The Effects of Media and Task on User Performance: A Test of the Task-Media Fit Hypothesis

Brian E. Mennecke, Joseph S Valacich, Bradley C. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Scopus citations


This research was designed to examine the task-media fit hypothesis, an extension to media richness theory that predicts the objective performance of various media for a number of task types. To examine this model, dyads communicating through face-to-face, videophone, telephone (i.e., audio-only communication), or synchronous computer-mediated communication worked in a laboratory experiment to address an intellective or negotiation task. The intellective task required that each dyad member effectively share factual information that each individual independently held. The negotiation task required that each dyad member effectively share preferences based on personal values and reach an agreement. The results of the study provide mixed support for the task-media fit hypothesis. In general, the results for the negotiation task largely supported the theory while the results for the intellective task did not support the theory. These results help to clarify limitations and provide extensions to the theory by demonstrating how variations in task processes and communication media act to mediate task performance. The implications of these results for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-529
Number of pages23
JournalGroup Decision and Negotiation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Data and information sharing
  • Dyads
  • Experimental research
  • Group decision making
  • Media richness theory
  • Media selection
  • Task manipulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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