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Journal of the Association for Information Systems

Abstract

Project teams increasingly rely on computer-mediated communication. In this paper, we propose that communication within these teams benefits from a communication-awareness feature that summarizes communication in one common place. We argue that such a feature pays off specifically during action episodes, when team members engage in taskwork. We conducted two studies of 51 and 35 project teams to examine how the amount of communication during action episodes relates to team performance under low- versus high-communication awareness. In both studies, we technologically designed communication awareness as the availability of a feed, known from social media platforms, that displays all team-internal, computer-mediated communication. The results show that the communication-awareness feature makes communication during action episodes more beneficial, both in term of effectiveness and efficiency. Zooming into the temporal patterns of communication during action episodes further reveals that high-performing teams in the high-communication-awareness condition stand out in terms of early and steady communication. We conclude by discussing implications for current and future research on team communication and awareness support.

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