Studying Virtual Work in Teams, Organizations and Communities

Studying Virtual Work in Teams, Organizations and Communities

Daniel Robey, Leigh Jin
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-144-5.ch010
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This chapter addresses empirical methods for obtaining data on virtual teams, organizations and professional communities. We begin by reviewing different ways of defining virtual work. We then examine two epistemological paradoxes involved in empirical research on virtual work: (1) virtual work is simultaneously mobile and motionless, and (2) virtual work is simultaneously distributed and situated. We address these paradoxes by identifying four data generation approaches that can be used separately or in combination: participant observation, computer logs, interview, and questionnaire. The chapter describes each of these methods and illustrates each with one or more exemplary studies. By studying virtual teams, organizations, and communities from various angles with different types of data, researchers can better inform the process of theorizing.

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