Publication Date

Spring 5-15-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in International Business Administration (Ph.D.-IB)


Computer Science

Committee Chair

Ned Kock, PhD

Committee Member

Ned Kock, PhD

Committee Member

Jacqueline Mayfield, PhD

Committee Member

Milton Mayfield, PhD

Committee Member

Randel Brown, PhD


For decades, the research in communication in organizational behavior has focused on the reduction of uncertainty and consequently so has the research of leadership and computer mediated communication (CMC) (Salancik & Pfeffer, 1977; Sullivan, 1988). Because of this, many of the controversial issues and competing theories of CMC that have in good part centered around the topic of media choice in the context of task performance, which is a reflection of this narrow focus of CMC on uncertainty reduction. Therefore in order to study the more whole form of communication in motivation proposed by Sullivan (1988), a CMC theory is needed that is not constrained by this narrow focus of media choice as a function of uncertainty reduction.

This paper attempts to fill this need by proposing a measurement scale for the media naturalness theory proposed by Kock (2004), which is validated through personal interviews in a manner similar to those conducted by Russ, Daft, and Lengel (1990) and Trevino (1990). A research model and hypotheses were developed based on literature in order to analyze the predicted moderating effect of media naturalness on motivating language. In order to strengthen the study, several confirmatory relationships whose expected path coefficients are well documented in the literature are examined and the research was conducted in a pilot study and main study using WarpPLS to implement PLS-SEM. The Main study has a sample of 351 respondents gathered through Amazon Mechanical Turk: 196 from the US and 165 from India.

Although the moderating effect was only supported in the pilot study, a detailed analysis of the results as well as structural and measurement models revealed that the confirmatory relationships were consistent with the literature in the pilot and main studies. It also reveals that the proposed measurement scale for media naturalness has cross-cultural validity in the US and India, as well as those for motivating language, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and job performance. A multigroup analysis shows that there was no measurable difference between the two subsamples. An exhaustive discussion of the results, implications, limitations, future research and practical applications is also presented.