The Impact of Communication Medium on Virtual Team Group Process

The Impact of Communication Medium on Virtual Team Group Process

Hayward P. Andres (North Carolina A&T State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/irmj.2006040101
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Abstract

Organizations must provide appropriate work group structures and communication technologies in order for work groups to function effectively and efficiently. This study investigated the hypotheses that team structure (e.g., fully collocated teams vs. virtual teams) and communication mode (i.e., face-to-face vs. videoconferencing) will impact virtual team group processes (e.g., team orientation, workload sharing, proclivity to seek and exchange information) that evolve. Furthermore, these group processes will dictate team member information exchange patterns (e.g., across all team members vs. only within collocated subgroups), which subsequently impact team productivity (i.e., accuracy and timeliness) and group process satisfaction. Four-person teams worked in either face-to-face (i.e., fully collocated group) or videoconferencing (i.e., dispersed subgroups) settings to develop detailed design documentation for specified enhancements to a hypothetical university information system. Results indicated that the dispersed subgroups exhibited more within subgroup collective behaviors and engaged greater within subgroup information exchange as compared to fully collocated teams, where more teamwide collective behaviors and information exchange were observed. Furthermore, greater team collective behaviors gave rise to greater information exchange and activation among team members. Finally, information exchange and activation were associated positively with productivity and process satisfaction.

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