Hiltz SR, Turoff M, Fjermestad J (1995) Structuring on software requirements the effects of distributed group support and process structuring on software teams: requirements development results on creativity and quality. J Manag Inf Syst 12(3):127–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Olson GM, Olson JS (2000) Distance matters. Hum Comput Interact 15:139–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Palvia P, Pinjani P, Cannoy S, Jacks T (2011) Contextual constraints in media choice: beyond information richness. Decis Support Syst 51(3):657–670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Reinsch NL, Beswick RW (1990) Voice mail versus conventional channels: a cost minimization analysis of individuals’ preferences. Acad Manag J 33(4):801–816CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Reinsch NL, Turner JW, Tinsley CH (2008) Multicommunicating: a practice whose time has come? Acad Manag Rev 33(2):391–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Rice RE (1992) Task analyzability, use of new media, and effectiveness: a multi-site exploration of media richness. Organ Sci 3(4):475–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Rice RE (1993) Media appropriateness: using social presence theory to compare traditional and new organizational media. Hum Commun Res 19(4):451–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Robert L, Dennis AR (2005) Paradox of richness: a cognitive model of media choice. IEEE Prof Commun 48(1):10–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Roberts TL, Lowry PB, Sweeney PD (2006) An evaluation of the impact of social presence through group size and the use of collaborative software on group member “voice” in face-to-face and computer-mediated task groups. IEEE Trans Prof Commun 49(1):28–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Rogelberg SG, Scott CW, Agypt B, Williams J, Kello JE, McCausland T, Olien JL (2013) Lateness to meetings: examination of an unexplored temporal phenomenon. Eur J Work Organ Psychol 23(3):323–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Romano NC, Nunamaker JF (2001) Meeting analysis: findings from research and practice. In: 34th Hawaii international conference on system sciences, IEEE, pp 1–13Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Rosetti D, Surynt T (1985) Video teleconferencing and performance. J Bus Commun 22(4):25–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Shim JP, Warkentin M, Courtney JF, Power DJ, Sharda R, Carlsson C (2002) Past, present, and future of decision support technology. Decis Support Syst 33(2):111–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Short J, Williams E, Christie B (1976) The social psychology of telecommunications. Wiley, LondonGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Simon A (2006) Computer-mediated communication: task performance and satisfaction. J Soc Psychol 146(3):349–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Standaert W, Muylle S, Basu A (2011) Telepresence in business meetings. In: 32nd international conference on information systemsGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Standaert W, Muylle S, Basu A (2013) Assessing the effectiveness of telepresence for business meetings. In: 46th Hawaii international conference on system sciences, IEEE, pp 549–558Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    Stitzlein C, Alem L (2006) When mixing physical presence with telepresence: analysis of a pilot study. Presence, pp 102–103Google Scholar
  82. 82.
    Straub D, Karahanna E (1998) Knowledge worker communications and recipient availability: toward a task closure explanation of media choice. Organ Sci 9(2):160–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Straus S, McGrath J (1994) Does the medium matter? The interaction of task type and technology on group performance and member reactions. J Appl Psychol 79(1):87–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. 84.
    Te’eni D (2001) Review: a cognitive–affective model of organizational communication for designing IT. MIS Q 25(2):251–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. 85.
    Trevino LK, Lengel RH, Daft RL (1987) Media symbolism, media richness, and media choice in organizations: a symbolic interactionist perspective. Commun Res 14(5):553–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Trevino LK, Webster J, Stein EW (2000) Making connections: complementary influences on communication media choices attitudes, and use. Organ Sci 11(2):163–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    Tung L, Turban E (1998) A proposed research framework for distributed group support systems. Decis Support Syst 23(2):175–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. 88.
    Venkatesh V, Bala H (2008) Technology acceptance model 3 and a research agenda on interventions. Decis Sci 39(2):273–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. 89.
    Venkatesh V, Davis FD (2000) A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance model: four longitudinal field studies. Manag Sci 46(2):186–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. 90.
    Venkatesh V, Morris M, Davis G, Davis F (2003) User acceptance of information technology: toward a unified view. MIS Q 27(3):425–478Google Scholar
  91. 91.
    Verdantix (2010) Carbon disclosure project study 2010: the telepresence revolution, pp 1–24Google Scholar
  92. 92.
    Walther JB (1996) Computer-mediated communication: impersonal, interpersonal, and hyperpersonal interaction. Commun Res 23(1):3–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. 93.
    Walther JB, Bazarova NN (2008) Validation and application of electronic propinquity theory to computer-mediated communication in groups. Commun Res 35(5):622–645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. 94.
    Watson-Manheim M-B, Bélanger F (2007) Communication media repertoires: dealing with the multiplicity of media choices. MIS Q 31(2):267–293Google Scholar
  95. 95.
    Westmyer SA, DiCioccio RL, Rubin RB (1998) Appropriateness and effectiveness of communication channels in competent interpersonal communication. J Commun 48(3):27–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. 96.
    Yates J, Orlikowski W (1992) Genres of organizational communication: a structurational approach to studying communication and media. Acad Manag Rev 17(2):299–326Google Scholar
  97. 97.
    Zigurs I, Buckland B (1998) A theory of task/technology fit and group support systems effectiveness. MIS Q 22(3):313–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Vlerick Business SchoolGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Cox School of Business SMUDallasUSA

Personalised recommendations