Multimodal communication and online negotiation: An ethnomethodological study of leadership and decision-making strategies in video-mediated ensembles.
As soon as March 2020 hit, the vast majority of social world went online which convinced individuals to shift to videoconferencing tools. Yet, in comparison to face-to-face interaction, video-mediated communication differs from more traditional face-to-face compositions which raises questions about how online situations affect things like decision-making and leadership which are consequential to businesses, education and other domains. This study employs Multimodal Interaction Analysis (MIA) as a methodological framework and visual transcription conventions to show how individuals make decisions and reach consensus. The results suggest that leadership is enacted ‘in-the-moment’ through communicative strategies. Leadership is not an individual accomplishment but is enacted fluidly by accumulating information from teammates, reporting facts to implicitly ask for help, assigning tasks to accomplish a goal and disagreeing with interlocutors to prevent confusion. Thus, leadership and decision-making are highly dynamic and social actors exercise them democratically in their accomplishment of goal-oriented tasks.
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