Communication and conflict in virtual teams

by Cheng, Aileen, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2008, 184 pages; 3307548


This study investigated types of conflicts manifested in virtual teams, how these teams manage conflict through various communication genres, and explored the interaction between types of conflict, conflict management styles, and communication genres. Drawing on conflict, conflict management, and computer-mediated communication theories, content and genre analysis were developed and applied to online newsgroup discussions that Open Source Software project teams use as their primary means of communication. Further, quantitative analysis using correlation and linear regression techniques were employed to study the sample empirically. The research findings presented in this dissertation offers an understanding of types of conflict occur in virtual teams and conflict management styles employed to resolve conflicts. The study also revealed significant correlations between specific types of conflict, conflict management style, and communication genres. This research confirms the importance of effective communication in virtual team and extends previous conflict research by furthering the understanding of conflict and conflict management styles in virtual team environment.

AdviserDiane Bandow
Source TypeDissertation
Publication Number3307548

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