Global virtual teams (GVT) are increasingly using virtual workspace technology (VWT) which allow for multiple forms of interaction between team members. However, there is limited empirical and theoretical research on how the use of these technologies depends on the communication context of the teams. We extend recent theorizing about technology support for virtual communication to suggest that VWTs afford team members different forms of interaction. Further, we suggest that, to achieve better performance, teams choose interaction forms (using VWT) that match their communication context. More specifically, we propose that GVTs vary particularly along two dimensions of communication contexts: diversity and task innovativeness, and that VWTs can be used for two forms of interaction: virtual co-presence and knowledge evolution. We hypothesize that higher performing GVTs with high diversity use VWT for virtual co-presence and higher performing GVTs with high innovativeness of task use VWT for knowledge evolution. Data from 54 GVTs provide empirical support for our hypotheses.
Malhotra, Arvind and Majchrzak, Ann, "Communication Context-Dependent Technology Use in Virtual Teams" (2009). ICIS 2009 Proceedings. 181.