Teamwork in Computer-Mediated-Communication
Chapter 1: The Prospects of Virtual Teamwork: A Theoretical Discussion
1. The prospects of virtual teamwork: a theoretical discussion Diﬀerences in local physical context, time zones, culture and language all persist despite the use of distance technologies. Some distance work is possible today, but some aspects of it will remain diﬃcult if not impossible to support even in the future. (Olson and Olson 2000: 141) Versus: When we think of team building, we often conjure up images of three-legged relay races at company picnics or long afternoons spent in dreary conference rooms. In other words, activities we do together, face-to-face. It’s time to let go of such archaic thinking because today’s virtual times call for virtual action. Waning are the days of building business relationships on a handshake across a conference table, replaced by sometimes unseen business associates clicking a mouse. Technology has expanded our scope of team building eﬀorts. Teams are not dependent upon physical location, but upon common goals. (Lipnack and Stamps 1997: 34) 1.1 INTRODUCTION In this chapter we will discuss theories in which the eventual ‘death of distance’ is defended as well as theories positing that distance matters and will continue to do so. The discussion between proponents of both theories provides us with many factors, conditions and process descriptions that need to be examined in detail, and in real-life settings, before we are able to accept one of the positions defended. Moreover, considering the arguments given and examining actual processes of virtual communication in teams will allow us to make suggestions to...
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