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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Virtual Team Process and Pathologies: A Theory of Adaptive Intervention

Virtual Team Process and Pathologies: A Theory of Adaptive Intervention
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Author(s): Alanah Mitchell (Appalachian State University, USA) and Ilze Zigurs (University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 20
Source title: Remote Work and Collaboration: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1918-8.ch035

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Abstract

The dynamic nature of group process is a long-standing challenge for research and practice, and particularly so in virtual teams, which are increasingly a regular part of organizational life today. Virtual teams act in fluid environments, as they strive to make sense of how best to incorporate appropriate technology choices during on-going interaction. Interventions in group process have potential to help teams make those choices. However, one set of critical factors that has received very little attention is the timing of interventions and their presentation style and content. These factors are particularly important in virtual teams, whose members rely on information and communication technologies and where technology interplay with group processes needs particular attention. Based on empirical findings, the authors present a new perspective on the longstanding topic of team process and the use of interventions, specifically in a virtual environment. The authors use the analyses of seven teams of students from three universities working together in a virtual workspace to complete a global offshore development project as case studies for building a process theory of adaptive intervention for virtual teams. The theory integrates team process with technology, to show how interventions can be used to proactively trigger and reactively respond to transitions. Ultimately, the theory shows how adaptive interventions can be used in a dynamic way to enhance virtual team process and thereby address key challenges that virtual teams face in their on-going work.

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