Informal Communication in Organizations:
Form, Function, and Technology
R.E. Kraut, R.S. Fish, R.W. Root, and B.L. Chalfonte

Sep 29, 1999


Discussion

The authors argue for the importance of informal communication and the fact that physical proximity increases the chance of it to occur. This can be considered as problematic from actual perspectives that push for the establishment of "virtual offices".

Regarding the effect of physical proximity on the increase of collaboration, I think it is important to consider that from the beginning, people expecting to collaborate, will look to be close in order to reduce the cost of collaboration. Therefore, is there a cause-effect relationship, or is just a facilitating factor?

Cruiser is based on the metaphor of walking by the aisle and bumping into people. But in Cruiser, the traffic on the aisle is increase such that all the time there is someone walking on the aisle. Even in the real world, when this happens, people tend to close their doors in order to reduce the distractions (that is if they have a door).