How conversations change over time in face-to-face and video-mediated communication

Rick van der Kleij, Johannes Martinus Cornelis Schraagen, Peter Werkhoven, Carsten K.W. de Dreu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


An experiment was conducted to examine how communication patterns and task performance differ as a function of the group's communication environment and how these processes change over time. In a longitudinal design, three-person groups had to select and argue the correct answer out of a set of three alternatives for ten questions. Compared with face-to-face groups, video-teleconferencing groups took fewer turns, required more time for turns, and interrupted each other less. Listeners appeared to be more polite, waiting for a speaker to finish before making their conversational contribution. Although groups were able to maintain comparable performance scores across communication conditions, initial differences between conditions in communication patterns disappeared over time, indicating that the video-teleconferencing groups adapted to the newness and limitations of their communication environment. Moreover, because of increased experience with the task and the group, groups in both conditions needed less conversation to complete the task at later rounds. Implications are discussed for practice, training, and possibilities for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-381
Number of pages27
JournalSmall group research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IR-73374
  • METIS-259709


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