The collaboration of individuals across large geographic distances began some time ago, perhaps as far back as the 19th century, with the invention of the telegraph, due to its significant impact on communication (Teresko, 2000). Today, with the increased use of computers, the Internet, and the World Wide Web, electronic communication (e-communication), as well as electronic collaboration (e-collaboration) offer individuals around the world the possibility of working together. The wide use of tools such as e-mail and instant messaging, among others, captured the attention of scholars, who began searching for theories that could explain the behavior surrounding the use of electronic media (Kock, 2005b; Simon, 2006).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Media Naturalness Model: Model which is based on the Darwinian evolution of human communication. Face-to-face interaction is seen as the most natural communication medium.
Computer Mediated Communication (CMC): How humans use computers to form, support, and maintain relationships with others, regulate information flow, and make decisions.
Electronic Collaboration: The collaboration among different individuals who are using electronic technologies to accomplish a common task.
Media Richness Theory: Theory which claims that communication media which does not possess nonverbal cues present in face-to-face communication are considered to be lean media. The use of lean media is seen as yielding lower quality outcomes.
Social Influence View: Holds that social influences can affect behavior toward technology.
Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): All contexts in which technology is used to mediate human activity such as communication, coordination, cooperation, competition, entertainment, games, art, and music.
Evolutionary psychology: Psychological approach which searches for the origin of behavior. In this approach, mental traits are seen as adaptations developed throughout the evolution of the species.