communication patterns in heterogeneous virtual teams
Lübcke, University of Bremen, Germany
teams are working groups whose members are spread over geographic boundaries,
but are linked together via I &C technology thereby increasing group
heterogeneity. Heterogeneity of group members (in age, gender, culture,
profession etc.) has a variety of effects on the group as well as the individual
level. Positive effects are, for example, that heterogeneous groups are
able to produce a greater number of alternative problem solving solutions
than homogenous groups through the integration of different perspectives.
The effects of such heterogeneity is the
of diversity studies. These studies, however, focus on traditional organisational
structures while information about consequences of group heterogeneity
in virtual teams are largely missing. By contrast computer-mediated communication
(CMC) research mainly deals with the consequences of this new form of communication.
This paper demonstrates how diversity researchers can profit from the perspective
on cultural diversity combined with findings from CMC. We discuss the cultural
diversity in communication patterns and the quality of change in communication
using I &C technology and what effects they have on virtual teams.
presented at the 5th conference on human resource development research
and practice across Europe: International, comparative and cross-cultural
dimensions of HRD. University of Limerick, 27-28 May 2004 (Abstract; full
paper incl. in CD-ROM).