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Communication practices in a business relationship: Creating, relating and adapting communication artifacts through time

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Industrial Marketing Management
Issue number2
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)319-332
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the task-media fit model of communications by adopting an interactive approach and thus taking into account the influence of time. Task-media fit is manifest in communication artifacts such as emails, minutes of meetings, reports or flowcharts. Task-media fit theory holds that when communication tasks (e.g. sharing sales data, work-in progress reports or technical data) are matched with the appropriate media (e.g. email, text, face-to-face), a more effective communication is likely to occur at that moment in time. By adopting a multi-methods approach, this longitudinal study explores how communication practices shape a new business relationship. Our findings show how different forms of time (horizontal, vertical, standardized, and planned time) interact and are variously privileged in complex task-media fit judgments. Findings show how task-media fit judgments change as they unfold over time, stabilizing to create communication norms that then become disrupted by critical events. Communication artifacts are emergent and relational, to what has gone before and what is intended to come next.