Managing Conflict in Virtual Teams: The Role of Communication Technologies

25 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2009  

Paul R. Jackson

University of Manchester - Division of Marketing, International Business and Strategy

C. Y. (Chavi) Chen

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Date Written: September 30, 2007

Abstract

Virtual team working through agile and flexible Information and Communication Technology (ICT) engenders globalization, pursuing new markets outside their domestic environment: customers, suppliers; operate partners. Virtual teams employ ICTs to function across geographical boundaries and to diminish the gaps in language competence, which may arise from cultural diversity. Two fundamental communication processes (conveyance and convergence) affect the use of media, which plays an important role to manage effective communication. Employing the nature of ICTs suggests that switching between media enhances the effective communication to manage conflict between virtual teams. This research investigates how different types of virtual teams adopt and adapt ICTs, and manage conflict in different ways. The findings suggest that different types of virtual teams utilize ICTs' characteristics and choose different media in an attempt to attenuate the negative effects of competitive behavior and to enhance team effectiveness during conflict management.

Keywords: Globalization, Virtual teams, Information Communication Technology (ICT), Conflict management styles, Geographic dispersion, Language competence

JEL Classification: F23; L10; M19

Suggested Citation

Jackson, Paul R. and Chen, C. Y. (Chavi), Managing Conflict in Virtual Teams: The Role of Communication Technologies (September 30, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1374685 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1374685

Paul R. Jackson

University of Manchester - Division of Marketing, International Business and Strategy ( email )

United Kingdom

C.Y. (Chavi) Chen (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester, M15 6PB
United Kingdom

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