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Virtual Teams:
An example of Hot Distributed Collaborative Work?

Closely coupled work is often a feature of traditional co-located team work. Typical examples of such work might be creative 'brain storming' sessions or meetings to decide a strategy. When groups are co-located interaction and co-presence is not a problem. However, when the work becomes temporally or geographically distributed is what is meant by 'presence' can be problematical, as can the mediating effects of the technologies used to communicate.

One solution that has been proposed to solve this problem is to use technology, such as videoconferencing or avatars, to simulate co-presence, i.e. to create a 'telepresence' or a 'virtual presence'. However, although significant technological advances have been made, many so called virtual teams still find that Hot Collaborative Work is most effectively performed in face to face meetings where the issue of trust and the ambiguity that surrounds identity in the virtual world are most easily overcome.

For supplementary reading on Virtual Teams see Working in Virtual Teams: Overcoming Time and Geography? from the undergraduate MIS course.


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