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Creativity in Asynchronous Virtual Teams: Putting the Pieces Together. Rosalie J. Ocker Pennsylvania State University . Creativity in asynch VTs. 3 related experiments, involving nearly 100 teams and 400 graduate students Key finding: Asynchronous VTs

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Creativity in Asynchronous Virtual Teams: Putting the Pieces Together

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Creativity in asynchronous virtual teams putting the pieces together l.jpg

Creativity in Asynchronous Virtual Teams: Putting the Pieces Together

Rosalie J. Ocker

Pennsylvania State University


Creativity in asynch vts l.jpg

Creativity in asynch VTs

  • 3 related experiments, involving nearly 100 teams and 400 graduate students

    Key finding:

  • Asynchronous VTs

    • significantly more creative than teams that had some FtF communication

  • 4 studies conducted to explore this finding -- each from a different perspective.


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Four Studies in Terms of the Input-Process-Output Model

Input

Process

Output

Individual

Member Personality

(Study 1)

Ocker, 2008

Team Interaction

Communication Content

(Study 3)

Ocker & Fjermestad, 2008

(expanded version)

Interaction Influences

(Study 4)

Ocker, 2005

Team Creativity

Team Composition

Status effects

(Study 2)

Ocker, 2007


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Study 1: Personality Facets

  • Looks at impact of individual personality facets on team creativity

  • A positivist study of 10 asynchronous teams in Experiment 3

  • Research questions:

    • Do individual member personalities predict virtual team creativity?

    • Do individual member personalities predict virtual team quality?


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Personality traits – 5 factors, each with multiple facets

  • Extraversion

    • Warmth

    • Gregariousness

    • Assertiveness (c,+)

    • Activity

    • Excitement Seeking

    • Positive Emotion

  • Openness

    • Fantasy

    • Aesthetics

    • Feelings

    • Actions

    • Ideas (c,+)

    • Values

  • Conscientiousness

    • Competence

    • Order

    • Dutifulness

    • Achievement (c,-)

    • Striving

    • Self-Discipline

  • Deliberate (q,+)

  • Neuroticism

    • Anxiety (c,+)

    • Hostility

    • Depression

    • Self-Consciousness

    • Impulsiveness

    • Vulnerability to Stress

  • Agreeableness

    • Trust (q,-)

    • Straightforwardness

    • Altruism

    • Compliance

    • Modesty

    • Tender-mindedness


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Creativity

an individual who is:

imaginative and original thinker

enthusiastically expresses ideas (without being over-bearing)

more concerned with ideas than project grade

Quality

an individual who is:

deliberate, thorough and careful

not terribly trusting of teammates-- rely on self to complete project work rather than on team members

Results of Regression Analysis


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Study 2: Status Effects ofTeam Composition

  • Dominance

    • key inhibitor of VT creativity (Study 4)

  • Qualitative analysis

    • 8 mixed-sex asynch teams from Exp. 3

  • Research question:

    • How is dominance manifested in virtual teams?


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Dominance

  • when a member has undue influence over the team’s processes or work product.

  • often stems from an individual’s status, which can be broadly defined as ‘a position in a social network’


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Results: 5 teams experienced dominance

Dominant member

  • first to contribute a significant amount of task-related content

  • then proceeded to control the key content development

  • belonged to the team’s majority sex

    • in teams where females were majority

    • in teams where males were majority


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Dominance and its absence

  • driven by a combination of status traits

    • age seniority, work experience seniority, and expertise

  • in 4 dominated teams

    • these status traits belonged to dominant member; absent in the other members.

  • in 3 non-dominated teams

    • status markers were counter-balanced across multiple members


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Study 3

  • Communication Content

    • Jerry’s presentation


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Study 4: Influences on Team Creativity (Team Interaction)

Qualitative analysis of 10 asynch teams from Experiment 3

Research question:

  • What influences the creative performance of asynchronous virtual teams?


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Enhancers

  • Stimulating Colleagues

  • Variety of Social Influences

    • NO routines of interaction, such as habitual agreement or disagreement

  • Collaboration on Problem Definition

    • multiple members involved in defining the concept and requirements

  • Surface-Reduce Equivocality

    • converged through a process of coming to terms with divergent perspectives


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Individual

Personality Facets

(+) Assertive

(+) Ideas

(+) Anxiety

(-) Achievement

Team Composition

Status effects

(-) Age

(-) Work Experience

(-) Expertise

(+) counter-balance

Team Interaction

Enhancers

(+) Stimulating Colleagues

(+) Variety of Social

Influences

(+) Collaboration on

Problem Def.

(+) Surface-Reduce

Equivocality

Team Interaction

Inhibitors

(-) Dominance

(-) Domain Knowledge

(-) External Reward

(-) Time Pressure

(-) Downward Norm

(-) Structured Approach

(-) Technical Problems

(-) Lack Shared

Understanding

(-) Non-stimulating

Colleagues

Team Creativity

Team Interaction

Communication Content

(+) Critical Debate


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Study References

  • Ocker, R. J. (2007). Creativityin Asynchronous Virtual Teams: Putting the Pieces Together. In Higher Creativity for Virtual Teams: Developing Platforms for Co-Creation. T. Torres and S. MacGregor (Eds.), Hershey: Idea Group, pp. 26-47.

  • Ocker, R. J. (2008). Exploring the Impact of Personality on Virtual Team Creativity and Quality. In Encyclopedia of E-Collaboration, Ned Kock (Ed.), Hershey: Idea Group.

  • Ocker, R. J. (2007). A Balancing Act: The Interplay of Status Effects on Dominance in Virtual Teams, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 50, 3, 1-15.

  • Ocker, R. J. (2005). Influences on Creativity in Asynchronous Virtual Teams: A Qualitative Analysis of Experimental Teams, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 48, 1, 22-39.

  • Ocker, R.J. and Fjermestad, J. (2008). “Communication Differences in Virtual Design Teams: Findings from a Multi-Method Analysis of High and Low-performing Experimental Teams,” The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems.


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Experiment References

  • Ocker, R. J. (1995). Requirements definition using a distributed asynchronous group support system: Experimental results on quality, creativity and satisfaction. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Rutgers University, New Jersey.

  • Ocker, R. J., Hiltz, S. R., Turoff M., & Fjermestad, J. (1996). The effects of distributed group support and process structuring on software requirements development teams, Journal of Management Information Systems, 12(3), 127-154.

  • Ocker, R. J., Fjermestad, J., Hiltz, S. R., & Johnson, K. (1998). Effects of four modes of group communication on the outcomes of software requirements determination, Journal of Management Information Systems, 15(1), 99-118.

  • Ocker, R. J. & Fjermestad, J. (1998). Web-based computer-mediated communication: An experimental investigation comparing three communication modes for determining software requirements. Proceedings of the Thirty-First Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, (HICSS-31; IEEE Computer Society, CD ROM), Hawaii, January.

  • Ocker. R. J. (2001). The relationship between interaction, group development, and outcome: A study of virtual communication. Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-34; IEEE Computer Society, CD ROM), Hawaii, January.


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Study One Method

  • Data Set: 47 participants from the 10 asynchronous teams in Experiment 3

  • Personality measure (indiv): The Adjective Check List (ACL)

  • Creativity measure (team): objective measure of creativity based on unique ideas from team reports

  • Quality measure (team): 2 judges measured the quality of each team’s solution in team report


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Study Two Analysis

Level of analysis:

  • data for this study have a multilevel structure -- participants nested within teams; variables describing participants (personality traits) and variables describing teams (creativity and quality).

  • lack of independence and the potential for a team or group effect (Gallivan & Bebunan-Fich, 2005).

  • Tested for a group effect – none, so an analysis at the individual member level was permissible.


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Personality traits

  • Personality traits distinguish individuals from each other

  • 5 broad factors of personality traits

    • extraversion, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism

  • Each factors has multiple personality facets associated with it.

  • Each personality facet includes

    • a common ‘portion’ attributable to the associated factor

    • a portion attributable to that particular facet.


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