||The days of big business being conducted in a centralized location are over, globalization is on the rise, and today’s top talents are thinking twice before relocating to large cities in search of work. Virtual teams are here to stay, and team leaders must give careful consideration on how their distributed teams will collaborate to meet the team’s goals. Technology plays a key role in allowing virtual teams to collaborate, and the software utilized by a virtual team must facilitate the team's. A team leader’s choice in selecting software is critical in deciding how the team will collaborate daily, as well as defining how the team will work towards their long-term goals.|
The objective of this study is to explore how different Information Technology (IT) systems are utilized by virtual teams to complete different types of group tasks. Previous studies have explored how team leaders go about selecting communication technologies to support virtual teams, but in the time since these studies took place, new technologies have emerged and become key facilitators in virtual team collaboration. In addition to cooperative work systems, this study looks to expand on those studies by discussing the role of project and resource management and knowledge management systems in virtual team collaboration. This study explores the roles that these three IT systems play in completing group tasks, as laid out in Joseph E. McGrath’s comprehensive group task typology.
For this study, in-depth interviews were conducted with members of three different virtual teams to understand the role that software plays in facilitating their team’s activities. The findings indicate that project management and knowledge management systems, along with cooperative work systems, do play a key role in virtual team activities. This is especially true within planning, intellective, decision-making, cognitive conflict, and performance related tasks.