Virtual Teams as Sociotechnical Systems

Virtual Teams as Sociotechnical Systems

Haydee M. Cuevas (University of Central Florida, USA), Stephen M. Fiore (University of Central Florida, USA), Eduardo Salas (University of Central Florida, USA) and Clint A. Bowers (University of Central Florida, USA)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-204-6.ch001
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Abstract

In this chapter, we adopt a sociotechnical systems approach to understand the challenges faced by members of an organizational unit that is not constrained by geographical, temporal, organizational, or national boundaries. Specifically, we examine virtual team performance within the context of an open sociotechnical system, highlighting the effects that the technological subsystem (e.g., collaborative information technology) and external environmental factors (e.g., lack of colocation) have on the personnel subsystem (i.e., virtual team members) within the organization. The organizational psychology literature on group productivity, motivation, and shared mental models is reviewed to, first, better understand team performance within the context of distributed environments, and second, offer guidelines and interventions for organizational practice.

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