This paper presents a longitudinal experimental study on teams with the purpose of investigating the impact of communication media on decision‐making teams. The authors aims to achieve that by comparing face‐to‐face (FTF) and computer‐supported (CS) teams over a series of three sessions on three response variables: performance, cohesiveness, and synergy.
A total of 24 teams, each of five students, participated in three separate decision‐making sessions in which they solved a survival simulation scenario. Each team was randomly assigned to either face‐to‐face (FTF) or computer‐supported (CS) communication condition. The analysis compared overall means and mean patterns over time on the three response variables across the two communication media.
Results suggest that there were no differences in overall performance between CS and FTF teams and no differences in performance changes over time between the two media; there were no overall differences in overall synergy or synergy changes over time; and FTF teams reported higher average cohesiveness than CS teams, but cohesiveness improved at a faster rate in CS teams than in FTF teams. Overall these results suggest that the CS communication did not reduce the group's ability to work together. Moreover, the higher increase in cohesiveness reported by CS teams suggests that the ability to build relationships can increase over time.
Given the prominence of information technologies as a communication mechanism, the question of how team members in remote locations perform over time is of great theoretical and practical importance.
This study provides some preliminary evidence that computer communication does not significantly reduce the group's ability to perform over time for decision‐making tasks. CS teams report lower overall levels of cohesiveness which could indicate that some communication barriers might still limit the group's ability to build relationships.
Pazos, P. and Beruvides, M. (2011), "Performance patterns in face‐to‐face and computer‐supported teams", Team Performance Management, Vol. 17 No. 1/2, pp. 83-101. https://doi.org/10.1108/13527591111114729Download as .RIS
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