War of the Texters

Business colleagues reading an SMS while in a line

When researchers Melvin C. Washington, Ephraim A. Okoro and Peter W. Cardon examined the backlash, if any, from texting during meetings, the results came back with much more than they expected. Recently featured in the Wall Street Journal, here’s the abstract from Perceptions of Civility for Mobile Phone Use in Formal and Informal Meetings:

We report our survey research about what American business professionals consider appropriate or civil mobile phone behavior during formal and informal meetings. The findings come from two of our recent research studies: an open-ended survey of 204 employBCQ coverees at a beverage distributor on the East Coast and a nationwide, random-sample survey of 350 business professionals in the United States. There were significant differences by age, group, gender, region, and income level. The differences between women and men were quite striking, with men nearly twice as likely to consider various mobile phone behaviors as acceptable in informal meetings.

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