The Spatial, Temporal, and Configurational Characteristics of Geographic Dispersion in Teams
MIS Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 433-452, September 2007
51 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2011
Date Written: 2007
As organizations operate across greater distances, scholars are increasingly interested in the work of geographically dispersed teams and the technologies that they use to communicate and coordinate their work. However, research has generally not specified the dimensions (spatial, temporal, and configurational) and degrees of team dispersion, nor has it articulated the theoretical connections between those dimensions and important team outcomes. Our Research Essay expands upon previous field and lab studies of dispersed teamwork by presenting a new conceptualization of dispersion as a continuous, multi-dimensional construct, in which each dimension is theoretically linked with different outcomes. We illustrate this new conceptualization with a series of examples from real dispersed teams and present implications for research regarding technology use.
Keywords: geographically dispersed teams, virtual teams, dispersion, distance, configuration, technology use
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