Communication Differences in Virtual Design Teams: Findings from a Multi-Method Analysis of High and Low Performing Experimental Teams

Rosalie J. Ocker, Jerry Fjermestad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This multi-method study distinguishes between four high performing and four low performing fully distributed virtual design teams, through an analysis of their asynchronous communication. Results indicate that these teams were similar in terms of the number of messages exchanged, the amount of communication devoted to aspects of design, and the amount and proportion of communication spent on team coordination, supportive commentary, and “other” topics. However, high performing teams were more verbose-they communicated more words. They also spent less time in brainstorming activities. Rather, high performing teams engaged in more critical commentary and active debate, compared to low performing teams. High performing teams conducted more in-depth discussions in the form of argumentation, as ideas were developed through an interactive debate of the pros and cons of issues. This debate resulted in the need for summaries, which served a dual role as they became intermediate steps in the process of writing the report deliverable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-67
Number of pages17
JournalData Base for Advances in Information Systems
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 31 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Keywords

  • Computer-Mediated Communication
  • Creativity
  • Distributed Software Development
  • Innovation
  • Software Design
  • Software Requirements Analysis
  • Virtual Teams

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