The group was not as cohesive when using these methods as when face-to-face methods were employed. Electronic media facilitates the formation of subgroups. For instance, Person A might spend five minutes with Person B discussing a matter, yet spend 15 minutes discussing the same matter with Person C. Thus Persons A and C can build a stronger relationship without Person B knowing about it. In contrast, with face-to-face meetings, the depth of all interactions are revealed to group members.
E-mail was also used in our repertoire of communication techniques. The drawback with e-mail is that the sender has no idea when or if the recipient receives the communication; much depends on how busy the recipient is. Some people receive numerous messages and respond to them immediately. Others tend to let their e-mail pile up for long periods of time. Still others rarely get e-mail and don't even think to turn their computers on to see if they have mail waiting. Again, the variations in computer technology within the group makes a difference. Programs are available that alert the user to the presence of e-mail, but not all group members owned that type of software. When transmitting written data that required quick response, faxes were found to be the efficacious.
In terms of power and politics, e-mail is an important tool. E-mail is rarely screened by secretarial staff; thus any person with a modem can send a message to a top executive and the likelihood is great that the message will be read. In group interactions, e-mail tips the balance in favor of people who can write well. People whose second language is English are at a distinct disadvantage when sending electronic mail because grammatical and spelling errors detract from the message sent. E-mail that is attached as a file can be processed through spell- and grammar checks before sending, but this cannot be done when posting simple message to bulleti