Virtual Team Identity Construction and Boundary Maintenance

Virtual Team Identity Construction and Boundary Maintenance

Huiyan Zhang (Schouten China, People’s Republic of China) and Marshall Scott Poole (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch430


This chapter reports the results of a multiple case study which investigated how virtual teams appropriated multiple media to facilitate the construction of group identity and manage group boundaries. It focuses on relationships within and between virtual teams. The study found five processes that shaped group identity, including clarification of goals and mission, developing regularized pattern of interaction, group norms for media use, and negotiation of task jurisdiction with interlocking groups. The study discovered that groups managed boundaries in terms of clarity distinctness, and permeability. It indicated that group boundaries were blurred and maintained simultaneously through purposeful use of communication technologies.

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