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Emergent states in virtual teams. A complex adaptive systems perspective

Domenii publicaţii > Ştiinţe sociale + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în revistã ştiinţificã

Autori: Curseu Petru L

Editorial: Journal of Information Technology, 21(4), p.249-261, 2006.


Research on virtual teams (VTs) has proliferated in the last decades. However, few clear and consistent theoretical attempts to integrate the literature on VTs in a systemic way have emerged. This paper uses the complex adaptive systems (CAS) perspective to integrate the literature on emergent states in VTs. According to this general framework, VT effectiveness depends on the interaction between three levels of dynamics: local, global and contextual. Team cognition, trust, cohesion and conflict are described as states that emerge from the interactions among the VT members and as parts of global dynamics, they impact on VT effectiveness, and in the same time they are influenced by the outcomes of the VT. The insights on this bidirectional causality as well as other benefits of using the CAS framework to improve our understanding of VTs are discussed in the paper. It also provides an overview of artificial simulation models as well as simulation results concerning the emergence of the four states described in the CAS framework and discusses several ways to improve the accuracy of the simulation models using empirical data collected in real VTs.

Cuvinte cheie: virtual teams; team cognition; cohesion; trust; complex adaptive systems