Adapting communication to create common ground in a virtual world
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Although new organizational forms, technologies, and work arrangements allow individuals separated by distance to work together, distributed collaboration has proven challenging. In this study, we explore synchronous, distributed collaboration conducted in a virtual world. This type of collaboration differs from much collaboration in organization, which often occurs asynchronously, between distributed collaborators who rely on technology to communicate and divide and coordinate tasks, yet conduct much work independently. Virtual worlds allow synchronous, distributed collaboration and thus have the potential to support collaborative creation in a more natural manner than more traditional communication technologies and thereby better support innovation. This study is a grounded analysis of data collected primarily through participant observation of the collaborative creation of software by distributed collaborators working in a virtual world. We draw on Kock’s (2004; 2005) media naturalness theory to address the broad research question, “What adaptive behaviors support synchronous, distributed collaboration?” and focusing in particular on how distributed groups create common ground in virtual worlds.
International Conference on Information Resources Management (CONF-IRM) 2015 Proceedings
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