The ways in which teams coordinate are critical to navigating today's turbulent environment. Communication networks have been theorized to be a key factor for accomplishing team coordination. However, empirical research has largely taken a static approach by viewing communication networks as material, structural arrangements, which we call structural communication networks (SCNs). Informed by network structuration theory, we articulate a complementary approach, called processual communication networks (PCNs), which views communication networks as episodic, dynamic, and sequential. To test this, we conducted a multi-team experiment of 62 teams embedded in a virtual world where their primary Objective: was to coordinate an attack on a group of insurgents. Using relational event modeling to capture the dynamics of PCNs, we hypothesized and found support for the role of PCNs as a mediator of SCNs and an indicator of structural appropriation. Moreover, highly decentralized PCNs positively predicted coordination, regardless of whether they were faithfully or ironically appropriated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language