Teamwork in Computer-Mediated-Communication
Chapter 2: How to Study Virtual Communication
2.1 CASE STUDY APPROACH Although classical studies of CMC and MRT have been criticized on many diﬀerent grounds, there is still a vast and growing body of literature that adheres to this tradition. In an attempt to overcome the main criticisms of the classic theories we aim to provide a more balanced and less biased view on the use of text-based communication. In this study we try to overcome most of the critiques as presented, as mentioned above. We conclude that a longitudinal case study approach in a real-life setting will provide us with practical and scientiﬁc ﬁndings that are more insightful than the outcomes of the experimental studies that were criticized in our previous chapter. In order to be able to provide a longitudinal real-life description of the case, we decided to monitor closely a speciﬁc virtual team, all the way from its initial start-up phase towards the end of the project. This provides a unique perspective which makes it possible to observe whether the team will gradually adapt to the usage of CMC once the team has been granted suﬃcient time to develop its own processes. For our research we have chosen to follow a longitudinal case study approach which aims to gain insight into a (social) system or empirical problem within its real-life context (Yin 1994). Case studies are particularly eﬀective when a large amount of variables that cannot be manipulated have to be dealt with, and when little information about a...
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