Team Size and Technology Fit: Participation, Awareness and Rapport in Distributed Teams

Erin Bradner, Gloria Mark, Tammie Hertel

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication


In this paper we investigate the effects that team size has on geographically distributed team behavior and technology choice. We report results from a survey of distributed team members conducted within a large, multinational technology manufacturing organization. Responses indicate that members of smaller teams participated more actively on their team, were more committed to their team, were more aware of the goals of the team, had greater awareness of other team members, and were in teams with higher levels of rapport. Larger teams are more conscientious than smaller teams in preparing meeting agendas. Team size was also associated with different technology choice: larger teams adopted technology to support the coordination of asynchronous work, while smaller teams adopted technology that primarily supported collaboration. We discuss the implications of distributed team size for team performance and technology adoption.

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