Campus Units

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Psychology, Gerontology, Human Computer Interaction, Virtual Reality Applications Center, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering

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Publication Version

Submitted Manuscript

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Journal or Book Title


Research Focus Area(s)

Ergonomics and Human Factors




Computer-mediated communication (CMC) has become the new normal in the era of pandemic-induced physical distancing. CMC has dramatically reduced business travel and daily commuting for knowledge workers able to work from home, which in turn reduces carbon emissions and energy expenditure. CMC offers a different communication experience compared to in-person interactions, and its impact on the success of communication is complex. Here, we report the Communication Objectives Model (COM), a framework developed to: a) understand differences in the performance of communication objectives between CMC and face-to-face interactions, and b) guide future research on measurement of such communication objectives. Given that effective communication is essentially the result of a team activity, the psychosocial constructs that comprise our framework are derived from team research across multiple domains (e.g., social psychology, human-computer interaction, and computer supported cooperative work). Constructs of interest include trust, rapport, engagement, conflict management, collective efficacy, mental models, and shared situation awareness. For each construct, we provide a definition, empirical evidence, and theoretical bases for its observable behavioral markers, as well as potential measurement methods and analytical techniques. The contributions of this research include a framework for characterizing differences between different communication media, a hypothetical implementation demonstrating how the framework can inform the decision to travel in-person versus to deploy CMC (i.e., a travel replacement threshold), and an inventory of tools and techniques that can be used to measure and assess the psychosocial constructs involved in CMC.


This is a pre-print of the article Dianiska, Rachel E., Peggy Wu, Charles Peasley, Kaitlyn Ouverson, Jacklin Stonewall, Emily Oldham, Brett Israelsen, Stephen B. Gilbert, and James Oliver. "Communication Objectives Model (COM): A Taxonomy of Face-to-Face Communication Objectives to Inform Tele-Presence Technology Adoption." PsyArXiv Preprints (2021). DOI: 10.31234/ Posted with permission.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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