Technology Adaptation: The Case of a Computer-Supported Inter-Organizational Virtual Team

MIS Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Dec., 2000), pp. 569-600

33 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2014 Last revised: 14 May 2015

See all articles by Ann Majchrzak

Ann Majchrzak

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Ronald Rice

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Arvind Malhotra

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School; University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Management-Strategy Area

Nelson King

American University of Beirut - Olayan School of Business

Sulin Ba

University of Connecticut School of Business

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

The adaptation process for new technology is not yet well understood. This study analyzes how an inter-organizational virtual team, tasked with creating a highly innovative product over a 10 month period, adapted the use of a collaborative technology and successfully achieved its challenging objectives. The study of such a virtual team is especially useful for extending our understanding of the adaptation process as virtual teams have more malleable structures than typical organizational units and controlled group experiments. Data were obtained from observations of weekly virtual meetings, electronic log files, interviews, and weekly questionnaires administered to team members. We found that the team initially experienced significant misalignments among the pre-existing organizational environment, group, and technology structures. To resolve these misalignments, the team modified the organizational environment and group structures, leaving the technology structure intact. However, as the team proceeded, a series of events unfolded that caused the team to re-evaluate and further modify its structures. This final set of modifications involved reverting back to the pre-existing organizational environment, while new technology and group structures emerged as different from both the pre-existing and the initial ones. A new model of the adaptation process - one that integrates these findings and those of several previous models - is proposed.

Suggested Citation

Majchrzak, Ann and Rice, Ronald and Malhotra, Arvind and King, Nelson and Ba, Sulin, Technology Adaptation: The Case of a Computer-Supported Inter-Organizational Virtual Team (2000). MIS Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Dec., 2000), pp. 569-600. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2537029

Ann Majchrzak (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Ronald Rice

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) ( email )

Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

Arvind Malhotra

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC
United States

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Management-Strategy Area ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

Nelson King

American University of Beirut - Olayan School of Business ( email )

Bliss Street
Beirut 1107 2020
Lebanon

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/king2know/

Sulin Ba

University of Connecticut School of Business ( email )

368 Fairfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269-2041
United States

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