Purpose - To explore the relevance of Goffman's theatrical metaphor to describe video-mediated interactions. Design/methodology/approach - Grounded in four waves of observational data of MBA students interacting by videoconference in the context of a distributed course between Europe and Asia, with the students working in virtual teams on a consulting project. Findings - People in video-mediated contexts adjust and evolve the well-established routines we have developed for interacting in everyday communication in order to build a "stage" for interaction. The stage does not only refer to a spatial frame of reference, but that it also refers to a shared social context, a" place" that participants collaboratively construct. Research limitations/implications - The paper is based on observations of MBA students, and not teams of professionals in an organization. Practical implications - The observations suggest that although people often blame the technology for frustrating or negative experiences and hoping for the development of better technology, practitioners aiming to support communication in video-mediated settings should focus on building a stage and developing practices to support the interactional order. They should focus on the construction of a shared social context, a "sense of place". Originality/value - The use of Goffman's theatrical metaphor to study video-mediated interactions. A suggestion for being innovative about the use of technology and avoid simply replicating face-to-face interactions.
- Communication technologies
- Face-to-face communications
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Information Systems
- Computer Science Applications
- Library and Information Sciences