The Objectives of this Paper
- Explore the theoretical foundations of current IS research on virtual teams
- Analyze the identified theories in various perspectives and provide a descriptive repository for theories for virtual team research
- Introduce a framework that researchers can use to appropriate theories
Research about Virtual Teams
- Frequently used theories: adaptive structuration theory, social information processing theory, and social presence theory etc.
- Three main categories of the research: team inputs, team processes, and team outcomes.
The Application of the Framework – Use media synchronicity theory as an example
media synchronicity is defined as “the extent to which individuals work together on the same activity at the same time: i.e. have a shared focus “
- Objective: MST is a prescriptive theory because it adjusts the desired choice and use of medium or technology to the specific communication process
- Robustness: MST was constructed on the basis of MRT(Media richness theory) and TIP (Time, Interaction and Performance) theory.
- Quality: testability, falsifiability, parsimony, explanatory power, predictive power, scope or generalizability, cumulative nature, the degree of formal development, heuristic value
- Structure: MST proposes a causal relation in which a better match of media synchronicity with communication process will lead to improved performance of team members
- Perspective: MST is relatively new, but it is expected to be more comprehensive.
- IT Artifact: The media in MST can refer to any type of technology for use in communication
- How the introduction of the decision support system in virtual teams affect task performance? It increases the efficiency in decision making but weakens the social bond between team members.
- Can we use a similar framework to evaluate the appropriateness of theories in other IS context? What components do you think are most important?