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Chapter 31. Email vs. Groupware

People who use email extensively often find they get flooded with messages. Groupware offers some benefits to support frequent and focused team communications. Check out important differences.

  Email Groupware
Push vs. Pull Sender is responsible for distribution and “pushes” the message to others based on who needs to know or from whom they wish a response. Receivers are responsible for “pulling” information they need. Individuals decide what is important to them and then get it themselves.
Visibility Communication path between sender and receiver is linear and one-dimensional. Sender sends a message to receivers who in turn send responses back to the sender (not to each other, unless they decide to do so). Communication path is multi-dimensional and visible to all participants, (that is, each member can view the original message and the responses othe other team members).
 

Retrieval Team communications are stored in individual workstations or disposed of by the senders or receiver. Team communications are stored in a common team filing cabinet (such as a database or shared online folders).
When to Use A simple communication directed only to an individual or one-way announcements or status reports directed to a distribution list. Collaborative work (such as work products, presentations, documents, proposals, designs, letters, work-in-progress, procedures) that relate to teamwork objectives.



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