You are here: HI2 HOME > TOPICS
Previous topic] [Return to
HI2 Home] [Go to
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
Virtual Environments at Work: ongoing use of MUDs in the Workplace
In recent years much attention has been paid to network-based, distributed environments like text-based MUDs and MOOs for supporting collaborative work. Such environments offer a shared virtual world in which interactions can take place irrespective of physical proximity. Although these environments have proven successful within social, recreational and educational domains, little has been reported about the use of such systems in the workplace. This paper, is based on in-depth interviews from a software research and development community. The interviews suggest that the MUD fills a valuable communication niche, being used to enable the establishment of new contacts and the maintenance of existing contacts. See also
It's all in the words: Supporting work activities with lightweight tools
- Lipnack, J and Stamps. J, Virtual Teams: Reaching Across Space, Time, and Organizations with Technology. New York: John Wiley, 1997.
- O'Hara-Devereaux, M., Johansen, R. (1994). Global work: bridging distance, culture and time. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.
- Townsend. A, DeMarie. A.M. and Hendrickson. A.R. (1998) Virtual teams: Technology and the workplace of the future, Academy of Management Executive, 12(3), pp 17-29
- Warkentin. M.E, Sayeed. L. and Hightower. R. (1997) Virtual Teams versus Face-to-Face Teams: An Exploratory Study of a Web-based Conference System, Decision Sciences Journal, Volume 28, Number 4, Fall.
Workspace Awareness for Distributed Teams
Research in distributed problem solving in the last years focused on distributed applications which cooperate to accomplish a task. Another level of distributed problem solving is that of human teams which are distributed in space and cooperate in solving a problem. In this paper we will introduce distributed problem solving from the `human level', briefly present the accompanying research area of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and the different basic mechanisms of computer support for workgroup computing, and then focus on the awareness information that is of special importance for supporting coordinated cooperation of groups with unstructured tasks.
Studying Teamwork in Global IT Support
As modern organizations increasingly operate in a global economy, they need IT support around the globe; favorable economic conditions also encourage the use of offshore IT teams. However, when IT efforts "go global," issues and challenges typical of IT development and support are magnified. In this paper, we review and integrate three research areas that contribute to our understanding and management of global IT support teams: studies of global teamwork practices, small group dynamics theory, and studies of virtual teams.
Task groups and communities compared: can the results from task groups be transferred to communities?
Working together is a complex and dynamic process. Supporting working together with technology is therefore not a trivial matter. Nevertheless working together facilitated by technology is of growing importance. Technology enables flexible and efficient crossing borders of time and place. The aim of this work is to find out to what extent results from task-related collaboration (or task groups) can be transferred to collaboration or communication in virtual communities. The method used in this document is to provide dimensions in order to make meaningful comparisons between task groups and communities.
Fuzzy boundaries: communities of practice and exhibition teams in European natural history museums
This paper examines learning among museum staff involved in exhibition development in four European natural history museums. It draws upon a larger body of research undertaken for the Mirror project, a European Commission project aimed at enhancing and improving co-operative practices using new technologies. The paper examines the co-operative practices of heterogeneous teams involved in constructing museum exhibitions, and Communities of Practice, which draw upon the knowledge base of external peer groups.
The Impact of Communication Medium on Software Development Performance: A Comparison of Face-to-Face and Virtual Teams
Virtual teams are groups of individuals collaborating in the execution of a specific project while located at multiple individual sites or multiple group sites. Virtual teams have been brought about by the need for organizations to get projects done as quickly as possible while utilizing the skills of project team members that are geographically dispersed. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of videoconferencing technology on software development task and affective outcomes of dispersed software development teams.
Communication and Trust in Global Virtual Teams
This paper explores the challenges of creating and maintaining trust in a global virtual team whose members transcend time, space, and culture. The challenges are highlighted by integrating recent literature on work teams, computer-mediated communication groups, cross-cultural communication, and interpersonal and organizational trust. It reports on a series of case studies of global virtual teams whose members had a common collaborative project but were separated by location and culture and which used asynchronous and synchronous computer-mediated communication.
Knowledge Sharing Practices and Technology Use Norms in Dispersed Development Teams
Dispersed, cross-functional development teams-a particular type of virtual team-confront a wide range of knowledge-based challenges in their dispersed work. This study explored how such teams interact to overcome the barriers and reap the benefits of their "built-in" knowledge diversity. In particular, we sought to understand (1) how teams use various collaborative technologies at their disposal to share knowledge and (2) whether shared-or disparate-expectations around the use of those technologies influenced knowledge sharing practices.
Virtual Teams: Managerial Behavior Control's Impact on Team Effectiveness
Virtual teams, enabled by information technology, represent a new organizational form that has the potential to change the workplace and provide organizations with increased levels of flexibility and responsiveness. Previous studies seem to implicitly assume that virtual teams will be self-directed i.e., that managerial control mechanisms are not required in this setting. This study makes this assumption explicit and tests it. Propositions are developed and tested based on an extension of team effectiveness research in a co-located environment.
"Wired International Teams" Experiments in Strategic Decision Making by Multi-Cultural Virtual Teams
This article describes a research project to investigate strategic decision making by multi-cultural virtual teams. By 'virtual' we mean the team does not necessarily meet face-to-face and that it depends to a large extend upon information technology to communicate. We include any technology that could be useful, from telephone to electronic mail to videoconferencing. Some preliminary experiments are described and a theoretical framework is proposed. The data collection instrument is discussed in some detail.
Overcoming the barriers to Virtual Team Working through Communities of Practice
This paper examines the nature of virtual teams and their place in the networked economy. It presents a framework for categorizing virtual teams and argues that fundamental changes have taken place in the business environment which force people and organizations to operate in two spaces simultaneously: the physical space and the electronic space. Using the evidence from two recent sets of studies, it highlights some of the barriers to effective virtual team working and demonstrates the critical importance of trust and social bonding to the functioning of such teams. For additional details of this study see
Effective Virtual Teams through Communities of Practice.
Previous topic] [Return to
HI2 Home] [Go to