A partially distributed team (PDT) consists of two or more subteams that are separated geographically. In a PDT, members of a given subteam are co-located, but they collaborate with members of geographically distant subteams. PDTs are commonplace across diverse IT settings, including outsourcing, off-shoring, and distributed organizations. Often the distance separating subteams spans multiple time zones that encompass diverse cultures and countries, as in the case of global software development teams. Findings are presented from a large-scale international PDT project involving IT students from 13 universities. Quantitative analysis of three emergent communication structures adopted by PDTs show significant differences in terms of both procedural (i.e., awareness and coordination) and socio-emotional (i.e., shared identity and trust) team interaction variables as well as perceptions of team performance. Furthermore, a qualitative analysis shows that inclusive leadership behaviors and the use of inclusive media and software positively impact team interaction processes and performance.
Ocker, Rosalie J. and Webb, Heidi, "Communication Structures in Partially Distributed Teams: The Importance of Inclusiveness" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 423.