Chapter 28. Mediated Message Exchange Exploring the Implications of Distance Communication in the Workplace

Heidi A. Campbell


  • To investigate the impact of computer-mediated distance communication on dialogue between two people.

  • To allow individuals to reflect on ways that limitations and/or benefits of computer-mediated communication can shape their personal communication and their treatment of those with whom they communicate.

  • To simulate the process of e-mail communication in a workshop setting to enable individuals to consider the implications this technology has for their own work.

  • To consider the impact of industry trends toward distance working.

Group Size

Any size, but this activity is ideal for ten to twelve participants.

Time Required

Approximately forty-five to sixty minutes.


  • One copy of the Mediated Message Exchange Background Sheet for each participant.

  • One envelope containing the Mediated Message Exchange E-Mail Memo for each participant. (Two sets should be prepared in advance, numbered sequentially according to how many members are in the group. For twelve participants in two groups of six, you will have two sets of envelopes numbered from one to six.)

  • At least four plain white envelopes per participant.

  • Pens for all participants.

  • At least four sheets of plain white paper for each participant.

  • A stopwatch.

Physical Setting

Two small rooms or a large open space with a partition to divide the room so that when participants are separated into two groups neither group can ...

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