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Project Title

The Development and Practices of Effective Distributed Work Teams


James Howison, Syracuse University

Kevin Crowston, Syracuse University

Project Abstract

In the current study, we will examine how distributed teams develop shared mental models to guide members' behavior, roles to mediate access to resources, and norms and rules to shape action, as well as the dynamics by which independent, geographically-dispersed individuals are socialized into these teams. As a basis for this study, we develop a conceptual framework that uses a structurational perspective to integrate research on team behavior, communities of practice and shared mental models. A key innovation of this proposal is the integration of three methods to investigate these dynamics: natural language processing and social network analysis of team interactions and source code analysis. The work will be carried out be a multi-diciplinary team including researchers from the fields of information systems and natural language processing.


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