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Chapter 18. Technologies used for communication > Need for personal connection

Need for personal connection

Virtual team members who expect or need to establish a personal connection with other team members prefer to communicate by using technology that facilitates a high social presence. Face-to-face discussions and videoconferences have the highest levels of social presence, while electronic messages and faxed letters have the lowest. Most team members describe interactions involving a high social presence as more lively, warm, engaging, and social than those with a low social presence.

However, it is important to remember that a high level of social presence is not always the ideal way for team members to interact. Instead, the amount of social presence needed should depend on the situation. For example, routine situations, such as the regular and expected exchange of information between team members, require technologies with less social presence. Situations that are likely to be highly emotional or ambiguous usually require technologies with a high social presence.


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