Visualized automatic feedback in virtual teams

Ella Glikson, Anita W. Woolley, Pranav Gupta, Young Ji Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Management of effort is one of the biggest challenges in any team, and is particularly difficult in distributed teams, where behavior is relatively invisible to teammates. Awareness systems, which provide real-time visual feedback about team members' behavior, may serve as an effective intervention tool for mitigating various sources of process-loss in teams, including team effort. However, most of the research on visualization tools has been focusing on team communication and learning, and their impact on team effort and consequently team performance has been hardly studied. Furthermore, this line of research has rarely addressed the way visualization tool may interact with team composition, while comprehension of this interaction may facilitate a conceptualization of more effective interventions. In this article we review the research on feedback in distributed teams and integrate it with the research on awareness systems. Focusing on team effort, we examine the effect of an effort visualization tool on team performance in 72 geographically distributed virtual project teams. In addition, we test the moderating effect of team composition, specifically team members' conscientiousness, on the effectiveness of the effort visualization tool. Our findings demonstrate that the effort visualization tool increases team effort and improves the performance in teams with a low proportion of highly conscientious members, but not in teams with a high proportion of highly conscientious members. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings, and suggest the need of future research to address the way technological advances may contribute to management and research of team processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number814
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume10
Issue numberMAR
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Awareness systems
  • Conscientiousness
  • Feedback
  • Task effort
  • Team composition
  • Virtual team

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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