Team Effectiveness in Virtual Environments: An Ecological Approach

Team Effectiveness in Virtual Environments: An Ecological Approach

Pnina Shachaf (Indiana University, USA) and N. Hara (Indiana University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-955-7.ch095
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Abstract

This chapter attempts to address the need for more research on virtual team effectiveness and outlines an ecological theoretical framework that is applicable to virtual learning environments (VLE).  Prior empirical studies on virtual team effectiveness used frameworks of traditional team effectiveness and mainly followed Hackman’s normative model (input-process-output). We propose an ecological approach for virtual team effectiveness that accounts for team boundaries management, technologyuse, and external environment in VLE, properties which were previously either nonexistent or contextual.   The ecological framework suggests that three components — external environment, internal environment, and boundary management — reciprocally interact with effectiveness.   The significance of the proposed framework is a holistic perspective that takes into account the complexity of the external and internal environment of the team. Furthermore, we address the needs for new pedagogical approaches in VLE.

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