Collaborative Media Choice Processes in Virtual Teams
Bergener Katrin, Hofmann Sara
Download CitationEmailPrintRequest Permissions Virtual teams have become a common form of organizing work. A vital part of virtual collaboration is the process of choosing appropriate media and subsequently adopting it. Up to now, research has mainly focused on giving guidelines for or predicting media usage in virtual teams ignoring how teams come to use their media. Furthermore, only the individual media choice is analyzed whereas the collaborative use is hardly studied. The goal of our study therefore was to understand how virtual teams collaboratively choose their collaboration and communication media. Media choice theories that explain media choices and media behaviors served as a theoretical underpinning. We conducted a case study with fifteen teams (33 participants in total) taking part in an international virtual seminar. Qualitative data were gathered from presentations held by the seminar participants, from field notes taken by the researchers as well as from semi-structured interviews, conducted with seven participants. Following an adopted grounded theory approach, we derived seven theses, which we structured according to the categories (1) criteria for media choice, (2) the media choice process, and (3) overcoming the deficiencies in virtual collaborations. This case study gives a rich description about the media choice process in virtual teams as well as factors influencing it.