This article provides a brief review of one e-collaboration technology-task fit theory, and argues that it focuses (like most technology-task fit theories) on what can be accomplished through tasks, as opposed to what cannot—that is, the tasks’ constraints. The article also argues that task constraints are important explanatory and predictive elements, illustrating that point through an example of a car racing team that employs text-based instant messaging for communication between pilots and support team during races.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Instant Messaging: E-collaboration technology that supports synchronous communication in a chat-like manner, with a much higher level of interactivity than e-mail.
Theory of Cconstraints: Theory developed by Goldratt proposing that the productivity and quality of the outcomes of a business process are strongly determined by the process’ constraints.
Task-Technology Fit Theories: Theories that include taxonomies of both e-collaboration technologies and tasks, and that propose that certain types of e-collaboration technologies are better matched with certain types of tasks.
E-Collaboration: Collaboration using electronic technologies among different individuals to accomplish a common task.
Collaborative Task: Task that is often conducted by a group of people with support of e-collaboration technologies.
Wireless LAN: Local area network in which computers and other devices exchange data through radio channels.
E-Collaboration Technology: Comprises not only the communication medium created by an e-collaboration technology, but also the technology’s features that have been designed to support collaborative work.