A series of experiments investigated creativity and quality of work-product solutions in virtual teams (Ocker,2007, 2005; Ocker & Fjermestad, 1998; Ocker, Hiltz, & Johnson, 1998; Ocker, Hiltz, Turoff, & Fjermestad, 1996). Across experiments, small teams with about five graduate students interacted for approximately two weeks to determine the high-level requirements and design for a computerized post office (Goel, 1989; Olson, Olson, Storrosten, & Carter, 1993). The means of interaction was manipulated in these experiments such that teams interacted via one of the following treatments: (1) asynchronous computer-medicated communication (CMC), (2) synchronous CMC, (3) asynchronous CMC interspersed with face-to-face (FtF) meetings, or (4) a series of traditional FtF meetings without any electronic communication.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Synchronous CMC: Computer-mediated communication (see above) that occurs at the same time (e.g., instant messaging); that is, in real time.
Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC): Communication between individuals that occurs using information and communication technology.
Personality Traits: Distinguish an individual from others; traits are persistent across situations and time.
Asynchronous CMC: Computer-mediated communication (see below) that occurs at different times (e.g., e-mail); that is, not instantly.
Personality Facets: Developed to more precisely measure the particular attributes subsumed within the broad personality factors; each factor is composed of multiple facets, where a facet includes a common ‘portion’ attributable to the associated factor as well as a portion attributable to that particular facet.
Virtual Team: Team of individuals who collaborate across space, time, and/or organizational boundaries supported by information and communication technology.
Five Factors or Dimensions of Personality: A theory of personality; five factors are extraversion, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and negative emotionalism (also known as neuroticism); factors are broadly defined.