PsychNology Journal, Volume 13, Number 2-3, 203 - 234

Transmission delay in technology-mediated interaction at work

Margarethe Olbertz-Siitonen
University of Jyväskylä, Finland


This paper investigates transmission delay in technology-mediated interaction from a participant’s perspective. The approach chosen here contrasts with previous studies of delay: only what is seen, heard and done at one end (i.e., what is available on screen) is considered in the analysis. It is argued that participants themselves lack access to the other sides of their interactions as they unfold at remote locations, and they thus cannot observe and deal with delay from an outside perspective. Analyzing single cases of delay-in-interaction within the framework of conversation analysis, the focus is on dispersed conversation partners’ resources to detect a problem, and to make visible and relevant the experience of time lag. The data used consist of video-based mediated meetings between knowledge workers of a small Finnish company. Phenomena that may evoke reference to transmission delay in interaction include prolonged overlap, gap and sequential disarray and missed attempt at turn-taking. Delay in such cases is referred to as an explanation for mismatching, incongruous contributions. This, as well as participants’ observable attempts to restore order, reveals fundamental expectations and orientations with respect to sequentiality as well as to technology-mediation

KEYWORDS: technology-mediated interaction, video-conference, meeting, technical trouble, transmission delay, conversation analysis, sequentiality.

Olbertz-Siitonen, M. (2015). Transmission delay in technology-mediated interaction at work. PsychNology Journal, 13(2-3), 203 - 234. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

Download Full Text (.pdf)
Return to
PsychNology Journal Volume 13, Number 2-3