Lee Cheng Ean
The evolution of new communication technologies since the 21st century has dramatically changed organisational communication processes. Many companies have begun to treat new communication technologies as an important investment for creating a new paradigm for workplace communication. This is because powerful and effective communication will motivate a workforce to contribute to the company’s financial success. This paper examines the use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) as a communication platform in the workplace. The main objectives are to gauge the use of CMC by employees in five Malaysian organisations and to appraise the value and effectiveness of CMC as a communication platform in the workplace. A qualitative research method was adopted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with communications employees from five private organisations in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. The participation of the respondents was voluntary. The results obtained are manifold: the participants use CMC, face-to-face communication, electronic and print media in their workplace; email and instant messaging are frequently used for communication with superiors and among colleagues, and for remote dissemination of work-related information to a vast number of organisational members in different time zones; and lastly, the participants perceive email as an effective and efficient communication tool in the organisation. The findings indicate that although CMC has been frequently used as a communication platform in the workplace, it has yet to replace traditional communication channels such as face-to-face and print media as effective organisational communication channels.
Keywords: Computer-mediated communication, new communication technology, organisational communication