ASYNCHRONOUS VIRTUAL TEAMS: Can Software Tools and Structuring of Social Processes Enhance Performance?

Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Jerry Fjermestad, Rosalie J. Ocker, Murray Turoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The virtual teams studied in NJIT’s program of research are task-oriented groups, dispersed in time and space, that work together using computer-mediated communication (CMC) to produce a product such as the design and implementation of a software artifact. There are two basic ways of providing support or structure for virtual teams’ interaction: construct or use special software (or hardware) tools that support and guide the groups, or impose interaction processes (e.g., leadership roles, schedules of deliverables, rules of interaction) designed to enhance process gains and decrease process losses. Which approach performs better under which conditions is still a major research question. This chapter briefly reviews the literature on virtual teams, describes the evolution of a long-term series of studies on distributed teams using asynchronous computer-mediated communication, and then reports the results of several recent field experiments conducted at NJIT. These experiments included two studies of ways to provide support for large teams: One provided sophisticated listing and voting tools, and the other imposed a Delphi type process. The results were not always as hypothesized. We describe how some independent variables were dropped from subsequent studies or raised issues for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction and Management Information Systems
Subtitle of host publicationApplications
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781317468417
ISBN (Print)9780765614872
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


  • Computer-Mediated Communication
  • Social Process Structuring
  • Virtual Teams


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