russell j. hewett

assistant professor

mathematics & CMDA

Instant messaging (IM) literacy in the workplace


This chapter discusses instant messaging (IM) as a valuable digital tool that has influenced business communication practices at least as much as e-mail. It argues that IM’s characteristics of presence awareness, synchronicity, hybridity, and interactivity create a unique set of writing and reading experiences. These functional qualities both require and hone high-level writing and reading skills, which are used powerfully in communicative multitasking. The authors believe that IM should be sanctioned in the workplace and that IM use should be a subject of focused training; to that end, they provide a practical, literacy-based training sequence that can be adapted to various settings.

All publications
Handbook of Research on Virtual Workplaces and the New Nature of Business Practices