Virtual Teams in the Context of Virtual Daily Life: A communication perspective

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Yinglei Wang, Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario, Nicole Haggerty, Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario


Perceived as the form of organizing of the future, virtual teams have proliferated all over the world. However, the meaning of virtualization is more than just a work arrangement. People actually enjoy the benefits of remote communication via ICT in daily life. Given the communication difficulties in virtual teams, this paper reviews the literature of virtual teams and the literature of virtual daily life from a communication perspective using a framework that includes media, people and context issues. The findings demonstrate that remote communications in both settings are similar in two of the three key elements of communication - media and people and demonstrate both differences and similarities in the third dimension - context. Drawing on these findings, this paper makes a contribution to theory and research by exploring the potential influences of taking virtual daily life into account on the understanding of virtual team communication. Based on the application of channel expansion theory, self-efficacy theory and concerns about cultural effects, this paper reveals that experiencing virtual daily life may have a positive influence on the effectiveness of communication in virtual teams. Future research directions are suggested to continue the investigation of these relationships.


Virtual teams, computer mediated communication, information communication technology



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