Exploring the discursive construction of subgroups in global virtual teams
Gibbs, J. L., Boyraz, M., Sivunen, A., & Nordbäck, E. (2021). Exploring the discursive construction of subgroups in global virtual teams. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 49(1), 86-108. https://doi.org/10.1080/00909882.2020.1851745
Published inJournal of Applied Communication Research
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The global teams literature has increasingly documented challenges due to demographic faultlines. While this literature tends to assume that faultlines are fixed and produce negative outcomes for teams, organizational communication scholars have long regarded team processes as dynamic and fluid. Drawing on a CCO perspective, we offer a re-conceptualization of subgroups as dynamic and discursively constructed. This study draws on an in-depth, longitudinal analysis of two global virtual teams to examine the discursive construction of subgroups and the role they play in team dynamics. Through a multi-method analysis of a corpus of 839 emails and 16 interviews with members of two global project teams over their lifecycle, we find that the discursive construction of subgroups evolves over time and plays an important role in explaining how they are experienced by team members. These findings have important theoretical and practical implications for overcoming subgroup challenges in global teams. ...
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