Effects of directness in e-mails and voice mails
Faculty of Applied Economics
The journal of business communication / Association for Business Communication [Urbana, Ill.] - Urbana, Ill., 1973 - 2013
, p. 362-382
University of Antwerp
In this study, we explore the effects of channel choice (e-mail vs. voice mail) and message structure (direct vs. indirect) on the receivers perception of bad-news messages. We conducted an experiment in which bad-news e-mails and voice mails were presented to participants who evaluated their response to the messages via a questionnaire. The results indicate that e-mail is more comprehensible, while voice mail is more persuasive and effective for maintaining a personal customer relationship. Furthermore, messages with an indirect structure (explanation → bad news) are valued more highly than direct messages (bad news → explanations). We also found interaction effects of channel and structure, the most important being that the preference for the indirect structure is limited to e-mails.