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Group Maintenance Behaviors in the Decision-Making Styles of Self-Organizing Distributed Teams

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Title: Group Maintenance Behaviors in the Decision-Making Styles of Self-Organizing Distributed Teams
Author(s): Scialdone, Michael John; Li, Qing; Crowston, Kevin; Heckman, Robert
Subject(s): Free/libre open source software distributed teams virtual teams group decision making group maintenance
Abstract: Businesses, universities, and other organizations are increasingly reliant on self-organizing, distributed teams which are enabled by information and communication technologies (ICTs). However, inherent geographical, organizational, and social limitations of ICTs challenge the relationships necessary for groups to make effective decisions. Understanding how group maintenance plays out within the context of different styles of decision making may provide insight into social tactics undertaken in such teams. Group maintenance is defined as discretionary, relation-building behavior that enables group members to trust and cooperate with one another more easily [1]. Decision style refers to the extent to which group decision making involves a broad contribution from group members other than leaders. It may range from the most autocratic style where a decision is made by one or a few individuals, to truly collaborative where every member has the opportunity to affect the decision. This study examines group maintenance within decision-making behaviors of Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development teams as examples of distributed teams. Most FLOSS software is developed by such teams that are both dynamic and self-organizing, comprised of professionals, users, and other volunteers working in a loosely coupled manner [2-4]. These teams are nearly entirely virtual in that developers contribute from around the world, meet face-to-face infrequently (if at all), and coordinate their activities primarily through computer-mediated communications (CMC) [6, 7].
Issue Date: 2009-02-08
Genre: Conference Poster
Type: Text
Language: English
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-03-30

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