School of Communication and the Arts


Doctor of Philosophy in Communication (PhD)


Robert Mott


Video Collaborations, Video Calls, Zoom, Google Teams, FaceTime, Video Conference


Business | Communication


The purpose of this qualitative narrative theory study on video collaboration platform use is to explain how an individual's on-screen performance and their interpersonal verbal and nonverbal communication contributes to engagement and copresence with their audience. The literature review analyzes critical interpersonal communication theories to explain how this affects engagement and copresence levels in mediated virtual environments. The research was conducted through interviews with thirty professional businesspeople about their video collaboration experiences during the COVID-19 2020 shutdown. The interview respondents told the stories of business communication successes and failures that correspond to the scholarly theories in the literature review. The respondents discussed how verbal and nonverbal communication was used successfully and unsuccessfully. They also discussed why their companies found it challenging to communicate virtually during the COVID-19 shutdown with video collaboration. A final discussion analyzes how communication theory and practical experience combined to explain how verbal and nonverbal communication impact mediated virtual communications when using video collaboration. This study offers a model to help explain how interpersonal communication, engagement, and copresence exist in a cyclical motion. This model can be helpful to business people and scholars to communicate in a mediated virtual environment using video collaboration platforms.