Electronic Communication Devices in African Meetings: A Study of Nigerian Professionals’ Use of Mobile Phones
Ephraim Okoro, PhD; Sussie Okoro, PhD; Peter Cardon, PhD

Within the past two decades, mobile phones have become mainstream devices that business professionals around the world use for workplace communication. With smart phones, business professionals in all cultures increasingly use them in meetings for many reasons. Culturally speaking, the presence of mobile phones in meetings is relatively new. Therefore, the etiquette of mobile phone use in meetings is emerging and uncertain within various cultures. Furthermore, little research exists about how the norms and etiquette associated with how mobile phone use in meetings differs across cultures (Cardon& Dai, 2014; Nakamura, 2015). Recent research about mobile phone use in meetings has been conducted among Chinese and American professionals (Cardon& Dai, 2014; Washington, Okoro, &Cardon, 2014). Among American professionals, most mobile phone actions in formal and informal meetings were considered rude. This research showed that older professionals are far less accepting of mobile phone use in meetings. Also, women tend to be less accepting than men (Washington, Okoro, &Cardon, 2014). Mobile phone use in Chinese culture shares some similarities but many differences to that of American culture. In both cultures, women are generally less accepting of various mobile phone uses during meetings. By contrast, older Chinese professionals tend to be more accepting of mobile phone use in meetings. This research suggested that some of the differences might be attributed to the more collectivist, high-context Chinese culture (Cardon& Dai, 2014) Together, these two studies captured attitudes among American and Chinese professionals. The two studies also showed that there were significant cultural differences. Cardon and Dai (2014) specifically recommended this research should be replicated in other cultures. So, we decided to replicate portions of these studies among Nigerian professionals. Our study had the following purposes in the context of Nigerian professionals: (a) examine attitudes toward using mobile phones in meetings; (b) examine attitudes about appropriate response time to digital messages; (c) identify targets of multicommunicating; and (d) identify functions of multicommunicating in meetings.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijlc.v5n2a2