Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 283–300 | Cite as

The Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics Required for Face-to-Face Versus Computer-Mediated Communication: Similar or Distinct Constructs?

  • Julian Schulze
  • Martin Schultze
  • Stephen G. West
  • Stefan Krumm
Original Paper



This study investigated the convergence of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) required for either face-to-face (FtF) or text-based computer-mediated (CM) communication, the latter being frequently mentioned as core twenty-first century competencies.


In a pilot study (n = 150, paired self- and peer reports), data were analyzed to develop a measurement model for the constructs of interest. In the main study, FtF and CM communication KSAOs were assessed via an online panel (n = 450, paired self- and peer reports). Correlated-trait-correlated-method minus one models were used to examine the convergence of FtF and CM communication KSAOs at the latent variable level. Finally, we applied structural equation modeling to examine the influence of communication KSAOs on communication outcomes within (e.g., CM KSAOs on CM outcomes) and across contexts (e.g., CM KSAOs on FtF outcomes).


Self-reported communication KSAOs showed only low to moderate convergence between FtF and CM contexts. Convergence was somewhat higher in peer reports, but still suggested that the contextualized KSAOs are separable. Communication KSAOs contributed significantly to communication outcomes; context-incongruent KSAOs explained less variance in outcomes than context-congruent KSAOs.


The results imply that FtF and CM communication KSAOs are distinct, thus speaking to the consideration of CM KSAOs as twenty-first century competencies and not just a derivative of FtF communication competencies.


This study is the first to examine the convergence of context-specific communication KSAOs within a correlated-trait-correlated-method minus one framework using self- and peer reports.


Computer-mediated communication Face-to-face communication Communication competence KSAO Correlated-trait-correlated-method minus one model [CT-C(M-1) model] 



We would like to thank Michael Eid for his valuable advice on interpreting the CT-C(M-1) models and Manuel Trumpfheller for his help in collecting the data.

Supplementary material

10869_2016_9465_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (83 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 83.4 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Schulze
    • 1
  • Martin Schultze
    • 2
  • Stephen G. West
    • 3
  • Stefan Krumm
    • 1
  1. 1.Division Psychological Assessment and Differential and Personality Psychology, Department of Education and PsychologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Division of Methods and Evaluation, Department of Education and PsychologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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