Promoting Critical Thinking in Virtual Teams: A Dialogic Approach

Promoting Critical Thinking in Virtual Teams: A Dialogic Approach

Helena Heizmann
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4478-6.ch011
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Effective decision-making in a virtual environment is becoming increasingly important as more and more organizations introduce virtual teams into their global businesses. Critical thinking is a reflective practice that has been suggested to enhance the quality of group decision-making in organizations (Natale & Ricci, 2006). However, little is known about the value of critical thinking in a virtual team environment and the ways in which it can be promoted. This chapter provides a conceptual model of informed decision-making based on critical thinking. It further outlines how critical thinking can be promoted in virtual teams through an active shift towards a dialogic learning culture, constituted by collaborative communication behaviors, authentic leadership, and the use of social Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
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The concept of critical thinking has a long tradition that can be traced back to the roots of Western philosophy in the work of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Common to classic Greek philosophy was the thorough validation of ideas through critical analysis. Over more recent centuries, the concept of critical thinking has been used and developed by a range of intellectual traditions, including analytic philosophy and logic, natural science, pragmatism, psychoanalysis, and critical theory. These traditions have shaped a number of definitions of critical thinking (Brookefield, 2011).

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