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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Word Choice, Sentence Structure, and Tone in E-mails on Shared Message Understanding
by Wheeler, Kristine R., Ph.D., University of Phoenix, 2011, 198; 3486629
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of government managers, supervisors, and nonsupervisors regarding their feelings and experiences with both effective and ineffective e-mail. The study provides a descriptive account of the characteristics and effects of word choices, sentence structures, and resulting tones on shared understanding of e-mail messages. Semistructured interviews drove data generation. Seven themes surfaced from the data. Theme 1 addresses the impact of pronouns on shared understanding. Theme 2 focuses on the impact of prepositions on shared understanding. Theme 3 deals with the effect of the use and nonuse of greetings and salutations. Theme 4 documents the effect of the use and nonuse of closings. Theme 5 identifies the effect of sentence construction and length. Theme 6 concentrates on the feelings that occur from confusing words and sentences. Theme 7 provides study participant recommendations for maximizing effectiveness of words, sentences, and tone. Conclusions drawn from the study’s findings indicate that organizations should establish formal organizational e-mail policies and develop e-mail training. Additionally, e-mail writers should personally review and edit e-mails before sending. This matching of the communication style and verbiage to the recipient should be a priority consideration for e-mail writers. Organizational leaders should establish specific organizational protocols and policies. The study identified that training resulting in consistent personal e-mail writing practices can add value to organizational communications and maximize e-mail effectiveness.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kunz, Avis
School: University of Phoenix
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 73/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Mass communications, Information science
Keywords: Emails, Sentence structure, Shared messages, Virtual communication, Word choice
Publication Number: 3486629
ISBN: 978-1-267-04634-5
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