Jump to content United States-English
HP.com Home Products and Services Support and Drivers Solutions How to Buy
» Contact HP

hp.com home

Conversational Structure in Email and Face-to-face Communication

printable version

HP Labs

» Research
» News and events
» Technical reports
» About HP Labs
» Careers @ HP Labs
» Worldwide sites
» Downloads
Content starts here

Christoph H. Loch, Joshua R. Tyler, and Rajan Lukose
Information Dynamics Laboratory, HP Labs

Draft, submitted to Organization Science.

We examine email conversations in relation to human speech patterns. Our study makes two contributions. We offer the first (to our knowledge) quantitative model of conversation patterns. By parameterizing the model with an egalitarian bias parameter, we are able to explain a substantial part of the conversation structure both for email and face-to-face conversations. Second, we make observations that are relevant for the use of email in organizations: while email can be used as a "megaphone" to broadcast information, we find that it does not support larger interactive conversations than human speech. However, we also find that participation in email conversations is more egalitarian than in face-to-face conversations.

Full paper in PDF format

Information Dynamics

» Research areas
» Results
» People
diagram of information flow in social networks
Privacy statement Using this site means you accept its terms Feedback to HP Labs
© 2009 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.