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Marion Smith


The way people choose to communicate can affect current and future relationships between sender and receiver. Business professionals communicate internally and externally using a variety of communication channels, such as e-mail, letters, phone, or face-to-face and must choose the best channel for the message they are trying to convey. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine how business professionals choose between the available channels, the premise being that users choose communication channels due to the gratification obtained (GO). Guided by gratifications theory, which proposes that choice of a communication channel depends upon the GO, this study assessed 15 communication channels to gauge how well frequency, duration, and function predict GO. A cross-sectional survey was used to collect the research data from a random sample of currently employed alumni from an international hospitality school in Switzerland. Multiple linear regression was conducted to assess statistically significant relationships between the independent variables of frequency of use (how often), duration (how long), and functions (specific tasks) and the dependent variable: GO. The results confirmed that the regression model of frequency of use, duration, and function predict GO with a 52% variance. This study concluded with implications for positive social change for employees in higher education and the workplace and recommendations for further research on other channels or variables to improve the model for predicting GO.

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